Tag Archives: immigration

Sexual Violence and the Greek Left

Greece women protesters
Trigger Warning: Discussion of Sexual Violence
Looking toward Greece and Egypt as advanced sectors of the world proletariat in high levels of political struggle, we see that sexual and gender contradictions amongst the revolutionary masses inevitably surface. Situated in the US in a non-revolutionary context, we are wise to pre-empt the organizational and political antagonisms prompted by contradictory strata amongst the proletariat. In dealing with the principle gender contradiction of heterosexuality, reproductive rights and sexual violence against women rank as fundamental issues around which multi-gender revolutionary organization must fight. While the left must respond to issues with mass resonance and cannot manufacture movements, it must be ready to commit when conditions arise. It seems that in Greece, the time is overdue for the left to grow the pro-women dimension of their struggle. In this regard they can learn from recent Developments in Egypt. 
 
In the US, where no mass movement of any type currently exists, let alone a mass feminist, women’s, and/or queer one, leftists must be steadfast in marginalizing misogynistic behaviors and individuals from its ranks and developing mechanisms for accountability and transformation of people who betray backward gender politics and personalities. Places like Greece and Egypt are glimpses into our own future, if our class is to arise in intransigence. Lets study our gendered destiny more closely, as we continue to scrutinize the overtly political aspect of struggle against the capitalist state. 

Sexual Violence and the Greek Left

by Mhairi McAlpine

As anyone who reads this blog, particularly the updates from Greece will know, this is incredibly difficult time in the country’s history.  The veil of democracy which hides an authoritarian and despotic government is threadbare, and the rise of an openly fascist party, combining thuggery on both the streets and in the parliament makes for a dangerous environment for left activists.  In such conditions there is a temptation to sideline internal issues within left organisations in the interests of challenging the issues at hand, but the rise of Chysti Avgi didn’t come from nowhere, it tapped into regressive social ideologies within Greek society, which passed under the radar before the crisis and which the Greek government has capitalised on.

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Bay Area Event: Sin papeles pero con vos/ Undocumented with a voice

Come through! And click the image for a PDF version of the flyer!Flyer for event at La Pena

De costa a costa, los trabajadores inmigrantes latinos luchan contra la explotación demandando dignidad

(English version here.)

Ellos nos espiaban e intimidado nosotros, todo porque estamos luchando por la dignidad.

Limber Herrera

-Almacén trabajador

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Trabajadores de almacén en un centro de distribución de Walmart marcho 50 millas de Los Angeles

La administración Obama publico estadísticas en enero de 2011, diciendo que hay 11,5 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en los EE.UU. 59% de este grupo son mexicanos, que es de 6,8 millones de personas. Inmigrantes salvadoreños se encuentran en una posición distante de segundo lugar, con 660.000 indocumentados que residen en este país. En California, hay 2,83 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados, en Texas, casi hay 1,8 millones, 740.000 hay en Florida, y Georgia hay 440.000, doble el populación desde 2000. Dentro de la economía capitalista, algunos trabajadores se encuentran en un posición de trabajo que no es esencial para la formación del valor económico. Otros trabajadores se encuentran en los lugares de trabajo que son fundamentales para la producción de valor económico. Otros trabajadores están en trabajas que son centrales al valor de la producción. si los trabajadores en una librería independiente salen en huelga, amenazan al capitalista. si nos fijamos en la industria de la constuccion sin sindicatos, vinculados con el capital financiero, y dependiente en el trabajo indocumentada. Continue reading

From Coast to Coast, Latino Immigrant Workers Fight Exploitation and Demand Dignity.

(La versión en español está aquí.)

They spied on us and bullied us, all because we are fighting for dignity.

Limber Herrera

-Warehouse worker

Warehouse workers at a Walmart distribution center march 50 miles to LA

The Obama administration issues statistics that in January 2011, there was 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in the US. 59 percent of this group is Mexican, which is 6.8 million people. El Salvadoran immigrants are in a distant second position, with 660,000 undocumented residing in this country.In California, there are 2.83 million undocumented immigrants, in Texas, almost 1.8 million, in Florida 740,000, and Georgia 440,000 (doubling in numbers since 2000). Within the capitalist economy, some workers are located in position of work that is not central to the formation of value. Other workers are in workplaces that are central to value production. If workers at an independent bookstore would to go on strike, it would exactly threaten the capitalist. If we look at the non-union housing construction industry, it’s both linked with finance capital as well as dependent on undocumented cheap dispensable labor. A strike in this industry would have serious meaning. The independent truckers at the ports are majority immigrant drivers, mostly with some type of permission to work. US capitalism has adapted itself to immigrant labor because it is cheap and disposable. This labor dependency is linked with industries that are central to important components of capitalist production. In order for American capitalism to squeeze all the unpaid labor it can from the immigrant working class, it must vilify, criminalize, oppress, and control the work process. Xenophobic laws (anti-immigrant laws), racism, nationalism all feed into this process.

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And the Immigrant Proletariat is Organically Activating Itself….What Should We Do?

by El Chaco

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The immigrant proletariat is fast becoming one of the most organically active layers of the proletariat.

This is of course for a reason. We will quickly go into the 2 reasons why the proletariat is getting squeezed by the State and the Bourgeoisie.  Then, we will go into the task of revolutionary communist in regards to this struggle.

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It is of course obvious that the illegal immigrant proletariat has been attacked for a while now.  Through legislation and consequently domestic police terrorism.  This of course is nothing new.  But the intensity is! To, with but a blink of an eye, eliminate Ethnic studies, the Capitalist click has certainly attacked not only the immigrant, but its offspring as well.

But why?

In the context of crisis, the Capitalist and the State want to rid it self of the excess labor-power that is fast becoming useless in profit making.  Think housing in Arizona and how before the 2007 crisis housing was a great market to be in and many homes were being built.

… that consequence is an excess of homes. He says that the explosion of single-family homes built in the Greater Phoenix area in 2004 and 2005 exceeded actual demand by about 20,000 homes. He estimates that there are currently about 6,000 homes under construction that are not spoken for by buyers, and about 18,000 more homes for sale than normal.1

Well who build those surplus houses by far? Immigrants.  Illegal immigrants at that.  It’s Cheaper that way.

The second, reason is an old worry the Ruling class has always had of a minority they oppress.  The worry is that of revolutionary potential and upheaval.  The revolutionary potential of the illegal immigrant is of course obvious to the ruling class.  We need only look at 2006 and the potential that could’ve had. During May 1st 2006, the LA ports were shutdown, and 86% of the meat industry was shutdown. The social power of such shutdowns, threatened the state, and led to a wave of physical ICE raids in 2007-2009. Once these physical raids made ICE look bad, they switched to “Silent Raids” through checking social security numbers.  

More recently, we can look at the Steel Workers in Berkeley.  600 workers went on strike in March 2011 against a terrible contract that offered 10-cent annual raids. ICE caught wind that there were many undocumented workers playing the role as militants during the strike. As a result, ICE starts checking social security numbers, firing 22 workers a week for those who don’t have matching social security numbers. The total amount; 200 undocumented proletarians were fired. The Capitalist directly called the State to discipline the proletariat.  Discipline them from what? From collectively attacking the minority capitalist that does nothing but get rich off the majority that toils. The workers in this instance stand as a great example of workers in general beginning a struggle from a rank and file level, but this example, according to the Bosses, must not be generalized. According to the Capitalist, the different layers of the proletariat cannot catch wind that one of the most oppressed layers of itself, their immigrant brothers and sisters, are organizing and fighting back.  This example may unite the Proletariat and inspire it!  If not this one, then perhaps an accumulation of similar instances, similar situations of coordination! Thus the Capitalist solution is to remove the active proletariat, and more importantly, remove the potentially radical proletariat. This is based on who is on the bottom, the most oppressed layers (immigrant, womyn, black) may be the first to strike, and to do so ferociously i.e. the recent rolling strikes by garbage workers starting in Alabama, the American Licorice Workers striking, the truckers up North in Washington who are mostly African immigrants struggling, the wildcats in Alabama by immigrants in response to copy-cat law from Arizona against undocumented folk, and the above mentioned immigrants in a Union City Steel Factory,  etc.

Thus we see the attacks from la migra against Latino brothers and sisters.  We see Latino/a workers being rounded up in 6 days in the largest ICE raid ever all over the US!2

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To the Budget Cut Movement: No More Ignoring State Violence

by Rebelde

The anti-budget cut movement and struggle for public education in California over the last year has inspired worldwide resistance, and has brought in a lot of new people who have never organized or been political before. The March 4th movement provided an outlet for people to get involved and educate themselves about the budget cuts; it also created a base to build off for the next cycle of struggle. Since March 4th conferences have gone down and a new date for mass action has been picked: October 7th… but will October 7th be qualitatively different than March 4th? Will more sectors of society be brought in? Will struggle deepen and become more militant? As the economic crisis deepens and affects more and more people internationally, there is a real need for a militant perspective examining why the budget cuts are happening, who is causing them, and who is suffering from them.
So far the education sector has largely lead resistance to the cuts, on college campuses specifically, but these cuts go far beyond the universities. It is not just education that is being destroyed; social services, such as free and/or affordable healthcare are being cut; there are massive foreclosures and a lack of affordable or public housing; unemployment remains high. Anyone can see that these cuts aren’t just affecting students, but the working-class as a whole. While all these cuts are happening in the public sector the top corporations and banks were immediately bailed out by the Federal Government as soon as their financial instruments evaporated in the bubble pop. If it wasn’t clear to you before that this system was based off of exploitation and a class divide between the rich and the poor, massive bailouts to the capitalists and bankers while we are left to struggle for the basic necessities of life should make it clear.

Police attack people protesting the racist murder of Oscar Grant. - July 9th, 2010, Oakland

These budget cuts are also occurring during a time period of massive state violence to communities of color and queer people; the passage of the anti-immigration bill SB 1070 is causing and supporting more profiling of immigrant populations and ICE raids; the Oscar Grant movement has exposed the police’s continual assault against Black women and men that stems from the days of slavery; and there is consistent harassment and murder of queer and gender oppressed people. Is a budget cut struggle solely confined to defending education enough to really fight the cuts and the crisis? Is it enough for the people most affected by it to be brought in? No. We need a larger analysis that identifies the true enemy, the capitalist system, which relies on other systems of oppression (patriarchy, racism, & homophobia) to target and discipline people of color, women, and queer folks to keep divisions within the class that makes uniting and resisting harder.

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SB 1070: Battle at the Grassroots

 In 1994 California right-wing forces pushed proposition 187. The goal was to criminalize immigrants and deny them access to schools and hospitals. It was formally struck down as unconstitutional, but the real reason that it didn’t pass was the serious resistance from Latino youth, workers and community members. Young LA Chicanos were mobilizing heavily against 187, organizing an array of walkouts and protests.  At UCLA there was a growing student militancy for Chicano Studies Programs. The Proposition 187 Generation provided a key source of battle-tested activists, which developed organizational skills in conducting walkouts, labor and community organizing that succesfully stopped the implementation of187. Such activists became key in shaping and organizing May 1 2006.  Jan Brewer's Nanny 

Leading up to the sub-prime crisis, banks focused on sending “specialists” to Black and Latino churches to sell the sub-prime loans that have become so infamous. These were key targets for the banks, demonstrating the racialized approach of capital in its pursuit for profits. Now as the crisis has hit, and American capitalism does not need all of its massive workforce, it has a solution to reduce its workforce through racism and anti-immigrant policies.  Arizona is leading the attack with states across the country looking at Arizona as a model. Much respect and solidarity goes to the comrades in Bring the Ruckus for being key in organizing resistance to SB 1070 in the belly of the beast. The following is an article of the struggle developing in Arizona.

SB 1070: Battle at the Grassroots

By Joel Olson

In the struggle over the notorious anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-working class law SB 1070, a person might be tempted to see this as a conflict that plays out among the elites of Arizona politics: legislators, governors, sheriffs, newspaper editors, judges, lawyers, and nonprofits. This view would be understandable, but wrong. The real battle is at the grassroots.

On the one hand, there is a strong nativist movement afoot in Arizona that is overwhelmingly white, mostly over the age of fifty, and largely male. They fear that “illegals are invading” and causing all manner of mayhem, from home invasions to overcrowded emergency rooms to automated voices forcing them to “press 1 for English.” They are represented by the Tea Party and local politicians such as State Senator Russell Pearce. Their goal is to hound and harass all “illegal aliens” out of Arizona—and if they have to check the papers of every brown-skinned person in the state to do it, fine. “Attrition through enforcement,” Pearce calls it. That phrase is now written into Arizona law. At their demand, SB 1070 turns every cop in the state into an immigration officer, practically requires racial profiling, and denies the freedom of Arizonans to associate with whoever they please, documented or not. With the passage of 1070, nativists are confident that they control the territory.

But what happens when you hold a Tea Party and a bunch of “illegals” show up?

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