Gray Panthers of San Francisco
June 2007 Newsletter

Un Dia Sin Immigrantes!


Immigrant Rights activists today remind us that it is immigrant laborers who plant, harvest and serve our food and care for children and elders. Immigrant labor is a continuum of our labor force and the force of labor woven into the fabric of American history. Immigrant workers helped bring us the eight-hour day, an end to child labor and the uniting of women textile workers, among many other progressive worker rights. During the late 1800s, five and one-half million immigrants arrived from all over Europe, Russia, Greece, and China. Chinese immigrants, 75,000 in terrible working conditions, built California’s railroads. And, as today, immigrants were exploited, scapegoated and forced to live under threats.

May Day, celebrated internationally, has been revived here by a strong Immigrant Rights movement. This May Day, as last year, Gray Panthers marched in solidarity with immigrants and families chanting “Aqui estamos; y no nos vamos.” During the march, we turned over our bull horn to Latino and Latina youth and elders to call out chants and thoughts. We enjoyed one another’s camaraderie.

In Los Angeles, the LAPD made a vicious attack on demonstrators, families, and media people gathered in MacArthur Park. Police ran into the people with motorcycles, attacked people with batons and shot people with rubber bullets. This police melee brought to mind the 1970 attack on the Chicano Moratorium in which reporter Ruben Salazar was killed by a sheriff’s tear gas projectile.

While people march for amnesty, full citizenship rights, an end to ICE raids and illegal detentions, Congress continues to appease the Administration: proposing visas discriminating against working class immigrants by eliminating visas based on family ties, and raising quotas for “skilled” workers. Xenophobes call for walls and “guest” worker programs. Progressives call for an end to “free trade” treaties, like NAFTA, CAFTA, that are the roots of an economic crisis driving workers and families to risk crossing Minute-manned borders and paying fees to coyotes just to try to make a living. Until a just, fair immigration policy we will continue marching!

Read the SF Gray Panthers proposed position on immigration.

Newsletter article on SF Gray Panthers at the 2006 May Day March for Immigrants Rights and International Workers Solidarity.

SF Gray Panthers General Membership Meeting on Solidarity with Immigrants

(back to June 2007 Newsletter front page)