March to the Capitol for Immigrants’ and Workers’ Rights

Again on May 1 there will be a March to the Capitol for Immigrants’ and Workers’ Rights. Meet at Uni-Dale Mall (University and Dale), 608 University Ave. W., in St. Paul.

The organizers have issued this statement:

We of the May 1st Coalition Twin Cities invite all of the workers of Minnesota, whatever their race, gender, religion or citizenship status, to participate in this year’s march to commemorate International Workers’ Day, demanding driver’s licenses for all and defending immigrants’ rights. Our coalition is broad and diverse, supported by immigrants’ rights activists, political parties, labor unions, anti-war activists and communities of faith. During this time, as the government increasingly targets immigrants with demagogic rhetoric, repression and deportations, it is more important than ever to recall the fundamental bonds of solidarity that connect all workers and consecrate them once again in the streets.
Why do we march?
For centuries now, capital and the state have conspired to use immigration policy to divide and weaken the working class. The immigration system has been constructed to make it as difficult as possible for new immigrants to obtain the rights of citizenship. This policy has thus created a deep division that runs across society, that between the documented and the undocumented. While across the country, in workshops and fields, immigrants produce the wealth upon which the state and economic system rest, they, and particularly those without documents, are consigned to poverty and injustice, exploited for the benefit of the privileged few. This economic exploitation is facilitated by the segregation perpetuated by our political and immigration systems, as immigrants, lacking the rights of citizenship, are driven into the shadows of society. Further, when immigrant workers protest these conditions, courageously organizing and striking for better lives, the bosses, in concert with the state, repress dissent through deportation or the threat of it. Thus, at present, the working class of the United States has been segregated into citizen and non-citizen, a condition which harms all workers, while benefiting the bosses and politicians.
For just as many decades, we have watched as repeated efforts at so-called “immigration reform,” legislated from Congress, have utterly failed to create a moral and just solution to the segregation of immigrants within society. Guest-worker programs have only served to worsen the problem, as they formalize the denial of labor and civil rights to large swaths of the working class. Meanwhile, past “amnesties” have only benefited a few, while further strengthening penalties and border fortifications, making war on future generations of immigrants. It has thus been made clear that true justice, and an end to segregation, will not be handed down as a sacred gift from politicians or bosses. The end of exploitation, and the liberation of the workers, citizen and immigrant alike, will not come from the halls of power, rather it will be achieved in the streets, in the fields, in the workshops and on factory floors, by the hands of the workers and immigrants themselves.

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