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.
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.
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?