UPDATE: May Day call to action: End the U.S. war on immigrants/ Para el 1° de Mayo: No a la guerra EUA contra inmigrantes

Today’s May Day rally will be at the 17th St side of Union Square from 12 – 5 pm . The march is at 5 pm.

See you there!

2018 MAY DAY

Union Square

Press Conference and Protest:
Thursday, April 26, 1 pm

At: NYC Parks Department,
24 West 61st St, NY, NY NYC Parks Department illegally denies
MayDay Rally at Union Square        

Activists to protest at the NYC Parks Department to defend annual MayDay rally

NYC Parks Department’s arbitrary permit policy
is a violation of constitutional rights

NEW YORK – This year, the NYC Parks Department is attempting to arbitrarily push the historic MayDay Rally to a location 3 blocks away, at the back end of Union Square.

The sudden change in location threatens to throw the whole of May Day into confusion. Many hundreds of New Yorkers who arrive at Union Square on May 1 will not know where to go. Logistical and safety plans are at risk. This decision is an intentional move by the City of New York to shut down May Day.

For over 100 years working people, unions, migrants, community organizations and organizations of oppressed people have gathered at the broad South Plaza of Union Square, along 14th Street in Manhattan on May 1 – International Workers Day, also known as May Day. The south plaza location is a major cross street thoroughfare.

Defense of Migrants, Muslims, LGBTQ community, the Black Lives Matter Movement, union rights, opposition to racist police repression and all U.S. wars are the themes of the annual rally and march.

One week before the planned annual rally at the usual historic location their permit for Union Square South was denied and organizers were told that only the backend of the park was available to them. The fraudulent excuse given by Claudia Pepe, Director of Special Events and Permits for the NY Parks Service, was that there is currently heavy construction on the 14th Street Union Square plaza location.

Activists quickly exposed that there is no construction at the location or anywhere in the park, and documented this with video and photo evidence of 14th Street between Broadway and Union Square West. There is no obstruction that blocks pedestrian access anywhere on the wide-open South plaza.

Sara Flounders and Sharon Eolis of the International Action Center have applied for the MayDay Rally permits annually since 2005. Sara Flounders asserted: “This denial is a clear violation of the constitutional right to assemble in public places. In the age of Trump such arbitrary abuse of bureaucratic authority should be challenged. It is part of the climate of raids, round-ups and growing police repression and militarization.

City officials and in particular the NYC Borough Commissioner of Parks William T. Castro must be held accountable for the unconstitutional violation of First Amendment Right of Assembly by Claudia Pepe, the Director of Special Events and Permits.”

Sharon Eolis explained: “The organizers of MayDay at Union Square applied for the required Parks Department permits more than 3 months ago. In a personal visit to the NYC Parks Department we confirmed that there was no conflicting event on the Plaza. NYPD Sound permits were also applied for.

Nina Macapinlac, an organizer with the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, which is part of the same May Day Coalition, declared:  “Many hundreds of young activists are determined to defend their legal right to assemble and protest the current onslaught of militarism, raids and round ups at the site where working people, especially generations of immigrant workers have gathered for decades.

MayDay is being increasing criminalized. Last year there was an unwarranted and intimidating police presence. The denial of a park permit is part of a trend to attempt to intimidate communities from celebrating International Workers’ Day. Despite this, we will take collective action because International Workers’ Day is all about standing up for our communities and asserting our rights.”
The Rally on Tuesday, May 1,
MAY DAY is scheduled for
Union Square NORTH
from 12 pm to 5 pm

Tell the city of New York and @NYCParks:
You can’t shut down May Day!
We have a right to rally and demand our rights!!

NYC Borough Commissioner of Parks
William T. Castro

Claudia Pepe,
the Director of Special Events and Permits (Claudia.Pepe@parks.nyc.gov)

2018 MAY DAY Union Square




May Day Actions around the Country

En Español

By Teresa Gutierrez
April 12, 2018






As May Day approaches, migrants and refugees in the U.S. and around the world remain in a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. President Donald Trump’s continued move to the right is exacerbating this situation.

In the U.S., raids at courthouses and workplaces have increased. The National Guard has been sent to the southern border to further militarize the area. The U.S  attorney general has strengthened repressive legal measures to terrorize immigrant workers and divide the working class.

Now more than ever, the struggles for migrant and refugee rights must be linked to the struggle against state police terror and to win workers’ rights.

It is easy to turn away from the spectacle that is the Trump administration or to laugh Trump off as no more than a no-talent, orange clown in a cheap circus. But Trump is extremely dangerous. In league with an ultraright faction, he has made his administration into a militaristic, white supremacist regime.

This has disastrous consequences for the workers and oppressed everywhere.  This must be fought tooth and nail.

Hardline racist agenda

This month, Trump once again decreed his anti-immigrant agenda through a series of “Easter tweets,” in a nod to his white-supremacist “Christian nation” base. (CNN, April 5)

He called for new laws to make it even harder for immigrants to obtain refugee status. He acquired a whopping $1.6 billion from a willing Congress to build his racist wall on the Mexican border — and demanded more. He asked right-wing governors to send their National Guard troops to the border. He also declared he would assign U.S. military troops to patrol there, though that action requires congressional approval by law.

To fan the flames against immigrants, Trump again stated that immigration policies “have weakened the country” and “led to public safety risks.” (Washington Post, April 3) But that racist rhetoric is really a smokescreen to confuse white workers about where the real assault on their wages, health and education is coming from.

For instance, the total estimated cost for Trump’s white-supremacist wall would be about $25 billion — money that could and should be earmarked instead for health care, teachers’ salaries, and other needs of working and oppressed people.

The truth is that migration into the U.S. is at some of the lowest levels in years. The anti-immigrant climate that has grown since 2006 means fewer and fewer Mexican workers are coming into the U.S. while more are leaving to go back home.

In early April, Trump verbally targeted a caravan of migrants who were travelling from Central America through Mexico, aiming to reach the Tijuana border. Covered on Fox News with fear mongering rhetoric, the caravan was portrayed as a horde of dangerous criminals “snaking” and sneaking their way into the U.S.

Many such righteous caravans have made their way through Mexico for decades, as migrant rights advocates built support for the millions of displaced workers in the region. Every year, caravans travel throughout Mexico. They are not just for Central Americans but also for families in Mexico who have lost touch with their emigrating children or other relatives and are trying to find out what happened to them.

These families do not know if their loved ones made it into the U.S. or are in detention. Perhaps they lost their lives riding “La Bestia” (The Beast), the freight train that migrants jump on to make their way north, and where hundreds fall to their deaths or lose limbs in the attempt.

Trump specifically demonized a caravan organized by Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders). Highlighting the concerns of Central Americans — many from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador — the caravan began with more than 1,000 people. The logistics of arranging transportation, food and accommodations on that scale shows the courage and determination of the movement for migrants in Mexico.

Growing U.S. militarization

Why are so many caravaning north? Not to do ill, as racists rant, but because U.S. militarism and imperialism have destabilized their homelands, destroyed their homes and taken away their livelihood. For example, Honduras has become the scene of widespread instability and repression since the 2009 coup, when the progressive regime of President Mel Zelaya was overturned. That illegal coup had U.S. fingerprints all over it, particularly those of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

For Trump and his ilk to deny the racism they aim at these migrants is calculated hypocrisy. To deny political asylum to the hundreds of refugees forced to flee their region is not only wrong — it is a death sentence.

U.S. imperialism has militarized the beleaguered countries of Mexico and Central America, and now Trump aims to further militarize the U.S. border. Not the northern border with Canada, of course, but the U.S. border with Mexico.

In the wake of Trump’s call for troops at the border, conservative governors from Arizona and Texas deployed their National Guard units (Newsweek, April 7), although still at numbers lower than called out under both Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat President Barack Obama. Arizona deployed 150 members and Texas promised 250. The total from all border states is predicted to reach 4,000 eventually.

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced April 11 that he would send troops to the border. This is alarming, as the migrant rights movement has been very strong in California. That a so-called liberal governor felt the pressure to go along with reactionary governors shows the Trump anti-immigrant hype is gaining momentum. Brown’s announcement is also an example of how the Democrats continue to sell out immigrants and their advocates.

Workplace raids increasing

Trump’s summoning of the soldiers is meant to send a chill through migrants and activists alike. This follows other policies to terrorize the migrant and refugee community. On April 5, Trump issued a directive that U.S. immigration enforcement agencies cease any “catch and release” practices. In this degradingly nicknamed procedure, undocumented immigrants who had been arrested at the border were released while their cases were processed.

In addition, the Department of Justice, run by archracist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will now set quotas for immigration judges in an effort to speed up deportations. According to National Public Radio, “to get a satisfactory rating on their performance evaluations, judges will be required to clear at least 700 cases a year and to have fewer than 15 percent of their decisions overturned on appeal.”

Immigration lawyers criticized the plan. “Decisions in immigration court have life-or-death consequences and cannot be managed like an assembly line,” said Jeremy McKinney, secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. (NPR, April 3)

Meanwhile, in what may be the biggest workplace raid under Trump’s assault, 97 people were taken into custody and processed for deportation or detention on April 7, following an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid at a Tennessee meat-processing plant.

This follows synchronized ICE raids at over 100 7-Eleven stores in early January.  On one day alone, ICE agents stormed into 100 stores searching for undocumented workers. (Newsweek, Jan. 10)

The ICE acting executive associate director boasted at the time that they were just getting started: “It’s not going to be limited to large companies or any particular industry, big, medium and small. … This is what we’re gearing up for this year, and what you’re going to see more and more of.”

Nowhere to go

Immigrants and refugees in the U.S. are living under a state of siege right now. Whether out shopping or going to religious services, whether in school, at court or at work, while driving or walking anywhere, migrants and their families are living in sheer terror. The risk of post-traumatic stress is real, especially among children of migrant families, with long-standing consequences.

Migrants are forced to leave their homelands and migrate into the U.S. because of intolerable conditions, resulting directly from U.S. imperialist militarism. Only by shutting down this country’s predatory, racist system once and for all will this war on migrants end.

May Day 2018 must once again be dedicated to the struggle of migrants and refugees — whether they come from Honduras or Haiti, Syria or Somalia.

There are no borders in the workers’ struggle!

Teresa Gutierrez is a longtime immigrant rights activist.

Photos: Massive nationwide rallies in September 2017 defended immigrants, here in Los Angeles and Houston.

Para el 1° de Mayo: No a la guerra EUA contra inmigrantes


A medida que se acerca el 1° de Mayo, migrantes y refugiadas/os en EUA y el mundo permanecen en una crisis humanitaria de proporciones épicas. El giro continuo del presidente Donald Trump hacia la derecha está exacerbando esta situación.

En EUA, las redadas en los juzgados y lugares de trabajo han aumentado. La Guardia Nacional ha sido enviada a la frontera sur para militarizar aún más el área. El fiscal general de EUA ha reforzado medidas legales represivas para aterrorizar a las/os trabajadores inmigrantes y dividir a la clase trabajadora.

Ahora más que nunca, las luchas por los derechos de las/os migrantes y refugiados deben estar vinculadas a la lucha contra el terror de la policía estatal y para ganar los derechos de las/os trabajadores.

Es fácil alejarse del espectáculo que es la administración Trump o reírse de Trump por ser un payaso naranja sin talento en un circo barato. Pero Trump es extremadamente peligroso. Aliado a una facción ultraderechista, ha convertido a su administración en un régimen militarista y de supremacía blanca.

Esto tiene consecuencias desastrosas para las/os trabajadores y oprimidos en todas partes. Esto debe combatirse con uñas y dientes.

Agenda racista de línea dura

Este mes, Trump una vez más decretó su agenda antiinmigrante a través de una serie de “tuits de Pascua”, afirmándose a su base “cristiana” de supremacía blanca. (CNN, 5 de abril)

Pidió nuevas leyes para que sea aún más difícil que inmigrantes puedan obtener el estatus de refugiado. Logró la enorme cantidad de $1,6 mil millones de un Congreso dispuesto a construir su muro racista en la frontera con México, y exigió más aún. Pidió a los gobernadores de derecha que enviaran sus tropas de la Guardia Nacional a la frontera. También declaró que asignaría tropas militares de EUA para patrullar allí, aunque por ley, esa acción requiere la aprobación del Congreso.

Para avivar las llamas contra las/os inmigrantes, Trump afirmó nuevamente que las políticas de inmigración “han debilitado al país” y “han conducido a riesgos de seguridad pública”. (Washington Post, 3 de abril) Pero esa retórica racista es realmente una cortina de humo para confundir a las/os trabajadores blancos sobre el origen de la embestida real a sus salarios, salud y educación.

Por ejemplo, el costo total estimado del muro supremacista blanco de Trump sería de aproximadamente $25 mil millones, dinero que podría y debería destinarse a la atención médica, los salarios de las/os docentes y otras necesidades de trabajadoras/es y oprimidas/os.

La verdad es que la migración a EUA se encuentra en uno de los niveles más bajos en años. El  aumento del clima antiinmigrante desde 2006 significa que cada vez menos trabajadoras/es mexicanos ingresan a EUA, mientras más regresan a sus países.

A principios de abril, Trump amenazó verbalmente a una caravana de inmigrantes que viajaba de América Central a México, con el objetivo de llegar a la frontera de Tijuana. Cubierta por Fox News con retórica de miedo, la caravana fue retratada como una horda de delincuentes peligrosos “serpenteando” y abriéndose paso sigilosamente en los EUA.

Muchas de esas honrosas caravanas han recorrido el camino por México durante décadas, ya que las/os defensores de los derechos migrantes crearon apoyo para las/os millones de trabajadores desplazados en la región. Cada año, las caravanas viajan por todo México. No son solo para las/os centroamericanos, sino también para las familias en México que han perdido el contacto con sus hijas/os u otros parientes migrantes y están tratando de averiguar qué les sucedió.

Estas familias no saben si sus seres queridos llegaron a EUA o están detenidos. Tal vez perdieron la vida montando “La Bestia”, el tren de mercancías en el que las/os inmigrantes brincan para dirigirse hacia el norte, y donde cientos mueren o pierden extremidades en el intento.

Trump demonizó específicamente una caravana organizada por Pueblo Sin Fronteras. Destacando las preocupaciones de los centroamericanos, muchos de Honduras, Guatemala o El Salvador, la caravana comenzó con más de 1.000 personas. La logística de organizar el transporte, la comida y el alojamiento a esa escala muestra el valor y la determinación del movimiento para las/os migrantes en México.

Creciente militarización de EUA

¿Por qué hay tantas caravanas al norte? No para hacer mal, como dicen los racistas, sino porque el militarismo y el imperialismo de EUA han desestabilizado sus tierras natales, destruido sus hogares y quitado su sustento. Por ejemplo, Honduras se ha convertido en un escenario de inestabilidad y represión generalizadas desde el golpe de 2009, cuando se derrocó el régimen progresista del presidente Mel Zelaya. Ese golpe ilegal tenía huellas de los EUA, particularmente las de la entonces secretaria de estado Hillary Clinton.

El que Trump y los de su clase nieguen el racismo que dirigen a estas/os migrantes es pura hipocresía. Negar el asilo político a los cientos de refugiadas/os forzados a huir de su región no solo es erróneo, es una sentencia de muerte.

El imperialismo estadounidense ha militarizado a México y América Central, y ahora Trump intenta militarizar aún más la frontera de EUA. No la frontera norte con Canadá, por supuesto, sino la frontera de EUA con México.

Tras el llamado de Trump, los gobernadores conservadores de Arizona y Texas desplegaron sus unidades de la Guardia Nacional (Newsweek, 7 de abril), aunque todavía en números más bajos que los convocados por el presidente republicano George W. Bush y el presidente demócrata Barack. Obama. Arizona desplegó 150 miembros y Texas prometió 250. Se prevé que el total de todos los estados fronterizos llegue eventualmente a 4.000.

El gobernador de California, Jerry Brown, anunció el 11 de abril que enviaría tropas a la frontera. Esto es alarmante, ya que el movimiento por los derechos de las/os migrantes ha sido muy fuerte en California. Que un gobernador supuestamente liberal sintiera la presión de estar de acuerdo con los gobernadores reaccionarios muestra que la campaña antiinmigrante de Trump está cobrando impulso. El anuncio de Brown es también un ejemplo de cómo los demócratas continúan traicionando a inmigrantes y sus defensores.

Redadas aumentan en lugares de trabajo

La solicitud de soldados por parte de Trump está destinada a afectar tanto a migrantes como activistas. Esto sigue a otras políticas para aterrorizar a la comunidad migrante y refugiada. El 5 de abril, Trump emitió una directiva según la cual las agencias de aplicación de la ley de inmigración de EUA cesen cualquier práctica de “captura y liberación”. En este procedimiento degradante, las/os inmigrantes indocumentados que habían sido arrestados en la frontera eran liberados mientras se procesaban sus casos.

Además, el Departamento de Justicia, administrado por el ultra racista Procurador General, Jeff Sessions, ahora establecerá cuotas para los jueces de inmigración en un esfuerzo por acelerar las deportaciones. Según la Radio Nacional Pública, “para obtener una calificación satisfactoria en sus evaluaciones de desempeño, se requerirá que los jueces terminen al menos 700 casos al año y revoquen menos del 15 por ciento de sus decisiones en apelación”.

Las/os abogados de inmigración criticaron el plan. “Las decisiones en un tribunal de inmigración tienen consecuencias de vida o muerte y no se pueden gestionar como una producción en cadena”, dijo Jeremy McKinney, secretario de la Asociación Estadounidense de Abogados de Inmigración. (NPR, 3 de abril)

Mientras tanto, en lo que podría ser la mayor redada en un lugar de trabajo bajo el ataque de Trump, 97 personas fueron detenidas y procesadas para su deportación o detención el 7 de abril, luego de una redada de Inmigración y Aduanas en una planta procesadora de carne de Tennessee.

Esto sigue las incursiones de ICE sincronizadas en más de 100 tiendas 7-Eleven a principios de enero. En un solo día, los agentes de ICE irrumpieron en 100 tiendas en busca de trabajadoras/es indocumentados. (Newsweek, 10 de enero)

El director ejecutivo en funciones de ICE se jactó en el momento de que esto era solo el comienzo: “No se limitará a grandes empresas o cualquier industria en particular, grande, mediana y pequeña. … Esto es lo que nos estamos preparando para este año, y lo que vas a ver más y más”.

Sin lugar a dónde ir

Las/os inmigrantes y refugiados en EUA viven ahora en estado de sitio. Ya sea que salgan de compras o vayan a servicios religiosos, ya sea en la escuela, en la corte o en el trabajo, mientras conducen o caminan a cualquier lugar, las/os migrantes y sus familias viven en completo terror. El riesgo de estrés postraumático es real, especialmente entre las/os hijos de familias migrantes, con consecuencias permanentes.

Las/os migrantes se ven obligados a abandonar sus países de origen y emigrar a los Estados Unidos debido a las condiciones intolerables, que resultan directamente del militarismo imperialista de EUA. Sólo al vencer de una vez por todas el sistema depredador y racista de este país, terminará esta guerra contra las/os migrantes.

El Primero de Mayo de 2018 debe dedicarse una vez más a la lucha de las/os migrantes y refugiados, ya sea que vengan de Honduras o Haití, Siria o Somalia.

¡No hay fronteras en la lucha de las/os trabajadores!

Teresa Gutiérrez es una veterana activista por los derechos de los inmigrantes.