Two activist Chicana writers will explore the question "Which Way Forward for Immigrant Rights?" at a panel discussion on Saturday, May 24, from 3:15pm to 5:30pm. Speakers Yolanda Alaniz and Christina López will analyze the strengths of the immigrant rights movement and the difficulties it faces, followed by discussion.
"We promote an inclusive strategy that incorporates immigrants from all parts of the globe. And we believe it's vital to recognize the leadership role being played by undocumented women and youth against incredible harassment," says Alaniz, a Los Angeles-based organizer. Adds co-presenter López, "Too much energy has gone into impossibly twisted 'paths to citizenship.' Instead, we need a movement that demands open borders and full legalization now."
Yolanda Alaniz is co-author of Viva la Raza: A History of Chicano Identity and Resistance. She grew up working in the fields of Eastern Washington, joined the Brown Berets and MEChA at the University of Washington, and helped found two groundbreaking Latina organizations. She became involved with the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) in the 1970s.
Christina López grew up in the projects in Phoenix, Arizona. Her working-class family has roots in the Southwest that predate U.S. borders. After moving to Seattle and becoming the president of the local Radical Women chapter, she helped lead actions in defense of immigrant rights, unionists, and reproductive justice. She has spoken widely on her pamphlet Estamos en la Lucha: Immigrant Women Light the Fires of Resistance. In 2012, she was the write-in candidate of the Freedom Socialist Party for U.S. vice president.
The presentations by Alaniz and López are part of the Freedom Socialist Party's national convention, "A World to Win, A Planet to Save!" being held in Los Angeles. Public sessions are Saturday, May 24 - Monday, May 26.
The Saturday morning session will focus on the economic and ecological crises, political polarization in the U.S., and the increasing interest in a radical alternative to what many view as a failing capitalist system. The evening session, "One Hemisphere Undivided," will feature Latin American and U.S. socialists speaking about building international collaboration and current organizing in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.
Participants will gather in Koreatown at the AFSCME District Council 36 building, 514 Shatto Place (one block from the Vermont subway station). Facilities are wheelchair accessible. Daily registration is $20; students and strikers pay $10. For more information or to make arrangements for childcare or Spanish translation, call 323-732-6416. Register at http://www.socialism.com