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Immigration Rights groups call for May 1st national strike

Leaders from 29 organizations, including 10 national networks in the movement for immigrant and worker rights, convened in US House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district to plan for a general strike on May 1.

During a Saturday Town Hall in Racine, Wisconsin, which Paul Ryan declined to attend, representatives of the national organizations issued the following statements announcing the May Day general strike:

“We here with Ryan’s constituents because he has authority to block Trump’s war and deportation budget,” said Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “We have a strong message for Trump and Ryan: We are striking on May Day to defend the rights of immigrants and refugees and to beat back the attack on civil rights directed against the LBTQ community, African-Americans, women and many others. We are fighting back against the Trump and Ryan assault on economic rights, against their efforts to make the rich richer while saying kids and seniors are undeserving of food and healthcare.”

“We represent 300,000 workers in our food system,” said Diana Robinson of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. “Workers are tired of wage theft, attacks on organizing in the workplace, sexual harassment, attacks from the Trump Administration but also attacks that are part of workers’ daily lives. We are workers of all races and all places coming together to defend our rights. In the spirit of May Day we are fighting for living wages and dignified work, and we’re asking everyone to join us in a general strike for May 1st to lift our voices and say we will resist.”

“On May 1st we will holding our political leaders accountable and holding corporations accountable for criminalizing and repressing our communities,” said Sulma Arías, Field Director of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. “We will hold marches and rallies in 150 cities to show our country we are united, powerful, and strong, and that we will resist and win!”

“We want to send a message to Trump,” said Omar Angel Pérez of the National Guest Worker Alliance. “We have no fear. We are organizing our communities to defend our rights. “On May 1st we are taking the streets and Trump will hear our voices. ¡Ya basta! Enough is enough.”

“Whatever your faith tradition, we all believe in the dignity and justice for all people,” said María Torres, National Field Organizer for Interfaith Worker Justice. “Workers, immigrants, refugees, people of color – we all have dignity. We all deserve justice. Interfaith Worker Justice and our national partners will mobilize people of faith and workers to demand the leaders of our nation represent the values that we uphold as the United States.”

“This is a battle between fear and courage,” said Salvador Sargimiento of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “Trump’s only weapon is fear. Immigrants and workers have shown courage. Our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and our Black brothers and sisters have shown courage. We are part of a national consensus, and on May 1st we are going to reaffirm that consensus. We are not afraid of Trump and we are not afraid of the Trump, Bannon, and Jeff Sessions agenda. See you on May 1st!”

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Lee Matz

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