Thousands of Students in DC and Across the Country Walk Out to Demand:
A New Dream Act Must Be Passed Now!

November 12, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Students from high schools and colleges in cities across the country walked out of their schools November 9, two months after Trump killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, demanding that Congress pass a new Dream Act before the end of the year. The focus of the walkouts was Washington, DC, where over a thousand students walked out of school, marched to the Capitol, and stormed the Hart Senate Office Building. In addition to DC, there were walkouts in cities in at least 10 states, including: 250 students who walked out in Salem, Oregon, and hundreds more in Minneapolis, Minnesota; 17 activist organizations at New York University joined the campus “Dream Team” and marched to Union Square; students from four college campuses walked out in San Diego, California; as well as actions in Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

DACA, an Executive Order that President Obama signed in 2012, provided work permits and two years of temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants—now known as “Dreamers”—who had been brought to the U.S. as children. The program allowed Dreamers to renew their DACA status every two years. There are about 800,000 Dreamers, and an estimated 8,000 or more of these young people have already lost their DACA status, and can now be deported at any time.

In DC, undocumented Dreamers and their supporters poured into the Senate Office Building, taking over the indoor courtyard and six floors of balconies overlooking it! They came in silence at first, with fists raised. And then suddenly they filled the building with chants—”Dream Act Now! Dream Act Now!” And “¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede!”

One group of students carried a huge banner into the center of the plaza: “Congress—We Demand a Clean Dream Act Now.” At the same time students, unfurled 20-foot long banners over the balconies reading “Clean Dream Act Now.” The demand for a clean Dream Act means restoring the DACA provisions without linking DACA to passage of border enforcement measures, like funding a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, or refusing to allow refugees escaping from Central American countries to enter the U.S.

After Paul Ryan announced that morning that the Republicans would not consider the urgent situation facing these 800,000 immigrants before the end of the year, the crowd immediately marched on his office, shouting “show your face, we need a clean Dream Act now!”

A common sentiment was expressed by a young woman from Bolivia. “I’m here to stay; we’re not going anywhere, this is my home. I really don’t remember much about Bolivia; I’m not going anywhere.” Police arrested 15 protesters, claiming the students refused their order to stop the chants.

The GW Hatchet, an independent student newspaper at George Washington University in DC, reported that at least eight progressive GW student organizations had come together and organized about 100 students to take part in the walkout and protest. One student told the Hatchet that he had just told his peers that he was an undocumented student. “There are undocumented youth at GW. That’s the most important thing for me. This is not just a Hispanic issue. This is an immigrants issue.” Another student said, “Actively resisting and getting exposure is how to create real change. I’m proud of people who engaged in civil disobedience today.” As the students marched out of the Senate Office Building they chanted:“Undocumented, unafraid!”

This regime has unleashed an unprecedented, fascist war on immigrants, which is intensifying day by day. Two of the top enforcers of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, Sessions and Kelly, are opposed to continuing DACA in any form.

These young Dreamers and hundreds of other people are waging an extremely important movement, at no small risk, to fight against the end ing of DACA, and against attacks on all immigrants. Their actions and their demand for a clean Dream Act must be supported by people everywhere, as well as their example of refusing to wait, or rely on the Democrats to come to their aid. When Schumer and Piglosi, top leaders of the Democratic Party, announced their deal with Trump to support a bill to restore DACA in some way, in return for agreeing to pour billions of dollars into “securing the border,” Dreamers confronted Piglosi in public saying, “We refuse to be used as a bargaining chip.”

Only the movement to end this nightmare by taking to the streets until this fascist regime is driven from power will end the terror that has been unleashed against millions and millions in this country, who have been criminalized solely for being driven to come to this country by the crimes of U.S. imperialism.



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