[Marxism] Can Democrats Shut Camejo Out of Immigration Struggle?

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Sun Apr 9 16:06:34 MDT 2006

The most difficult media audience is in the biggest cities, where the  
political parties and their media henchmen have the contacts and  
sophistication needed to exclude their critics. When Syd Stapleton  
ran for Mayor in Cleveland he got regular and not unfavorable  
comment. But when any of our candidates ran in NYC, he or she was  
lumped in as one of the minor parties, often mentioned only the final  
day before an election as a "by the way, here are some fruitcake  

But smaller venues, where socialist candidates may even be personally  
known by media figures, are more open. Although it is never as fair  
as we could wish and although we have difficulty in presenting and  
generating newsworthy issues on a regular basis, sometimes we break  
through. Camejo, as the representative of the Green Party, and  
recognized as a legitimate candidate in the last gubernatorial  
campaign, may have this opportunity, especially outside of Los Angeles.

Here are two articles that illustrate this. I am particularly  
impressed with the organization of forums outside the main rally.  
This is a traditional activity in California, used most often at the  
major universities. Almost every action in California in the 1960s  
was preceded and paralleled with educational forums and discussions  
in a variety of venues.

However, the national media focused on the most confrontational  
aspects. Students who saw that there was a civil rights sit-in at a  
hotel, the limp bodies and the arrests, never saw the preceding weeks  
of negotiations, supported and participated in by trade union  
leaders, community organizations, the NAACP, etc.

Brian Shannon


Tens of thousands of people are expected to march Sunday at San  
Diego's Balboa Park to call on the federal government to enact fair  
immigration legislation. "Just and fair immigration legislation in  
the United States must consider the lives of people who have lived  
here for years," the event's organizer, Gus Chavez, said. "We must  
remember that immigrants are society's conscience."

Also on Sunday, a group of student activists with the group "Si, Se  
Puede," which advocates amnesty for illegal immigrants, will hold a  
10:30 a.m. rally at San Diego City College in advance of the 1 p.m.  
gathering in Balboa Park.

Peter Camejo, who ran for governor as the Green Party candidate, is  
expected at the rally.

The "Immigrants are America" march, which is slated to begin at 1  
p.m. Sunday, will follow Sixth Avenue from Balboa Park through parts  
of downtown San Diego to the County Administration Center at 1600  
Pacific Highway. The march comes on the heels of large walkouts of  
students from San Diego and Los Angeles-area high schools and  
colleges at the start of the month to protest pending federal  
immigration legislation.

On Friday, the U.S. Senate was unable to reach consensus on  
legislation that would permit illegal immigrants who have been  
working in the United States for more than five years to apply for  
legal permanent residency. Those here for two years to five years  
would have to leave, but could return under temporary work permits.  
Those here for less than two years would be required to leave and  
apply for a visa to return.


Fox 6 News

The estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States  
should get amnesty, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo  
said Saturday at a public forum in San Diego. “These people subsidize  
the United States,” Camejo said in a telephone interview before the  
public forum at the Ocean Beach Woman’s Club. Undocumented immigrants  
buy products in this country and pay sales taxes, and also work hard  
at their jobs, he said.

To let them work here but deny them driver licenses, health care or  
education is a “contradiction,” he said. “You can’t have it both  
ways.” Camejo said he supports amnesty for those who are already here  
and a reasonable policy to allow others to cross into this country.  
Opponents say amnesty for illegal immigrants would be unfair to those  
who are trying to become U.S. citizens by obeying the law. Camejo  
also said he supports a mass boycott -- called El Grande Boycott, or  
The Great Boycott -- on May 1.

Organizers are calling for all Latinos to stay home from schools and  
work and not buy anything that day. Camejo said activists in other  
countries have agreed to not buy U.S. products as well. The recent  
groundswell of interest and rallies over immigration issues occurred  
as Congress debated various proposals, ranging from making  
undocumented immigrants felons to providing a pathway to citizenship  
for them. A compromise bill stalled Friday when a test vote could  
garner only 38 votes in the Senate.

Over recent weeks, students have walked out of classes and  
immigration activists have staged massive rallies throughout the  
country. More rallies and protests are planned for Sunday at Balboa  
Park and City College, including a march to the county administration  
building on Laurel Street.

Si Se Puede of Southern California is trying to mobilize students  
statewide to push for amnesty for undocumented immigrants, student  
organizer Jazmin Morelos Salinas said. Si Se Puede means yes we can.

Camejo will speak at the rally, along with Jesse Diaz, one of the  
organizers of the massive Los Angeles march that took place March 25.  
Numerous graduate students, a professor and others from activist  
organizations also plan to address the crowd, faculty organizer Elva  
Salinas said.


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