SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- It was 4 a.m. May 28 when the "Liberation Caravan" left from the Southwest Workers Union hall here in San Antonio to join anti-SB 1070 protesters in Arizona. Most of the "caravanistas" were young people. But there were a few older men and women, including a woman in a wheelchair. Local TV stations had reporters and cameras at the sendoff.
SB 1070 is Arizona's recently passed state law that authorizes local law enforcement to stop "suspected" undocumented immigrants. The law has prompted a nationwide boycott of the state, lawsuits and numerous other protests. (Click here to see People's World ongoing coverage.)
Women who formed "Fuerza Unida," when they lost their jobs with the Levi jeans plant when it moved to Mexico, joined the caravan, too.
The caravan planned an 18-hour drive, stopping in El Paso for more protesters.
Everyone felt strong about protesting this law, which singles out people of color, especially Latinos, for racial profiling. A resolution and petitions against this law is being sent to the San Antonio City Council. The resolution explains not only why Arizona's state law is unconstitutional but is racist as well. All people are welcome to join in their fight, protesters said. Many other people -- including from Europe -- suffered as immigrants when they came to this country. The forces trying to divide and make workers hate each other are the only ones that gain financially, many protesters say.
People have been driven in a vast migration to the United States, especially from Mexico, as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, an unfair trade agreement that has favored corporate profits. In the past 12 years, it has dumped corn on Mexico, driving millions off their farms into factories -- in Mexico and the United States -- where they work for the lowest of wages and under dangerous conditions. The treaties stop them from fighting for their rights or unionizing.
Photo: Vivian Weinstein/PW