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by jubilee shine
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 at 2:29 PM
Mayday Defense Committee
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Maria Elena Durazo, exec director of LA cty Fed of Labor, again is complicit in a vicious attack on the immigrant & workers’ rights movement. Durazo is key figure in the heinous irresponsibility (at best) of the sponsors of immigrant rights champion Elvira Arellano’s fateful visit to Los Angeles.
Arellano’s L.A. trip was coordinated by the New Sanctuary Movement, a project of CLUE (Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice) http://www.newsanctuarymovement.org/invitation.htm, which is itself a project of LAANE (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy) http://www.laane.org/victories.html, which in turn is a creation of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, which Durazo took over with Mayor Villaraigosa’s cooperation following the suspicious 2005 death of previous county fed chief and husband to Durazo, Miguel Contreras, 11 days before Villaraigosa’s mayoral victory. Contreras had opposed Villaraigosa, endorsing incumbent James Hahn http://www.laweekly.com/general/features/the-final-hours-of-miguel-contreras/14873/, while Durazo is recognized as Villaraigosa’s “closest advisor” http://www.calcoast.org/news/localgovernment0070423.html. As county fed exec, Durazo heads 845,000 union members, establishing her as the most powerful non-govt & non-corporate figure in L.A. & probably California. Durazo is also local 11 president of UNITE-HERE, one of the unions to split the AFL-CIO.
It is both inexplicable & unforgivable that Arellano’s local sponsor groups, directed by Durazo, should allow her, as the fugitive national figurehead of the immigration resistance movement, to be placed in such a vulnerable situation that Homeland Security/ICE agents could seize her with no public awareness or defense (she was in a truck w/ Illinois plates, traversing an itinerary that was publicized to media though a secret to many activists.). Did Durazo recklessly gamble that Bush’s ICE would turn a blind eye to this open affront to their mandate? Or else Arellano was handed over like Jesus by Judas in what we can only speculate to be a political maneuver to generate attention & sympathy that wd then be directed toward congressional “reform”. Either way the liability lands on Durazo.
We are forced to attribute sinister motives to Durazo because first, she still openly maintains that the LAPD is not responsible for its unprovoked assault on the Macarthur Park Mayday immigration & workers’ rights rally, which Durazo directed through another county fed project, MIWON. Durazo immediately stated the unsubstantiated fabrication on her county labor federation website’s front page that “…we understand that a group of individuals, not associated with the rally, instigated an altercation with police…” We await Durazo’s explanation for & retraction of this false accusation, and now also her apology for enabling Arellano’s capture & the abortion of her vital trip to Washington D.C.
Full Amnesty Now! Labor Unity & Democracy!
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