[Marxism] New Yorkers protest Arizona nativism
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 30 09:19:27 MDT 2010
July 29, 2010, 6:38 pm
A New York Protest of Arizona Immigration Law
By EMILY B. HAGER
They gathered at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday,
hundreds drawn to a march and rally against an immigration law
that was to go into effect thousands of miles away in Arizona,
until a federal judge blocked the most controversial parts of the
law from going into effect.
Nonetheless, the hundreds of marchers saw a potential ripple
effect of the law, and feared that it could ultimately shape
immigration reform across the country.
Thursday’s rally began in Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn with about 30
people. But the crowd grew quickly as local groups like Vamos
Unidos from the Bronx, and DRUM, a Southeast Asian group based in
Jackson Heights, Queens, gathered their ranks and found additional
support among grandmothers dressed in skirts and sneakers, church
groups, women in hijabs, and a former Arizona border patrol agent.
Many carried signs, including one that read, “Ningun ser humano es
ilegal.” (No human is illegal.)
Few found comfort in the preliminary injunction that was issued on
behalf of the Obama administration, which challenged Arizona’s law.
“Everyone understands that’s just a temporary measure,” said the
Rev. Mark Hallinan of the Society of Jesus. As he tried to explain
the need for a better system to regulate the flow of workers into
the country, the crowd around him seemed to emphasize his point.
They carried signs reading: “La lucha sigue! Sigue!” (The fight
In 1998, Fousseny Kaba fled violence in Guinea and moved to the
United States. On Thursday, beads of sweat dripped from his
forehead as he joined the march.
“I came here to get better life,” he said in broken English. “But
right now the dream is not.”
Mr. Kaba, who lives in New Jersey, does not have a green card, and
he said he feared that if laws were not changed to protect him, he
could be deported and separated from his family. (He has six
children.) “I am here to keep the family together,” he said.
As the protesters streamed off the bridge and pooled into Foley
Square, they were met by nearly 30 people lined up to oppose them
and to support the Arizona law.
“There are illegals infiltrating every state; it’s not just
Arizona,” said Diane Perrotta of Manhattan. “Do you think that
they all stay in Arizona once they’re in? They’re everywhere.”
“The illegal aliens have devastated the work force, the economy in
Arizona and for the United States,” said Pauline Pujol of
Woodside, Queens. “They are devastating our education, all the
schools are overcrowded. They are devastating our health care and
they are taking jobs away from American minorities and unschooled
But Daniel Dromm, a city councilman from Jackson Heights, Queens,
disputes claims like Ms. Pujol’s.
“It’s nonsense, I don’t believe it at all,” Mr. Dromm said.
“They’re taking jobs that Americans don’t really want.”
Mr. Dromm, highlighting recent hate crimes on Staten Island, said
he feared the Arizona law would lead to more attacks.
“I really believe that when we have laws like were passed in
Arizona, it gives legitimacy, or lends legitimacy wrongfully so,
to people to think that it’s O.K. to attack immigrants,” he said.
Speaking to the crowd, Mr. Dromm announced a City Council
resolution that formally supported President Obama’s lawsuit
against Arizona and bars Council members from traveling to Arizona
on city funds. The resolution passed later on Thursday by a vote
of 40 to 6.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kaba, the man from Guinea, stood near Mr. Dromm and
kept his small children nearby. Deportation is a real possibility
for him. “Yesterday somebody, today somebody else, maybe tomorrow
it can be me,” he said.
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