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Occupy LA Response to Divisive CNN Article

by imc repost Wednesday, May. 02, 2012 at 7:28 PM

CNN wrote an article saying there were splits between Occupy and the immigrants rights movement. This is untrue.

CNN is just making stuff up, and has no background with organizing around May Day. May Day march organizing has always been a fight between factions and coalitions. It's been a challenge for a decade, but each year, there is a march, and some years, it's huge. Feelings are hurt, people are pissed off, but the fight continues, together, despite all this. Not only that, it often grows, probably due to this internal competition. The fight to bring undocumented workers into the mainstream, to build a unified working class, drives LA activism.

Occupy Wall Street LA brought something new to this situation, but one entirely in concert with this struggle to build a unified working class. They do things their own way. So the fact that Occupy LA could not somehow find alignment with the ever-shifting coalitions of immigration rights groups (among which are SCIC), is not only unsurprising, but should have been expected. In the end, they have aligned with the most "radical" (some would say strident) coalition, but one that always organizes thousands. That is bold, especially because SCIC called out Occupy LA early on... and Occupy blew off SCIC - but in the months between, they have found their positions getting closer together.

Not only that, but their alignement with SCIC and also the YJC is building a bridge between the black and brown communities of South Central LA. This is significant, particularly after the Trayvon Martin debacle. Occupy's presence has also put huge pressure on organized labor to raise their game, and that has meant reaching out to sectors of the labor movement that aren't always supportive of immigrant rights.

Are there conflicts? Of course. People who care about these things often end up fighting, splitting hairs, and so forth. It's always been this way. But now more than ever, they are fighting in the same direction. They will continue to have conflicts, but as long as everyone is moving in the same direction, and willing to put the past behind them and join together, the movement will grow.

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Original article by Ruth Fowler - see the link for the original post on Occupylosangeles.org.

On April 27th, 2012, CNN published a misleading, inaccurate and damaging article entitled 'LA May day observances split immigration'. While the various immigration groups who have traditionally marched on May Day have naturally been in various stages of ideological and sometimes political conflict, Occupy LA has never been part of these internal differences, and stands firmly in support of im/migrant rights. The General Strike Preparation Committee, as part of its planning for May Day 2012, actively put out the call for various immigration groups and organizations to join Occupy in building a coalition to participate in a May 1st General Strike. Despite numerous calls, these groups were not interested in participating in a coordinated effort on May Day, and preferred to stick to holding their own separate marches, rallies and events on the day. Occupy LA supports this decision, and as a mark of their respect for these groups' work and the meaning of May Day in Los Angeles, the General Strike Preparation Committee made sure that they prioritized Im/migrant rights on their list of demands for the General Strike.

On 4pm May 1st, 2012, Occupy LA has committed to marching with the Southern Californian Immigration Coalition with their full support. The SCIC is a group which, back in October, voted NOT to participate or organize within Occupy. Occupy LA has urged all participants on their Four Winds Caravan to join this march, with SCIC's cooperation. Occupy LA respects all groups working and organizing in Los Angeles, and recognizes and appreciates their autonomy and right not to participate in Occupy LA actions, without any ill-will or disrespect. Viva La Revolución! All Power to All People!

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