West Los Angeles: Hundreds March for Dreamers and All Immigrants Under Attack

February 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

On Saturday, February 3, several hundred people rallied and marched in West Los Angeles in the Keep the Dream Act Alive March. This action called for “organizations [to] join forces and ask for the Dream Act, a permanent solution to protect the more than 800,000 immigrant youth protected by DACA. Every day without a clean Dream Act in Congress an estimated 122 DACA recipients lose their protection from deportation and their ability to work and drive legally in the United States. That’s 5 every hour and 851 every week. Millions have categorically rejected Trump’s ‘DACA Fix’ proposal which shamelessly uses young immigrants as the bargaining chips to get $25 billion for the border wall, more enforcement and deportations, destroys family unity, and ends diversity visas. We want a humane, moral, practical solution that protects young immigrants from being arrested, detained, and deported.”

Coming in the context of a serious, comprehensive, and escalating assault on immigrant people, this was a welcome action in West LA. There need to be many more of these actions all across the country! Overwhelmingly, those at the march were immigrants, and most of them were young—in their teens and 20s. Many others need to step out now to march and resist in many other ways to act together to stop the Trump/Pence regime’s attacks on immigrants.

Throughout the action, organizers and DACA youth rejected a “deal” between Democrats and the Trump/Pence regime whereby hundreds of thousands, or even well over a million people, who came to the U.S. when they were young, would get promises of legal status years down the line while the immigrant community as a whole would face stepped-up government assaults and raids, deportations (including of their own families), border walls and heightened border militarization, and laws and actions against family reunification. (There are 800,000 people who received DACA—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—but the actual number of “Dreamers”—undocumented young people who came to the U.S. before their 18th birthday, is actually much, much higher: 3.6 million, fully one-third of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.)

The rejection of this “deal” came through in a number of speeches, posters, and in the chants too, like “Dreamers are not political pawns” and “Dreamers are not for bargain.” Other chants included: “If They Won’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let Them Sleep!” and “Undocumented...Unafraid.”

Hundreds of copies of the recent statement from Refuse Fascism, “First They Came for the Muslims, Then They Came for the Immigrants—Not This Time...” were distributed. Many of the people at the protest were looking for an understanding of these attacks on immigrants and what is at stake and eagerly took the flyers. This statement is much needed, and urgently addressing things that people are not clear on: that the Trump /Pence regime’s escalating assaults on immigrants is a major sledgehammer and linchpin that this fascist regime is using to bolt down a full-on fascist government and society, and the genocidal implications of this if it is not stopped.

In tandem with righteously turning down “Trump’s deal,” people were putting forward that in the “long term,” there need to be efforts to sign up citizens to vote and that “this is going to be a three-year battle.” The reality is that fascism could consolidate well before that if this regime is not driven from power.

Faith-based leaders at the march, quoting leading immigrant rights lawyers, were saying the main reason Trump recently rescinded Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Sudanese was to negatively affect the voting blocs of the Democratic Party. But this, too, seriously underestimates the efforts of the Trump/Pence regime to bolt down a fully fascist reality in the U.S. One of the chants was “Congress, Get a Heart.” However, stopping this escalating assault won’t come from appealing to the “hearts” of politicians in either the Republican or Democratic Party. What can force real change, including the removal of this fascist regime, is uncompromising struggle of ultimately millions in the streets and upheaval throughout society that demands these attacks stop and this fascism be driven from power.

It is important to note that there is a “process of discovery” going on among those coming into political motion. For example, two of the youths who spoke at the march were among the 30 undocumented youths who were invited by Democrats to attend Trump’s recent Nazi-like State of the Union. One said she was shocked and that she “had never been in such a toxic room ... the white supremacy ... now I finally understand the threat of what we are dealing with.” At the same time, she talked about “three years of resistance” and registering voters. The other DACA youth more stressed that we need to do something now and not wait.

High school students who’d come to the march wrestled together with Refuse Fascism activists about the contradiction between the relative apathetic nature of a lot of students at their high school and the actual emergency that is going on.



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