The events of May 1st, 2006 showed the determination and courage of immigrant workers as millions organized demonstrations and strike actions across the country. This May Day 2008, we saw largely native-born dockworkers taking strike action to resist the war in Iraq. It is good to see May 1st, International Workers Day, re-established as an event of celebration and resistance in the country of origin, the United States.
Shortly after the explosion of immigrant revolt, the most reactionary aspects of the racist HR 4437 Sensenbrenner bill were taken off the table. The immigrant rights movement died down, but the threats continue. Raids are occurring throughout the country, sometimes without publicity.
The guest worker programs advocated by both Democrats and Republicans keep the threat of deportation over the heads of immigrants and their families. We demand an end to the raids! Papers for all immigrants!
In order to win full legalization, native-born workers and immigrants must unite. It is in the interests of all working people to take away the threat of deportations; it would strengthen workers at the bargaining table and help in the struggle to unionize the unorganized and win decent wages and benefits.
The struggle for immigrant rights cannot depend on rich politicians of either party. The two parties of war and big business want profits for themselves, not democratic rights for working families and young people. The struggle should be widened to native-born workers by demanding living wages, universal healthcare and an end to the war in Iraq.
Multi-national corporations and financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank create conditions that force people to leave their homelands in order to survive and search for a better life. We need to struggle to abolish these institutions and create a system based on human need, not corporate greed: democratic socialism.