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Lessons of May 1, 2009

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Wednesday, May. 06, 2009 at 10:37 PM
epcc_la@hotmailc.om 818-749-0272 1714 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Unity in diversity. Five major coalitions for immigrant rights marched in different parts of the city of Los Angeles, mirrored the differences that united them in 2006. In almost every major city of the United States, workers and immigrants took to the streets to demand legalization and immigration reform. Hundreds of thousands marched and rallied US-wide for May 1 in a militant and defiant show of unity for a call for immigration reforms to the Obama administration. The Labor Front in Turmoil This year, several labor federations banded together to form a single unified union of all unions. Like the old AFL-CIO they want to strengthen the labor front that has been greatly weakened by the division between the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Coalition.

Lessons of May 1, 20...
mar_18_lead_banner_2.jpgmej6k0.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

EPCC NEWS

May 5, 2009

Contact: Jerry Esguerra

(818) 749-0272

Five Marches, One Theme, And One Purpose: Elusive Unity

Los Angeles-- Unity in diversity. Five major coalitions for immigrant rights marched in different parts of the city of Los Angeles, mirrored the differences that united them in 2006.

In almost every major city of the United States, workers and immigrants took to the streets to demand legalization and immigration reform. Hundreds of thousands marched and rallied US-wide for May 1 in a militant and defiant show of unity for a call for immigration reforms to the Obama administration.

The Labor Front in Turmoil

This year, several labor federations banded together to form a single unified union of all unions. Like the old AFL-CIO they want to strengthen the labor front that has been greatly weakened by the division between the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Coalition.

Later the Change to Win Coalition led by the SEIU International was shaken by the union intramurals between Andy Stern against the newly formed National United Health Workers (NUHW) led by San Francisco’s Sal Roselli.

More than 91,000 health workers in the west coast defected to the new union. This after the SEIU International declared trusteeship over the defunct UHW-West. It seems labor is dividing itself and it was reflected in the May Day celebrations after the great unity in 2006.

Even the merger of HERE-UNITE was shaken by the wrangling. Probably caused by Andy Stern’s lieutenants, UNITE is questioning HERE’S expansion and expenses- a common problem in the unions with battles over union dues.

With the labor bill in the US Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is in limbo with the corporations and the big business united against it- the labor front must get its act together or the labor will lose its clout an become as it always been- an adjunct or an appendage of the Democratic party.

It is an irony where labor worked for the Democratic Party to be elected and have an absolute majority in Congress just to see that EFCA, their pet bill diluted or not even passed in the US Congress. That maybe the great difference about labor in Europe where the workers party still can get what they want while in the US, the workers sacrifices a lot for capitalist bosses and even cut their pay and allowances for the good of the economy.

May Day 2009

In the biggest rally among five coalitions in LA, more than 30,000 marchers led by the Full Rights For immigrant coalition turned out and marched from Broadway and Olympic intersection around 1;00 PM. Composed mostly of Latino workers who filled the streets, the militant march overflowed the main streets of LA.

At the end of the march they held a rally at Temple and Broadway where a battery of labor leaders, immigrant rights advocates spoke. Among them were AJLPP West Coast Coordinator Arturo Garcia, HERMANIDAD Mexicana leaders Raul Murillo and Angelica Corona, ANSWER-LA Preston Wood, Jim Lafferty of the NLG, UTLA President AJ Duffy and Latino Movement USA's Juan Jose Gutierrez gave their speeches at their end program.

In another separate march, the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and GabNet flying the flags co-sponsored a march from Echo Park with MIWON and helped turn out 15,000 marchers. The march started from Echo Park at around 1:00 PM. The long march took a long and tiring route from Sunset Blvd. towards the east to Cezar Chavez to the old Placita Square.

There they stayed overnight at Placita Olvera. GabNet read its statement at La Placita Olvera ( old town LA) where the marchers congregated. The took a postcard picture with a message: WORKERS FIRST to be sent to the president.

The other marches was with the Southern California Immigrant Rights Coalition (SCIC) - (5,000) who marched to the Federal Building, The LEGALIZE LA ( 2,000) on Main street to the INS Detention center. The other marches stayed during the night at Macarthur Park for the May Day and the Cinco De Mayo celebrations.

Also in San Francisco, hundreds of marches braved the pouring rain and marched from Dolores Park to the Civic Center. In San Diego, also in California, more than 1,000 marchers including GABNEt San Diego marched with the group.

Mainstream media, including Spanish television, Filipino American news outlets covered the presence of the FilAm contingent at all the rallies – perhaps in reaction to the their strong presence at all the rallies.

East Coast Marches

In New York City, GabNet was with a 100-strong contingent of Filipinos, mostly women, who marched with the Immigrant Communities in Action. The AJLPP contingent was led by DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association and UGNAYAN youth group. They braved the rains which had fallen intermittently the whole day but did not deter some 10,000 people from congregating at Union Square.

The AJLPP/GABNET contingent was escorted by the blue coated cops of the NYPD. But this did not deter them from chanting forcefully and marching militantly with the ICA crowd.

In Chicago, the AFIRE was visible among the smaller crowd that mobilized for May Day. It was in Chicago in 2006 where 500,000 came out strong against the HR 4437 or the Sensenbrenner bill.

There are around five million Filipinos total in the United States About 1.5 million of them are called “Illegal immigrants”. --###

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Lessons of May 1, 2009

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Wednesday, May. 06, 2009 at 10:37 PM
epcc_la@hotmailc.om 818-749-0272 1714 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Lessons of May 1, 20...
press_conference_immgration4-28-09_019.jpg, image/jpeg, 3888x2592



It is an irony where labor worked for the Democratic Party to be elected and have an absolute majority in Congress just to see that EFCA, their pet bill diluted or not even passed in the US Congress. That maybe the great difference about labor in Europe where the workers party still can get what they want while in the US, the workers sacrifices a lot for capitalist bosses and even cut their pay and allowances for the good of the economy.
Report this post as:

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