By: Orlando Pardo for the ANSWER Coalition
A broad, community-based coalition of progressive, pro-immigrant organizations, including the ANSWER Coalition and the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, is calling for a massive, united May Day March and Rally on May 1 in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The march will gather at Olympic and Broadway at 10 am.
Carlos Alvarez, ANSWER Coalition leader in LA, said: "We in the anti-war, anti-racism movement must stand in solidarity with the immigrant community at this time to say 'No Human Being is Illegal!' All progressive organizations and people are encouraged to join the ANSWER contingent in the march."
This struggle for immigrant rights is country-wide, and this demonstration is but one of an expected 350 in cities throughout the nation.
President Obama promised just and comprehensive immigration reform within his first 100 days in office. That time has come and gone.
On Friday, April 22, Arizona Governor Janice Brewer signed an anti-immigrant bill into law known as the SB 1070 or the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act.” The legislation gives state and local police the power to act as federal immigration enforcers, able to detain anyone they consider to have a “reasonable suspicion” of being an undocumented immigrant and making it a misdemeanor to not carry proper documentation. This new law, essentially, legalizes racial profiling in the state of Arizona.
While many may see the law as one which has only been passed to address the illegal immigration concerns of the Arizona government, those who have become American citizens to be safe from persecution in other countries, and those who take pride in their ethnic roots, see it, instead, as a dangerous precedent.
Immediately after the bill was passed, many students, outraged that such a bill was passed, walked out and took the streets in a display of unity and opposition of the bill.
Others chained themselves to the Capitol Building in Phoenix at a student organized sit-in demonstration. Some of whom were arrested and taken away.
The ANSWER Coalition demands full legalization for all immigrants, and an immediate repeal of the Arizona Senate Bill 1070. Those who support these actions have the opportunity to join in their demonstration in Los Angeles this weekend, or in those across the country.
Protesting this bill is a vital action for all those who have come to this country for the basics of freedom, and for those who understand that it may take away the rights that they believe are theirs and inherent in the Constitution.