Lining up behind slogans such as “IM A Imigrant” and the diatribe of a convicted murderer, demonstrators at hundreds of sites across the U.S. are using May Day to demand a long list of special accommodations for illegal aliens, and one group advocating for stricter immigration control actually is pleased.
William Gheen, the chief of Americans for Legal Immigration told WND that when such demonstrations happen, his list of supporters grows.
“We’re happy they’re going to march again, because our supporter base almost doubled last May [during the last May Day protests],” he told WND.
Demonstrations have been planned in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Dallas, as well as other locales, with a slogan of: “We are indigenous! The ONLY owners of this continent!” signed by a group called stolencontinent.
“No human is illegal!” said another, and still another “Stand for immigrant rights.” There was a picture of a young girl with the words “IM A Imigrant” on her cheek.
The list of demands being distributed by the National Immigration Solidarity Network said all “anti-immigrant legislation” and “the criminalization of the immigrant communities” must go.
The list of demands also included a “no” to “militarization of the border” “immigrant detention and deportation.” Also “no” to guest worker programs and employer sanctions.
What this group, and others carrying the same message, are demanding is a “path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,” speedy family reunification, access to all “civil rights” and “labor rights” as well as education and privileges for the “LGBT immigrant.”
“We are calling a national day of multi-ethnic unity with youth, labor, peace and
justice communities in solidarity with immigrant workers and building
new immigrant rights & civil rights movement! Wear White T-Shirt, organize actions to support immigrant rights! WE ARE ALL HUMANS! NO ONE IS ILLEGAL!” said the website, which offers translations into Arabic and several other languages.
But Gheen said such activities actually reveal to the population in general just what is going on, and the support builds for legal immigration then. He said for example, in just one area of southern California a year ago, those demanding all of the U.S. Constitution’s protections for citizens be granted to illegal aliens clashed three times with police.
WND also has reported that a coalition that put 100,000 marchers onto Phoenix streets for last year’s march demanding legalization for undocumented aliens is expecting to turn out only 5,000 to 10,000 participants this year.
The dozens of labor unions, church and religious groups and Hispanic groups that marched under the banner of the We Are America/Somos America coalition have fragmented this year because of differences over tactics, leadership and fundraising methods.
A bill, introduced in the House in March, would provide legalization, but only after illegals returned to their home country first. This “touch back” provision is opposed by the We Are America coalition, while others see it as a pragmatic compromise to get a bill passed in Congress.
Gheen also said the conflicts and confrontations reveal that “these illegal aliens are not our friends, and many of them resent and hate use for perceived historical transgressions.”
One of the rallying points being circulated this year is a special message from former radio journalist and Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of drawing his .38-caliber revolver and shooting Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulker in the face.
It happened on the night of Dec. 9, 1981, when Faulker, then 12 days short of his 26th birthday and still a newlywed, spotted William Cook, Abu-Jamal’s brother, driving the wrong way down a one-way street. After Faulkner pulled Cook over, a scuffle followed and Abu-Jamal, who was sitting in the taxicab he drove at the time, ran across the street to the scene. According to prosecutors, Abu-Jamal, who was armed with a revolver, fired at Faulkner, hitting him in the back. The wounded officer turned and returned fire, hitting Abu-Jamal in the chest. Abu-Jamal then shot Faulkner in the face.
Abu-Jamal maintained his innocence and claimed he was shot by police as he ran toward the scuffle. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982, but he’s become a celebrity and a federal judge overturned his death sentence in 2001.
In a statement publicized by several pro-illegal alien organizations, he called for support for the immigrants.
“There are only two peoples living on the land we call America who weren’t immigrants – the Indigenous – so-called Indians – and African Americans who were dragged here in chains and terror,” the convict wrote. “Every other person immigrated here or his ancestors did from Europe, from China, from India, from Ireland and yes, from Mexico. Truth be told, America was a land of Spanish settlement long before it because English and there’s the rub.”
He said the “brouhaha over immigration” now is “mostly a fear of the browning of America.”
“Celebrate May Day by building workers’ movements. On the move! Viva May Day!” he said.
Gheen was upset over his comparison. “It is ridiculous to compare Africans sold into slavery, put into chains, murdered on ships on their way here with people who intentionally and knowingly violate our borders and break into the country every night,” he said.
A report in the Suburban Chicago News noted that the two sides cannot even agree on what to call the people involved in the dispute: immigrants or illegal aliens.
The protests and demonstrations aren’t for everyone, however. “We work. We have to continue to pay taxes so the illegals can continue to get their free benefits,” Rosanna Pulido, director of Illinois Minuteman, told the newspaper in Chicago.
Gheen also said the arguments over “civil rights” aren’t valid.
“No offense to the fine and law-abiding people of Mexico, but no Mexican should ever lecture an American about civil rights. We invented it and we are the home of civil rights. There have been no successful civil rights movements in Guatamala, Brazil, Mexico or El Salvador,” he said.
A website called Mayday Movement has compiled information about the various demonstrations and protests, and one e-mailer noted that he does look at the “human side” of immigration.
“They’ve stolen my neighborhood where I had a lovely home for 19 years, and planned to live there through retirement. … Gangs, illegitimate births, filth became the norm … Property values went to hell, crime rate went up … yep, I definitely look at the human side of it … they all cost me my life,” he wrote.
He cited a small protest in Houston that happened in the days leading up to May Day.
“About 300 to 400 participants beat drums, blew whistles and carried signs and banners along with U.S. and Mexican flags. One sign read ‘Today we march, tomorrow we vote,’” according to a report.
President Bush has lobbied for revisions to U.S. immigration policies and procedures, saying it is a “critical challenge” to respond to the needs of an estimated 12 million illegal aliens.
The demonstrations and protests are scheduled on May Day because May first is International Workers’ Day, which actually began in the United States in the 1880s with the fight for the eight-hour work day.
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