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Internationalism in action

Immigrant groups to march Oct. 21 in NYC

Published Oct 12, 2006 9:21 PM

New York United for Immigrant Rights (NYUIR), which includes more than 30 groups from different communities in the New York metropolitan area, has called for a united demonstration on Oct. 21 to continue the struggle for immigrant rights, even as immigrants are coming under greater attack.

NYUIR has set a march for 1 p.m. that Saturday, starting at Union Square and going to Times Square in Manhattan. It will demand, among other things, legalization of immigrants’ status now, no separation of families and equal rights for all workers.

The group’s news release makes the point that the enormous demonstrations from the immigrant community last spring succeeded in stopping the “worst immigration bill ever,” the Sensenbrenner-King bill, but that the politicians, instead of resolving the problems of immigrants, “are ramming through more laws to deport more people, take away more rights, and cause more deaths at the border.”

“We are asking anyone that has had a friend or family member detained, locked up, deported, or deceased at the border to bring a picture of them to remember all of our loved ones,” the statement reads.

Organizers say that a total of 100 groups are now supporting the protest. At a planning meeting in early October, NYUIR named three coordinators for the Oct. 21 action: Moonani Maulik from Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM), Ariella Ghanooni from No One is Illegal and Teresa Gutierrez from the May 1 Coalition.

Many diverse organizations

Gutierrez told Workers World that these developments “reflect a new phase of the immigrant rights struggle in New York City. It is impressive that so many diverse organizations have come together. It shows that momentum for building unity is increasing.

“The media would like to declare the immigrant rights movement dead,” she added, “but the October 21 initiative shows that this is false. Not only will the protest represent organizations from the Mexican, Central American and Latin American immigrant communities, but also the Pacific, East Asian, South Asian and we hope—by the day of the demonstration—all the immigrant communities in this most international city.”

Bernadette Ellorin of the Justice for Immigrant Filipino Coalition said, “The immigrant rights movement never went away. In fact, it just grew exponentially and the movement is building larger and larger bases. Oct. 21 is another manifestation of the groundswell from last spring. People on Capitol Hill cannot ignore the demand of so many, which is legalization for all.”

Some of the organizations and coalitions in NYUIR, besides those mentioned earlier, are Asociación Tepeyac, Coalition of Immigrant Communities (Washington Heights), Immigrant Communities in Action, Families for Freedom and Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. For more information, see nyunitedforimmigrantrights.blogspot.com.