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Militant protest denounces SB1070 in Boston

Torrential rain intensifies protestors' energy

On June 10, over 600 people converged in Boston to protest bigoted Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who was attending the annual meeting of the National Governor’s Association.

marchers hold banner against  anti-immigrant racism

March against SB1070

Boston, Ma, July 10, 2010

PSL photo: Ashley Sauers

The demonstration began with a rally in Copley Square. Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), co-chaired the event. She made explicit the purpose of the protest: “That we will not let the racist Arizona law SB-1070, or any racist bills to be considered across the country, go unchallenged.”

Priscilla Lounds, representing March Forward!, connected the movement for amnesty to the anti-war struggle: “In a country that treats the undocumented as criminals, as less than human, it is the height of hypocrisy that the number one target of military recruiters is undocumented youth!”

“Right now,” Lounds continued, “there are immigrants who have still not received citizenship being killed and maimed in the mountains of Afghanistan, and the deserts of Iraq—being made to fight for the same colonial U.S. policies that force immigrants into this country in the first place.”

Ruben Miranda, representing Deported Diaspora, spoke out about the upsurge of raids by Immigration Customs Enforcement that break up families and cause undocumented workers to live in perpetual fear.

­­­­Among the other speakers were Bishop Felipe Teixeira of the Diocese of St. Francis of Assisi, CCA in Boston; Marco Castillo of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) in Connecticut; Mary Kate Harris, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) of Rhode Island and Vanessa Kerr of the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM.) The importance of workers to stand united in face of the divide-and-conquer tactics of the ruling class was stressed heavily throughout the rally.

After the militant rally, demonstrators began a two-mile march to confront Brewer at the Sheraton Hotel, where the NGA conference was being held. Demonstrators shouted chants and carried signs that read “Stop the raids and deportations now!” and “Say no to racial profiling and police brutality!” in Spanish and English. Intense rain and flash floods failed to thin out the march, and actually had the effect of further energizing the protest where at points drenched marchers waded through ankle deep water in the streets.

Although Brewer has stated publicly that her racist legislation represents the mood of the majority of people in the U.S., there was a noticeable lack of counter-protesters. Only a handful of unorganized opposition showed up, and they disappeared as quickly as the rain set in.

The Boston police department used so-called “security threats” as a pretext to prevent the permitted march from approaching within 100 feet of the Sheraton Hotel.

Still, protestors made their voices heard, chanting “¡Brewer, escucha! ¡Estamos en la lucha!” and “¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!”

The march was a definitive success and sent a message to Brewer that whatever coast she travels to, she will be met with ardent opposition from workers of all sectors of society.

The ANSWER Coalition is organizing a protest to take place in Phoenix, Az., on July 28, the night before SB1070 goes into effect. The rightwing in Arizona is planning to draft more racist legislation attacking immigrant workers and children, and other states are considering measures similar to SB 1070. Now, more than ever, is time for a united mass movement to defend all workers from every corner of the globe. The workers struggle has no borders!

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