[Marxism] New Yorkers protest Arizona nativism

Louis Proyect 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

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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