NEWARK, NJ, August 3 — A multi-racial and international group of 32 people met here today to discuss the fight against anti-immigrant racism. The unity of black and white citizens and immigrant workers (from Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala and El Salvador) is the best way to confront this growing form of racism which affects the entire working class.
An immigrant described the police harassment of day laborers waiting for jobs in an area of Orange, NJ, as “muy malo” (very bad). Elsewhere in New Jersey, homes have been raided and immigrants dropping off their children at school have been issued multiple traffic tickets up to $5,000! This summer two town councils proposed that landlords rent only to people with documentation.
One town, Bound Brook, has since dropped the resolution. The other, Middletown, has tabled it. But with hundreds arrested at factories lately and the racist murder of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, PA, by six white youth, we felt the urgency to meet and decide on action.
We noted that criminal bosses aren’t arrested for paying dirt wages and physically abusing workers. Because capitalism is based on exploitation of workers, this kind of racist super-exploitation is “legal.” The racist media tries to divide us by blaming the victims — undocumented immigrants — for the bosses’ attacks through the subprime crisis, mass wage and service cuts, and endless wars. Immigrants have historically been the targets of this ruling-class strategy. One woman recalled that her Italian father, who had no documents, suffered similar racist attacks.
In the early stage of the bosses’ “War on Terror” in Dec. 2001, when Middletown teachers struck, the media labeled them “the enemy of children and parents” because “educators’ benefits must be sacrificed” for the bosses’ war efforts; 228 strikers were arrested.
A woman speaker asked us to picture a world without borders based on a society without social inequalities: communism. During the discussion, one man reading CHALLENGE commented, “This paper is very important.”
A social worker from a family-help center said we need to reach out to communities. Members from three churches spoke, too. One Unitarian related what she learned at her June General Assembly: that Boston and Connecticut churches have e-mail chains ready to respond to attacks.
If the tabled anti-immigrant proposal isn’t rejected in Middletown, we plan to go door