[Marxism] The May 1 boycott, the Latino movement and the Left

Jon Flanders jonflanders at jflan.net
Sun Apr 23 17:42:42 MDT 2006

On Sat, 2006-04-22 at 06:29 -0400, Joaquín Bustelo wrote:
> I believe this sharply changes the character of the April 29 "antiwar"
> demonstrations, because U.S. politics has changed radically since that
> action was called. TODAY an antiwar movement without immigrants is an
> abomination, it is an anti-movement, it is worse than having no
> movement at
> all. 
While as usual I find your posts full of useful information and
insights, the above is really over the top.

To some extent we are talking apples and oranges when we talk about the
war in Iraq and the immigration rights movement.

Would we demand that the immigration rights movement and the May 1st
Boycott put opposing the Iraq war on its list of demands?

Of course not. Why? Because the point of unity is around legalization,
not the war. While I suspect that the majority point of view of the
undocumented is opposition to the war, it would be wrong to make the war
a matter of principle for May 1st, or for the movement for full

Furthermore, if the UFPJ did call for support for May 1, would that mean
that hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers would answer the call
to oppose the Iraq war and mobilize? I think we know that the answer is
no, they would not.

This is for a whole host of reasons and pressures, including that many
recent immigrants don't think that the foreign policy of the US is a
concern for them right now, nor do they want to add opposition to the
war as another reason for them to be harassed and kicked out.

> And the test of inclusion is the May 1 day without immigrants great
> American
> boycott. You can like it or dislike it, but among the Latino activists
> and
> groupings that have arisen organically in this upsurge, the call for
> it has
> been recognized as authoritative and even binding. THIS IS WHAT THE
> IS DOING, no matter how many vendidos the white media trots out to
> oppose
> it.
> I don't really care what the people who dominate UfPJ politically
> think
> about the tactics. I'm simply not interested. That's something we
> Latinos
> will discuss and decide among ourselves. All I want to know is whether
> they're with us or not. And on that, UFPJ's silence on the May 1
> boycott is
> eloquent. They're boycotting the boycott.

I checked the UFPJ website and it is true that they don't mention the
May 1 day of action. There is, however, plenty of press releases on the
immigration issue, including one blasting the recent INS raids. I am
sure there will be speakers on the immigration issue at the April 29th
rally in NYC. They might not have politics that you and I would endorse,
but I suspect they are some of the same people we were happy to see at
the great immigrant rights mobilizations.

Clearly the groups that make up UFPJ don't have agreement on May 1, so
that's why they don't bring it up. That's too bad, but that is the
political reality in the coalition at the moment.

Should we all then stop demonstrating against the Iraq war until UFPJ
corrects this situation?

I don't think so. 

Jon Flanders

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