[Marxism] Redbaiting the immigrant rights movement

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 13 21:09:13 MDT 2006

Excerpts from page 3 of tomorrow's Washington Post:

Try not to laugh when you get to the part about the Socialist Workers Party.


The coalition of grass-roots organizations that staged huge rallies on 
behalf of illegal immigrants in recent weeks is torn over an ambitious next 
step, a massive job and economic boycott that some are calling "A Day 
Without Immigrants."

Across the country, some groups have expressed enthusiasm for a May 1 action 
that they hope would paralyze restaurants, hotels, meat-packing plants and 
construction sites. But others have questioned the strategic value of such a 
move so soon after the wave of demonstrations, particularly as it would 
require many illegal immigrants to risk their jobs by skipping yet another 

Skeptics have another pressing concern -- that a prominent antiwar group may 
be playing a leading role in the boycott, linking its cause with the 
immigrant rights campaign to promote its own agenda.


Diaz, Contreras and other leaders were alarmed that the antiwar organization 
Act Now to Stop War and End Racism co-sponsored an April 4 news conference 
in the District to announce the boycott, even before the April 10 events. 
The group has been criticized by conservatives as being affiliated with the 
Socialist Workers Party and supporting the Palestinian uprising against 

"Groups . . . that have done nothing on immigration have no reason to stick 
their nose where it doesn't belong," Contreras said. "They have no business 
saying, 'Let's do a strike' when it will create a humongous burden on 
immigrant groups. They need to stay in their box."

Brian Becker, national coordinator of the antiwar organization, said his 
group has long supported immigrant rights and is not trying to co-opt the 
May 1 action. "We are just part of the coalition; we are not spearheading it 
at all," he said. "Whatever the immigrant rights community calls for is what 
we support."

Eli Stephens
  Left I on the News

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