“We’re not striking because we want adults to give us hope. We’re striking because we want them to panic, to act like we have the emergency that we have.” Greta Thunberg, March 15, 2019
Photo from Montreal, Quebec via Greta Thunberg@GretaThunberg
On every continent and in more than 125 countries, more than one million students in high schools and younger went on strike on Friday, March 15, 2019. There were more than 2,000 different protests. The first global school strike day is to be followed by persistent Friday school strikes, until governments and businesses everywhere take the emergency actions needed to avert the worst global warming results now projected by scientists.
The people of Earth only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, according to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In its newest report, The Living Planet Report 2018, the World Wildlife Fund found that human beings have wiped out 60 percent of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles on Earth since 1970.
ScienceDirect just released a report on the decline of insect species concluding that 40 percent of all species worldwide face extinction in the next few decades, and the number of threatened species is increasing each year:
“As insect biodiversity is essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the current trends are disrupting – to varying degree – the invaluable pollination, natural pest control, food resources, nutrient recycling and decomposition services that many insects provide (Aizen et al., 2009; Davis et al., 2004; Kreutzweiser et al., 2007)) …The pace of modern insect extinctions surpasses that of vertebrates by a large margin…Since the declines affect the majority of species in all taxa, it is evident that we are witnessing the largest extinction event on Earth since the late Permian and Cretaceous periods (Ceballos et al., 2017; Raup and Sepkoski Jr, 1986). Because insects constitute the world’s most abundant and speciose animal group and provide critical services within ecosystems, such event cannot be ignored and should prompt decisive action to avert a catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems (May, 2010).”
Photo from Prague, Czech Republic via Greta Thunberg@GretaThunberg
The Student Global Climate Strike demands vary somewhat, from country to country. Students in the USA have issued these demands:
Green New Deal
An equitable transition for marginalized communities that will be most impacted by climate change
An equitable transition for fossil-fuel reliant communities to a renewable economy
100% renewable energy by 2030
Upgrading the current electric grid
No creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure (pipelines, coal plants, fracking etc.)
The creation of a committee to oversee the implementation of a Green New Deal
That has subpoena power
Committee members can’t take fossil fuel industry donations
Accepts climate science
A halt in any and all fossil fuel infrastructure projects
Fossil fuel infrastructure disproportionately impacts indigenous communities and communities of color in a negative way
Creating new fossil fuel infrastructure would create new reliance on fossil fuels at a time of urgency
All decisions made by the government be based on the best-available and most-current scientific research.
The world needs to reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and by 100% before 2050.
We need to incorporate this fact into all policymaking
Declaring a National Emergency on Climate Change
This calls for a national emergency because we have only a few years to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Since the US has empirically been a global leader, we should be a leader on climate action
Since the US largely contributes to global GHG emissions, we should be leading the fight in GHG reduction
Compulsory comprehensive education on climate change and its impacts throughout grades K-8
K-8 is the ideal age range for compulsory climate change education because:
Impressionability is high during that developmental stage, therefore it’s easier for children and young adults to learn about climate change in a more in-depth manner, and retain that information
Climate change becomes a nonpartisan issue, as it truly is because it’s based solely on science from the beginning
Preserving our public lands and wildlife
Diverse ecosystems and national parks will be very impacted by climate change, therefore it’s important that we work to the best of our abilities to preserve their existence
Keeping our water supply clean
Clean water is essential for all living beings, when we pollute our water supply, or the water supply of someone else, it’s simply a violation of an essential human right
Photo by Jamie Tehonica. Alexandria Villasenor, 13, California, United States.
(Photo: A portion of the documents leaked to NBC San Diego listing targeted journalists, activists, and an attorney.)
by National Lawyer’s Guild
March 8, 2019
TIJUANA, Mexico—Leaked US-Mexican government documents revealed both governments are maintaining a secret database targeting at least 59 journalists, activists, and an attorney as part of an intelligence-gathering mission under “Operation Secure Line,” based on their work reporting on and offering humanitarian aid to the recent caravans of migrants fleeing from violence and poverty. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns this practice as a blatant violation of civil liberties and attempt to intimidate those seeking to provide necessary, legal and legitimate aid to migrants and their families.
An NLG delegation was in Tijuana investigating violations of migrants’ rights by US and Mexican authorities when the documents, titled “San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019, Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators and Media,” were uncovered. Prior to the leaked report, the delegation heard stories of hours-long interrogations, harassment, confiscation of electronic devices, and intimidation of activists and lawyers by immigration authorities on both sides of the border related to their humanitarian work, including members of the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras (PSF). Many activists who felt singled out by CBP correctly suspected that they were on a government watch list due to their association with the migrant caravan, especially following the of two journalists and US attorneys with Al Otro Lado who were denied entry into Mexico earlier this month, who were held and faced questioning for up to 10 hours.
Alex Mensing, a US citizen living in Tijuana who helped coordinate the delegation’s meetings with domestic and international NGOs, as well as Mexican human rights and immigration authorities, chose not to accompany the delegation to San Diego on Wednesday for meetings with the ACLU, Border Angels, and the International Rescue Committee. Mensing has been repeatedly stopped for secondary questioning by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on a clear effort to intimate PSF and other volunteers. “It’s worrisome, but not surprising,” Mensing told Telemundo yesterday. “I was taken into a concrete cell for interrogation and they took my phone, scanned all my notebooks, all the papers I brought… It angers me that the government is using taxpayer funds to create a database meant to intimidate people.” For the last four months, Mensing has attempted to obtain information directly from CBP about his repeated questioning to no avail.
Pooja Gehi, Executive Director of the NLG and member of the Tijuana delegation, said, “We witnessed migrants who had traveled days fleeing violence and persecution, only to be denied their right to claim asylum at the border, in contravention of international law. Instead, they were required to put their name on a handwritten list, then wait indefinitely while trying to find food and shelter, dodging violence and deportation, in hope that their names would be called to start the arduous process that is the US asylum system.”
It is also important to note that Mexico has previously operationalized their surveillance of activists and journalists through practices such as Pegasus malware, and the leaked list also delegitimizes the Democrats’ offer of a “technological wall” as an acceptable compromise to Trump’s border wall that would be any more lawful or based in human rights principles.
While government surveillance of activists is nothing new, and an issue the NLG has a long history of fighting, we are particularly concerned that binational surveillance of activists will not only deter people from engaging in humanitarian action but will also leave migrants in need of humanitarian and legal support with neither, thereby exacerbating human suffering at the border.
Since last year, NLG lawyers, legal workers, and law students have been on the ground in Tijuana volunteering legal support, training, and observation in coordination with other organizations such as Al Otro Lado. The NLG urges deepened investigation into this report and demands an immediate termination of the illegal practice of targeting activists and journalists.
The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights.
# # #
NLG National Office
132 Nassau Street, Rm. 922
New York, NY 10038
[New Indicator presents here Kshama Sawant’s open letter and we make an invitation to all left groups to engage in a public dialogue around Sawant’s proposal for how we might use the Sanders campaign. This is NOT the same as asking people to merely talk about their views about the Sanders campaign itself. We will publish here statements about the Sawant proposal from left organizations, without editing. New Indicator does not endorse any political party nor any political candidate. New Indicator does support building a “new society” in which working people democratically control the economy and our own destiny. We do not usually publish what one left organization thinks about any other left organization or left individual. The Sanders campaign is a rare exception to our rule. With over 13 million votes in the 2016 primary elections, the Sanders campaign offers us all a larger audience for talking about “socialism”. Please send all response statements to email@example.com ]
Yesterday, Bernie Sanders formally launched his 2020 run for the U.S. presidency, vowing to mount “an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least one million people from across the country.”
In the first 24 hours, he had already raised $5.9 million in donations and has more individual donors than all other current presidential candidates combined.
Certainly, Bernie’s new campaign has a far higher starting point than when the Vermont Senator first called for a “political revolution against the billionaire class” in the spring of 2016 and was overwhelmingly ignored by the corporate media. While it is still early, Sanders is well poised to politically define the coming Democratic primary.
Sanders’ video announcement yesterday began with the declaration: “Real change never takes place from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up.” I fully agree. And that is why Socialist Alternative and I will be working with others to launch grassroots campaigns in communities, unions, schools, and workplaces across the U.S. to build a mass working class fightback around Sanders’ campaign.
There is a great deal at stake in this election. Trump urgently needs to be driven out, and socialists and the left must take full advantage of the potential to organize alongside the millions already moving into struggle and who now will be mobilized around Bernie.
But we should also heed the lessons from 2016, when the Democratic primary was rigged against Bernie: with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) actively organizing against him, maneuvers in a series of state caucuses and primaries, the threat of the undemocratic superdelegate system, and with the corporate media and “progressive” Democratic figures leading waves of blistering attacks.
Working people need our own party, independent of corporate money and power, and that fights alongside our movements rather than against them.
I think Bernie should run as an independent socialist, as I have, and use his campaign to launch a new mass party for working people, instead of running inside a corporate party whose leadership is determined to stop him at all costs. Bernie unfortunately has made his decision and is running in the Democratic primary, but it is not acceptable that our political movement becomes imprisoned in this process. The 2016 election had terrible political consequences. Prior to launching his first campaign four years ago, Sanders said he was considering running either as an independent or as a Democrat and that he wanted to hear what people thought. This time he has bypassed that discussion and is making a fundamental mistake, though undoubtedly many people agree with him on a pragmatic basis or out of hope that the Democratic Party can somehow be remade into a people’s party.
While it is certainly true that Bernie will gain an enormous platform in the Democratic primary, declaring now that he was running as an independent and using his campaign to lay the basis for a new party would create a massive earthquake in American politics. In a column in the New York Times today entitled “Is America Becoming a 4-Party State?”, Thomas Friedman attacks the new left around self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez but correctly points out that “political parties across the democratic world are blowing up” and that there is the basis for a real left party as well as a far right party.
If the Democratic establishment succeeds in once again blocking Bernie, he should continue his run as an independent candidate all the way to November, 2020. History doesn’t offer an unlimited number of opportunities to build the kind of political force working people need, and we must learn from the past. If the Democratic leadership again succeeds in ramming through another status quo candidate, there is a risk Trump could win re-election in spite of his unpopularity and poor standings in the polls at present. Certainly an establishment candidate may also be capable of defeating Trump, as many such candidates won in last fall’s midterm elections, which were essentially a referendum on the administration’s right wing agenda. But we do not in any way accept that the politics of Joe Biden or Kamala Harris are an asset in defeating the right or that their bankrupt corporate politics represent the views or needs of working people – it is quite the opposite.
Sanders today is the most popular politician in the country, and the working class demands at the center of his 2016 campaign – Medicare for All, free public college, and a federal $15 minimum wage – have been thrust to the center of American political discourse. While long popular, they now have overwhelming support in the polls as a result of Sanders and grassroots forces backing them. Many establishment Democratic Party politicians have had to at least pay lip service to them, including candidates like Kamala Harris.
In 2016 and since, Sanders’ self identification as a “democratic socialist” has played a big role in creating a mass discussion about socialist ideas, a process primarily driven by the failure of capitalism and its inability to provide decent living standards for the working class or a future for young people. As Sanders pointed out in his recent response to Trump’s State of the Union address, in the U.S. working people are making less than they were in 1973, adjusted for inflation, and 80% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.
Now polls show a majority of millennials view socialism positively.
In recent months, Sanders joined, Ocasio-Cortez, in the call for a “Green New Deal.” This enormously popular demand has the potential to rally millions of young people and working people, in the face of a string of new reports emphasizing the looming climate catastrophe.
When asked by CBS how his new campaign would be different, Sanders responded “We’re going to win.” But as my organization, Socialist Alternative, and I have emphasized, none of these working class demands – nor Bernie Sanders himself – are at all acceptable to the ruling class. Sanders will face an uphill fight every step of the way, and all sorts of maneuvers and vicious tactics will be deployed if seen as necessary to stop Sanders from winning the Democratic Primary.
The echo for Bernie’s call in 2016 for a “political revolution against the billionaire class” caught the Democratic establishment and ruling class by surprise. Entirely out of touch, they expected him to be totally marginalized. My organization was one of very few who recognized the potential to build the working class politics Sanders represented. But this time if Bernie’s campaign gains momentum, he will face a more immediate and decisive pushback from the elite.
The crowded field of candidates in the Democratic Primary is also a different situation than the clear contrast created in 2016 with Sanders v. Clinton.
Many working people and youth will take some time to assess the different candidates running on progressive platforms, including Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke. This is understandable, but we should be clear that in spite of Sanders’ political weaknesses, which are real, none of the various candidates running as progressives represent a stronger or more reliable force for working class politics or are prepared to stand up to the billionaire class.
Elizabeth Warren, the most consistent progressive after Sanders among the field of current or likely candidates, has her own serious political weaknesses. Foremost among them, Warren does not point toward building movements of the working class, without which the key demands in her progressive platform cannot be won.
Warren also has shown less willingness to stand up to the Democratic establishment than Sanders. Bernie supporters will remember that Warren sat out the 2016 primary, when she was well positioned to impact the fight for working class politics by endorsing and campaigning for Bernie. It was only when Sanders was clearly defeated that Warren stepped in – to fully and uncritically endorse Hillary Clinton. This contributed to the situation where the main candidate facing the right populist Trump was an unpopular corporate Democratic nominee.
As working people have seen in Seattle, where I sit on the City Council, few elected representatives are prepared to stand up to big business and the political establishment. What will really be needed to win our demands and defeat the coming onslaught of the ruling class against Sanders’ is a broad independent grassroots campaign of millions of working people, with grassroots democratic structures, independent of the Democratic Party, and aimed at mobilizing the strongest possible force.
As a City Councilmember in Seattle, I have fought alongside social movements and labor to help win the $15 minimum wage, millions of dollars for affordable housing, and a series of landmark renters rights victories. All of these gains were won in spite of the fierce opposition of the Democratic establishment, which has long run Seattle City Hall. My organization, Socialist Alternative, has been the backbone of our progressive victories. Even the most well meaning of the Democratic Party Councilmembers bow to huge pressures from big business and the leadership of their own party, as we saw again with their betrayal of working people in capitulating on Seattle’s Amazon Tax last spring.
Sanders’ website opens with the familiar but powerful theme of his 2016 campaign: “Not Me. Us.” We need to make this real – not just in the fight for Bernie’s campaign and against the corporate political establishment – but in the struggle for a fundamentally different kind of politics.
Rather than wait and see what’s in store in the Democratic Primary, let’s start now.
Let’s begin building independent grassroots campaigns in our communities and workplaces, introduce resolutions in our unions to support Bernie’s campaign, and launch student groups on our campuses. Let’s use this historic moment to launch an all-out working class fightback.
But to really defeat the right wing and win the struggle for a society based on the needs of working people and a sustainable environment, we need to fight for a socialist alternative. I hope you will consider joining my organization.
Lastly, if you’re in Seattle (or even if you’re not) you should sign up to support the fight for socialist politics in Seattle, by going to our 2019 re-election campaign website. With big business furious over the Amazon Tax and other progressive struggles, we will face a huge battle this year over who runs this city – Amazon and big business, or working people.
Councilmember Kshama Sawant can be reached at:
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 85862, Seattle, WA 98145-1862
Like the Berlin Wall of Cold War days, the U.S.-Mexico border wall divides our communities.
None of the major corporate news media are reporting that zero funding is proposed for any border wall with Canada. Why? Racism. Yes, news reporters and editors are cheer-leading a massive propaganda campaign of racism.
The conference committee of top congressional Democrats and Republicans has announced late last night their proposal of a “compromise” on “border security”. Politicians of both big capitalist political parties and news reports have repeatedly used the phrase “border security” as a code to manipulate public opinion to fear immigrants with brown skin. The proposal must be approved by both houses of congress and not be vetoed by the president. The proposal includes funding for 55 miles of new wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
None of the major corporate news media are reporting that the entire history of U.S. immigration laws is based upon racism. Immigration is not the problem. Racist immigration laws are the problem. Racism in America is the problem.
If these facts are in any way surprising, try a little homework study starting with Wikipedia: History of laws concerning immigration and naturalization in the United States.
Mr. Trumpachev, Tear Down This Wall!
Dear UCSD Faculty, Students, and Workers,
We would like to invite you to the first meeting of a UCSD wide coalition involving UC unions, student groups, and faculty members. As most of you are aware, there was a strike by campus workers late last November for a fair contract. Unfortunately, all signs point towards the necessity of a second strike this upcoming spring. We believe that a united campus paves the way for positive social change, and would like to help faculty, students, and workers come together to form a broad base in order to address not only issues like the upcoming strike, but other problems that might arise in the future.
We will be holding the first meeting on Tuesday, January 29th at noon in the Groundwork Books Store, located in the Student Center. If you are able and willing to attend, please RSVP here so we have an idea of how many people will be attending.
Hope to see you there!
Groundwork Books Collective
9500 Gilman Dr (UCSD Student Center)
San Diego, California 92093
Illustration by Hannah Kagan-Moore| Special to the Daily Cal
by Disillusioned Grad Student
[United Auto Workers Local 2865 represents graduate teaching and research assistants employed by nine University of California campuses statewide. — NI]
The UAW 2865, representing Grad students all across the UC system, does not have the best interests of its members in mind.
Over the past year I have joined this union, fought for this union, dedicated countless hours to this union, made friends in this union, and watched as one by one these wonderful, radical people were manipulated, pushed to burnout, or otherwise silenced into alienation and disillusionment.
I have watched the UAW prioritize itself over membership to the extent that basically every passionate and radical organizer who was a head steward when I joined has now resigned, and some have even revoked membership.
Those who remain are admin sympathizers and/or career unionists who care not very much at all about actually winning good contracts. Our most recent contract doesn’t match inflation or account for skyrocketing rent.
Policies and best practices were bent and circumvented all throughout the summer, and even now there are issues with due process and democratic measures not being followed. When the state level’s priorities clashed with on-the-ground membership, the paid organizers were used as paid pawns to push through a bad contract. Radical organizers are consistently dropped from list servs and not told about official meetings, and are otherwise silenced–and eventually, as the higher ups no doubt want, they take their organizing power elsewhere, or just burn out entirely.
Below are a few articles for further reading. They explain better than I ever could, but I couldn’t witness what I have and not spread the word about what’s really going on.
Photo credit: Portside
IWW Affiliates to International Confederation of Labour
December 8, 2018
CHICAGO—In its annual referendum, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) North American Regional Administration voted overwhelmingly to officially join the recently formed International Confederation of Labour (ICL). The ICL is an international organization linking together revolutionary unions in eight different countries in Europe, Latin America, and North America.
The focus of the ICL is building a visible model for revolutionary unionism, a way to build unions that are based on solidarity, direct action, and which prefigure a world which has shaken off capitalism. ICL unions have already begun to coordinate their activity among app-based workers, such as those working for Deliveroo and Foodora, leading to coordinated strikes against Deliveroo in multiple countries.
The IWW brings to the table our growing experience organizing in prisons through the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). The ICL and its member unions endorsed the U.S. #PrisonStrike earlier this year, which was co-led by IWOC. Through the ICL, the IWW has begun to make contact with unions of prisoners in other countries.
Aside from day-to-day organizing practice, the ICL allows member sections to share experience about mass working class struggles. Earlier this year, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT – the Spanish section of the ICL) played a major role in coordinating a Feminist General Strike on International Women’s Day on March 8, which the CNT and ICL will try to build on for 2019.
The IWW’s vote to join the ICL culminates several years of joint work between these unions to bring the new international into existence. We hope to continue to develop our mutual projects and build relationships in other parts of the world. The IWW will share its experience and learn from the experience of others – to inspire and be inspired. With the continual economic, ecological, and political crises that capitalism is bringing on to us and intensifying, we need a vibrant and internationalist revolutionary unionist movement now more than ever.
Long live the international!
Industrial Workers of the World – North American Regional Administration
Affiliated to the International Confederation of Labour
Foundation of the International Confederation of Labour (CIT-ICL) in Parma
June 3, 2018
Cheers and applause greeted the international trade union confederation ICL that was founded in Parma, Italy, on 13 May 2018. For days, delegates from seven countries had discussed statutes and priorities, paving the way for a new militant International of syndicalist unions, to counter globalized capitalism and the authoritarian developments in Europe and the Americas.
Besides the CNT (Spain), USI (Italy) and FAU (Germany), IWW (USA and Canada), ESE (Greece), FORA (Argentina) and IP (Poland) are founding members of the International Confederation of Labour. Other unions expressed their interest by participating as observers in the congress, among them the CNT-F (France), FOB (Brazil), Vrije Bond (Netherlands and Belgium), GG/BO (Germany) and UVW (UK).
The union International aims to unite the struggles of workers, particularly to enable the cooperation across borders between branch groups in the same sectors and companies. Joint workshops will create opportunities to learn from each other how to win. The initial focus of the ICL will be on the food, logistics and education sectors. A joint day of action and strike on 8 March will highlight feminist struggles.
Long live the confederation!
International Confederation of Labour
Introductory Letter from the ICL Liaison Committee
November 3, 2018
The Inaugural Congress of ICL (International Confederation of Labour) was held in Parma, Italy, between 11 and 14 May 2018. As a result, we are happy to announce the formation of the ICL, an international working class organisation.
The ICL brings together a number of anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary unions from around the world. It is born out of their desire for closer collaboration and to add an international dimension to their local work, which will allow them to coordinate with comrades around the world and make their struggles visible to a global audience.
Its main goal is to contribute to deep social and economic transformation worldwide.
The ICL understands that any development on the international level must be based on sound local foundations in the territories of the respective unions. This International aims to be a tool to coordinate this work and to further the growth and expansion of its member organisations and of their initiatives. In the years to come, the ICL’s primary objective will be to foster the development of working class struggles around the globe.
The ICL and its member organisations understand that there is an urgent need in the world today, as always, for a revolutionary project aiming at deep social, economic and political transformation. In the face of a looming environmental collapse, of a permanent crisis of capitalism, and of the upsurge of sectarianism, fundamentalism and the rejection of diversity in many societies and cultures across the globe, it seems obvious that a radical project for social transformation is required to overcome these evils. Any such development can only be of a revolutionary nature.
However, the ICL does not pretend to be the sole agent of such a transformation. Considering the nature of the crisis of civilisation that we face, the ICL acknowledges that these changes can only be carried out by a broader grassroots, non-hierarchical movement. The ICL’s intention is to contribute to this development, according to our means, from our field of action, which is economic and labour related. We look forward to cooperating with those active in other fields, such as ecologists, feminists, workers’ collectives, squatters and antifascists.
In order to define who we are and what we stand for, the ICL and its member organisations have agreed upon a number of principles, such as solidarity, class struggle, internationalism, horizontality and federalism, independence and anti-parliamentarianism, direct action, antifascism, and the protection of the environment.
We welcome all anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary unions to join us who are willing to be bound by our federative agreement, which is based on our principles and defines minimum standards member organisations adhere to. Those organisations wishing to join ICL but that have not reached the stage of being a formal union yet, can do so as initiatives.
The ICL does not recognise the artificial limits set by the borders of states. Therefore, more than one organisation per country can join the ICL, as we acknowledge that there can be many geographical, cultural or historical issues behind any given situation. At the same time, organisations that are active in more than one country, for whatever the reason, can also become sections.
In any case, all member organisations of the ICL have the autonomy to decide what other organisations they will work with, even on an international level. That is, they can and will develop working relationships with any group, member of ICL or not, that they consider opportune to achieve the goals required to carry their struggles forward.
As such, it is foreseen that the ICL and its member organisations will develop a wide range of contacts and working relationships in the near future. These can involve unions that are not part of ICL or any other organisations that share our revolutionary aims and our fundamental principles but that are active in a different field than ours.
We sincerely hope that the foundation of ICL, which we enthusiastically welcome, will encourage the development of a movement that is both revolutionary and transformative for workers across the planet. Without a doubt, this is the main goal of our International.
We invite all those who share our aims and principles to joins us in building this movement, and we hope to develop a collaborative and working relationships with all of you in the near future.
The future is ours! We are the future!
Long live the International!
Miguel Perez, acting secretary, on behalf of the Liaison Committee of the International Confederation of Labour.
Photo by Arlene Banuelos // The Triton
Statewide student demands have been presented to the UC Regents, system-wide president, and campus chancellors at the UC campuses. The demands are in solidarity with 3 UC workers’ unions trying for the past several months to get contract renewals with the Regents. The demands also address immigration, Palestinian rights, policing of First Amendment activity and other issues.
Justice for the Workers of the University of California!
JANET NAPOLITANO, PRESIDENT OF THE UC; PETER CHESTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SYSTEMWIDE LABOR RELATIONS OFFICE; ALL CHANCELLORS OF THE UC SYSTEM
The students of the University of California demand respect, dignity, and fair contracts for the frontline workers who make our campuses function!
AFSCME 3299, UPTE-CWA 9119, and UC-AFT – labor unions which represent workers at the University of the California – have been in contract negotiations with the UC for many months. Throughout the bargaining process, the UC has continuously denied our workers the respect, dignity and fair contracts they deserve.
The UC system claims to champion the virtue of equality, and it has even described itself as a “pioneer” in the struggle to create a more equitable society. Meanwhile, it is denying our workers basic job security, living wages, racial and gender pay equity, and more. The University of California must stop exploiting its workers and honor its purported commitment to equality with a fair contract for UC workers.
Us students of the UC system have thus come together to declare our support for our UC labor unions and to demand for the UC to provide our workers with the respect, dignity, and fair contracts they deserve. We urge you to sign on and join us in the struggle for campus labor justice!
UC STUDENT DEMANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH UC WORKERS:
We, the students of the University of California, in order to promote social and economic justice, demand that our UC system: (1) Provide livable wages and stable benefits and retirements to all UC workers; (2) End subcontracting practices; (3) Terminate all direct and secondary ties with federal immigration agencies unless legally required; (4) Divest from companies complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights; (5) Prohibit the deployment of UCPD to on-campus actions; (6) Guarantee academic freedom to academic librarians; and (7) Satisfy the bargaining demands of all UC labor unions. We request an official public response to these demands by January 15th, 2019.
- PROVIDE LIVABLE WAGES AND STABLE BENEFITS AND RETIREMENTS TO ALL UC WORKERS: The UC will increase wages for all UC workers to meet and keep pace with the real cost of living in California as well as in areas within a reasonable commuting distance (no more than an hour drive) from the workplace in order to decrease time spent away from families, contributing to pollution, and contributing to highway congestion, and to be competitive among UC’s peer institutions; protect existing healthcare benefits by freezing healthcare premiums and co-pay costs for workers, and make no increases to healthcare costs; protect existing pension benefits by rescinding all 401(k) style/403(b) retirement opt-out plans from any and all contract proposals to UC labor unions;
- END PAY INEQUITIES: redress disparities – specifically in hiring, promotion, and resultant pay levels – between workers who are white men and workers who are women of color, people of color, womxn and non-binary folx — with particular attention to the racial and gendered pay disparities that affect Black women employees represented by AFSCME 3299; compensate all currently subcontracted employees with wages and benefits that equal the wages and benefits of their in-sourced counterparts, with compensation provided from the date and time of first employment to date and time of acceptance of demands; increase wages for student workers to equal that of their career worker counterparts;
- END SUBCONTRACTING PRACTICES: UC will stop outsourcing jobs to unprotected third-party companies/corporations/students; hire in all currently subcontracted employees, then end all subcontracting agreements with third-party companies/corporations; UC will hire 100% in-sourced, unionized labor for all new on-campus housing construction projects including Public Private Partnerships (P3’s); UCs will not hire student workers to replace campus career workers in campus jobs;
- ADDRESS UNDERSTAFFING ISSUES: redress understaffing issues in campus dining halls and all other UC workplaces by hiring more full-time career workers;
- MEET OTHER JOB SECURITY DEMANDS: Offer full-time work to
part-time employees; end emergency layoffs; retrain workers for vacant positions instead of instituting layoffs;
- NO COMPLICITY, NO COLLABORATION: University of California and its police departments will not comply with nor be placed under the supervision of the federal immigration agencies and authorities regarding investigations, raids, detentions and/or deportations, unless mandated by a judicial warrant, a subpoena, or a court order; UC will establish and enforce policies that prohibit immigration enforcement and deportation activities on grounds and premises under UC jurisdiction; every UC will enshrine the UC’s “Statement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community” in their official policies; apply AFSCME 3299 immigrant rights provisions to all workers and expand provisions related to Social Security “no-match” letters; prohibit the use of E-Verify;
- DIVEST FROM THE U.S. DEPORTATION REGIME: Every campus, medical center, and property managed by the UC – and every UC official – will withdraw from all contracts and agreements with any company, corporation, and organization that participates in or profits off of the detention, deportation, and/or surveillance of immigrants and asylum seekers, including, but not limited to, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), Maxim Healthcare Services, and ABM Industry Groups; end all investments in financial institutions that are linked to immigrant detention centers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP);
- DIVEST FROM COMPANIES COMPLICIT IN THE VIOLATION OF PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS: The University of California System will disinvest all tuition dollars, investments, and stocks from the following companies that have violated the universal right “to life, liberty, and security of person;” “to education;” to “privacy, family [and] home;” “to own property, and …[not to] be arbitrarily deprived of property” and consequently violate Palestinian human rights including, but not limited to, Lockheed Martin, United Tech, Boeing, G.E., HP, Caterpillar, Ford, Hyundai,Cemex, Raytheon, 3M, Northrop Grumman, Perrigo Company, and Atlas Copco;
- END THE DEPLOYMENT OF POLICE TO ON-CAMPUS ACTIONS: Prohibit use of all police and militarized forces, including UCPD, surveillance, and task forces against student and/or worker protests, rallies, sit-ins, walkouts, strikes or civil disobedience; aggressively pursue justice and accountability in cases of excessive use of force against Black people, other people of color, and queer and trans people; where related to aforementioned on-campus actions, drop existing student conduct charges, drop existing charges against workers, and going forward do not pursue punitive paths against historically policed students and workers; disarm the UCPD, and specifically prohibit the use and possession of riot gear by any police force on grounds and premises under UC jurisdiction; do not bring in additional police outside of UCPD, including, but not limited to, California Highway Patrol;
- GUARANTEE ACADEMIC FREEDOM TO ACADEMIC LIBRARIANS: Amend Article 1 in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for UC-AFT bargaining Unit 17 to articulate that librarians are afforded the same protections under the principles of academic freedom as currently granted to senate faculty, lecturers, and students, and do so to the satisfaction of the union UC-AFT;
- SATISFY THE BARGAINING DEMANDS OF ALL UC LABOR UNIONS: This includes, but is not limited to, the entire set of bargaining demands from AFSCME 3299, UPTE-CWA 9119, and UC-AFT; and
- ADDRESSING THE CHANCELLORS OF THE UC SYSTEM: For all of the listed demands whose implementation lies outside of the jurisdiction of individual UC campuses, each UC Chancellor shall publicly endorse these demands; vocalize their support for these demands to the University of California Office of the President, to the University of California Labor Relations Office, and to all relevant statewide UC bodies; perform all actions within their power to ensure the passage of these demands on a statewide level; and create and implement policies at each UC campus that are commensurate with each proposed statewide demand, and will do so to the furthest extent of each Chancellor’s jurisdictional power.
CAMPUS SPECIFIC DEMANDS
These demands, though specific to each campus, are endorsed by the entire list of signatories disclosed at the end of this document.
- JUSTICE FOR UCD WORKERS & STUDENTS: Honor and meet the coming student demands by those directly impacted from the assault inflicted on students and workers from a UC Davis official on October 25, 2018, the last day of AFSCME 3299’s strike.
- STOP OUTSOURCING:
- LONG RANGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN & CURRENT P3 HOUSING: Public Private Partnerships must not outsource UC jobs at P3 developments such as the newly anticipated long range development plan at West Village & Orchard Park and move to insource currently outsourced workers at P3 housing developments. UCD Administration must add workforce housing to their housing Long Range Development Plan. This housing must be made available to and staffed by university union workers. Students demand that housing shouldn’t come at the expense of workers quality of life.
- AGGIE SQUARE: UC Davis construction of the new innovation hub in Oak Park, Sacramento will outsource many UC jobs including some of those who are already employed at the UC Davis Medical Center. These workers will be let go and will need to apply at the new UC Davis Rehabilitation Center lead by Kindred Healthcare if they wish to continue work. We demand that UC Davis puts a stop to outsourcing of UC jobs at Aggie Square which contributes to the income, race, and gender inequality.
- CHANCELLOR MAY MUST COMPLETELY DISAFFILIATE FROM LEIDOS AND ALL OTHER OUTSIDE COMPANIES. This is in accordance with demand 3a above general. Outside board seats take time away from serving student and worker needs which should be the sole job of a university chancellor. They also frequently lead to conflicts of interest as we saw with former Chancellor Linda Katehi’s outside board seats. More specifically, Leidos is part of the militarized surveillance state on the U.S.-Mexico border and directly benefits from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.
- REALLOCATING FUNDS TO WORKER & STUDENTS NEEDS. Redirect resources away from administrative compensation, policing, and surveillance, including the $5 million recently allocated to surveillance measures, and use them to meet student and worker needs instead.
- CONTINUE MEETINGS BETWEEN STUDENT COMMUNITIES AND CAMPUS ADMINISTRATORS: These meetings were implemented after a multi-day sit-in on the first floor of the administration building, Mrak Hall, last year to protest a proposed tuition hike while demanding a more democratic structure which would give students and workers more direct control over the decisions that affect their everyday lives. Implement the proposals that were brought up in these meetings last year.
- EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK FOR UC DAVIS SUMMER INSTRUCTORS.
A summer session course is supposed to be the equivalent of a course that happens during the normal academic year. Undergraduate students get full course credit, and they pay for a full course.
However, graduate students hired as instructors to teach these courses only get a fraction (about 2/3rd) of the pay they would get for teaching the same exact course during the normal academic year. Often, these graduate student instructors actually put in more in-class hours. In many situations courses that would normally have a Teaching Assistant don’t, which puts more instructional and grading duties on these summer instructors who are making less than what they make during the normal academic year with a TA to assist them.
We demand that UC Davis recognize the amount of work that graduate student summer session instructors put into these courses, and that UC Davis compensate them as such – by paying them the amount they make for teaching the same course during the normal academic year.
UC Los Angeles
- JUSTICE FOR THE VALETS: Hire in all the subcontracted valets at Ronald Reagan Medical Center (RRMC) who were displaced from their jobs after UCLA ended its contract with ABM; provide permanent, adequate ventilation in the parking garages of RRMC, in compliance with OSHA standards;
- PROVIDE HOUSING STAFF WITH A PROPER BREAK ROOM: Recently UC Merced service workers had their break room taken away to allocate the space for a food pantry. UC Merced students experience food insecurity which led to the opening of our first food pantry in TC 131 through Basic Needs Security.
- Although students needed a food pantry, students also demand that service workers be given an adequate break room fit for all employees to use.
- REINSTATE RAFAEL FLORES: This university continued its campaign against Rafael Flores, a service worker who worked for housing, MAT leader, and union activist, by retaliating and preventing him from due process. Labor Relations must hold supervisors accountable for injustices and retaliation. We must hold Labor Relations accountable for circumventing worker protection and not allowing Rafael Flores a fair and just procedural hearing. The UC continues to suppress union activity and the outspoken voices of workers here on campus.
- Students demand a proper investigation with full access to all testimonies, names, and statements.
- TITLE IV INVESTIGATION: Supervisors at UC Merced are overly exerting their power and breaking policies. After multiple conversations, labor relations has been asked to open up an investigation due to the misconduct of the supervisors primarily the night shift (graveyard shift). Graveyard supervisor relentlessly harasses multiple workers during their shift. There was a specific situation this school year in which a police report was taken with key witnesses, one of them being a student.
- Students demand that investigations of Title IV are opened and that supervisors are fired and held accountable. Students demand that service workers who experience any violence/harassment are to be protected by the university so that they will not be retaliated against while a full investigation is being conducted.
- PROVIDE BASIC NEEDS FOR WORKERS: UC Merced service workers lack some of the basic needs resources and information to ease their jobs responsibilities.
- All service workers should have access to park on Scholars Parking lot without having to pay for a car registration pass.
- Educational services.
- In the event that campus is closed, service workers should be given the option to also evacuate campus.
- UNDERSTAFFING WORKERS: Since the establishment of UC Merced in 2005 there has been a continual understaffing of workers. It has been known and made aware that one or two workers is not enough to clean buildings or dorms. The night shift (graveyard) has less than 10 workers cleaning the entire campus which is not sufficient. With the continual understaffing of workers and the growth of UC Merced, with the 2020 project, it has resorted to the exploitation of these workers with inadequate support and pay. This campus is growing every year and expected to double in size to ten thousand students by 2020 while not engaging in efforts to hire more service workers. Understaffing has continued for years and there has been no remedy to this ongoing issue. There has not been any efforts by supervisors, hiring agents, chancellors, or even the president of the UC system to address these concerns and remedies to alleviate these issues.
- Students demand that the UC hires more service workers to reduce the stress enforced on the current service workers.
- Students demand that the University hire more service workers after every expansion, therefore as the number of the students increase the number of service workers hired will also increase.
- All temporary (temp) workers in Facilities Services and Custodial Grounds Department shall be converted to full time employment.
- For all new buildings and developments on campus – including but not limited to, the buildings on Aberdeen Drive, the renovations to The Barn, and new dining halls that are under development – there shall be no outsourcing and all employment positions should be filled by career UC workers.
UC Santa Cruz
- Hire only unionized workers for Student Housing West and all other future P3s;
- Stop under-staffing workers;
- Endorse and implement action demands presented on Friday, November 16th, 2018 by students addressing the chancellor search.
- ASUC Office of the External Affairs Vice President (EAVP) at UCB
- CalSERVE (Cal Students for Equal Rights and A Valid Education) at UCB
- United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) at UCD
- Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UCD
- S.P.E.A.K for Undocumented & Immigrant Rights at UCD
- Muslim Student Association (MSA) at UCD
- ASUCD Ethnic & Cultural Affairs Commission at UCD
- Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) at UCD
- Pan Afro Student Organization (PASO) at UCD
- IGNITE at UCD
- Peruvian Student Association at UCD
- Davis College Democrats
- United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) at UCI
- ASUCI Office of the External Vice President Labor Organizing Commission
- Central Americans For Empowerment (CAFE) at UCI
- Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (MEChA) de UCI
- Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UCI
- Black Psychology Student Association (BPSA) at UCI
- Students Advocating for Immigrant Rights and Equity (SAFIRE) at UCI
- South Asian Student Union (SASU) at UCI
- Kababayan (Kaba) at UCI
- Black Crypto Scholarz at UCI
- Office of the External Vice President ASUCI
- Student Labor Advocacy Project at UCLA
- Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UCLA
- Muslim Student Association (MSA) at UCLA
- Improving Dreams, Equality, and Access (IDEAS) at UCLA
- Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) at UCLA
- Afrikan Student Union (ASU) at UCLA
- Eagle and the Condor Liberation Front (ECLF) at UCLA
- Indus at UCLA
- UC Student-Workers Union (UAW 2865), UCLA Unit
- Labor Commissioner of the External Office of ASUCM
- External Office of ASUCM
- ASUCR Highlander Action Coalition
- Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) de UCR
- Teatro Quinto Sol de UCR
- LaFamilia de UCR
- Providing Opportunity, Dreams, and Education in Riverside (PODER) at UCR
- Underground Scholars Initiative at UCR
- Mujeres Unidas de UCR
- Hermanos Unidos de UCR
- United Student Labor Action Coalition (USLAC) UCSB
- Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success (IDEAS) UCSB
- Mujeres Unidas por Justicia, Educacion, y Revolucion (MUJER) de UCSB
- Mesa Directiva de UCSB
- Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) UCSB
- Congreso de UCSB
- Student Activist Network (SAN) at UCSB
- Raices de Mi Tierra UCSB
- unaffiliated students at UCSC
- United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) at UCSD
- Black Student Union (BSU) at UCSD
- Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) de UCSD
- Kaibigang Pilipin@ (KP) at UCSD
- UC Undocumented Student Coalition
- Groundwork Books Collective at UCSD
- Asian & Pacific Islander Student Alliance at UCSD
- Student Sustainability Collective at UCSD
- General Store Co-op at UCSD
- Che Cafe Collective at UCSD
The Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition in San Diego made an International Call to Action for a Day of Solidarity with the Refugee Caravan and Central American Exodus. Dozens of organizations around our region and worldwide endorsed the Call to Action and demonstrations were held in eleven cities across the USA on November 25, 2018. Emergency support for the temporary shelters in Tijuana and in San Diego is being mobilized.
Information about making donations to support the temporary refugee shelters:
Cities which participated in the November 25 Day of Solidarity with Central American Refugees
Over 600 people demonstrated solidarity on the San Diego side of the border wall and demanded demilitarization of our border communities and respect for the human rights of refugees and immigrants. Simultaneously thousands of people protested on the Tijuana side of the border wall, demanding that the Trump regime obey international and U.S. refugee law and stop blocking asylum seekers from entering the USA.
International Call to Action for the Refugee Caravan and Central American Exodus
As thousands of our refugee relatives—children, elders, brothers, sisters, LGBTQI+ siblings and people with disabilities—make their way to the border, we are calling for an International Day of Action in Solidarity with the Caravan and Exodus from Central America on Sunday, November 25th, 2018. We, the San Diego Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition, composed of migrant rights and social justice groups, invite individuals and organizations across the country and globe to organize demonstrations in their cities, and if they have the capacity, to join our rally and march to the border.
We call for an action on November 25th to commemorate the anniversary of the 2017 Honduran election stolen by the US government-backed, right-wing military dictator Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH). We are demonstrating on this day to acknowledge and draw attention to the current social and political crises driving the exodus from Central America. We understand that these crises—drug wars, military coups, destruction of indigenous lands for the benefit of corporations, and environmental catastrophe in the region—are all symptoms of US foreign policy, corporate profiteering and war-making.
Moreover, we see that the Trump administration is creating a warlike atmosphere against the caravan. It should be clear that they are not just acting with the support of a cabinet of white supremacists and a majority GOP in the Senate but are also emboldened by the last few decades of bipartisan militarization of the border, mass raids, expansion of for-profit detention centers, and mass deportations—with more than 2.5 million migrants under Obama and Trump alone. Further, these policies are a continuation of a long history of anti-Indigenous colonial violence and genocide.
These attacks have been complemented by decades of pushback against the migrants’ rights movement and years of terror against all who participated in the mega marches for Migrant’s Rights back in 2006 and since. We must continue to build and consolidate our gains no matter how large or small.
Legal precedent, “civility,” regard for life: the administration has no respect for any of it. The only thing that it responds to is resistance from below.
The US government, as with all governments, and the people of the United States have a choice: We can reject the humanity of the refugees and buy into the racist anti-migrant rhetoric of the Administration and the media. OR, we can do what humans have an obligation to do and what the US government owes the people of Central America: insist on allowing all the refugees the right to seek asylum!
- Respect for the right of asylum for all members of the Central American Exodus. Stop the profiling and criminalization of refugees; lift the executive order limiting access to asylum.
- Process all asylum claims made at Ports of Entry with expediency. We reject Custom and Border Protection’s claim that Port of Entries lack capacity to let in refugees. We also reject the shift away from decades of international asylum agreements that allow for requests to be made anywhere on the border.
- The US government must publicly acknowledge a) its role in Honduran Coup in 2009, b) that the Honduran government is a US supported dictatorship, and c) recognize the political and social crises throughout Central America as caused by US foreign policy.
- Call for international solidarity beyond the US and Mexico. The United Nations and Red Cross must also recognize the Humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico Border.
- We demand freedom for incarcerated migrants now and free movement for asylum seekers. No incarceration of migrants in shelters or for-profit detention centers.
- No impunity for governments that violate international asylum agreements and processes. Prosecute officials who violate the human right to seek asylum in any country of their preference.
Activist San Diego
American Friends Service Committee
American Federation of Teachers, Local 1931
American Indian Movement Southern California
Anakbayan San Diego
Alíanza de Salvadoreños Retornados
Asamblea de Solidaridad con México – País Valencià
Binational Conference Organizing Committee
Binational Conference on Border Issues Organizing Committee
Border Angels, San Diego
Brown Beret National Organization and all Texas Brown Berets
Caravan Support Network
California for Progress
Campus Antifascist Network
Centro Cultural De la Raza
Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft
Coalición Fronteriza de Centro Americanxs
Colectivo Somos Migrantes – España
Colectivo Ollin Calli Tijuana
Defend Boyle Heights
Democratic Autonomous Federation
Democratic Socialists of America- San Diego Chapter
Democrat Socialists of America
Employee Rights Center (ERC)
Enclave Caracol TJ
Food Not Bombs
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Halifax in Solidarity with the Migrant Caravan
Honduro-Canada Solidarity Community
Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families
Immigrant Justice League
International Socialist Organization
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) San Diego Local 13
Indivisible (Normal Heights/Hillcrest, San Diego)
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
John Brown Prisoner Solidarity Project
La Diáspora Hondureña
Labor for Palestine
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Legalization 4 All
Migrante San Diego
Mujeres en Resistencia Chicago
Mujeres en Resistencia- San Diego
New Indicator Collective – newindicator.org
No Space for Hate
Otay Mesa Detention Resistance
Our Revolution SoCal OC
Palestinian Youth Movement-San Diego
Party For Socialism and Liberation
PSL Salt Lake – Party for Socialism and Liberation
People over Profits- SD
Pueblo Sin Fronteras
Raices sin Fronteras
Racial Justice Coalition
San Diego Committee Against Police Brutality
San Diego County Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party
SAN DIEGO BORDER DREAMERS
San Diego Workers World Party
San Diego Ground Zero Players
School of the Americas Watch-L.A.
Showing Up for Racial Justice, San Diego
Stop Tribal Genocide
Students for Justice in Palestine, San Diego
Students for Justice in Palestine @ UCSD
The Coalition to Free Mumia Abu Jamal and All Political Prisoners
The Freedom Socialist Party
Transfronterizx Alliance Student Organization (TASO) UCLA
UMAS y MEXA de CU Boulder
Union Del Barrio
Union de Vecinos
Uaptsd San Diego Copwatch
Veterans for Peace, San Diego
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72 Portland, OR
Veterans For Peace (national)
Women’s Labor Network
Women Occupy San Diego
43 San Diego
Map: Imperial Valley Press
The current international border between Mexico and the USA actually runs through the middle of the land of the Kumeyaay Nation. No treaty has ever been ratified by the U.S. Senate regarding any land being ceded by the Kumeyaay Nation.
by National Lawyers Guild
November 20, 2018
TIJUANA, Mexico—Since last Thursday, a Central American exodus of 4,000-5,000 asylum seekers have been arriving at the Tijuana/San Ysidro Port of Entry. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and Al Otro Lado (AOL) are mobilizing legal support on both sides of the border to help protect and uphold the human rights of these refugees fleeing violence and political crisis.
The NLG and AOL are calling on attorneys, law students, and other legal workers to travel to the border and volunteer to Legal Observe (LO) refugee arrivals, lead know your rights trainings, and staff legal clinics. Volunteers must already be trained NLG Legal Observers, have some proficiency in Spanish, and above all, practice cultural sensitivity and remain aware of their privileged status as a guest in a space in which families are fighting for their lives.
On the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana, the first priority for volunteers is to ensure that particularly vulnerable people are allowed access to the Port of Entry to make their claim for asylum. We also will be expanding legal rights presentations in shelters immediately and anticipate a constant need for attorneys and legal workers for three or more months. Volunteers may sign up at this form, and by doing so acknowledge that you are participating at your own risk. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The US government’s refusal to prepare to receive refugees, which it knew about for some time, has created a humanitarian crisis in Tijuana and other Mexican border cities. It is inconceivable that a government, one arguably among the most powerful and wealthiest in the world, chose to install barbed wire and soldiers in place of developing strategies and spaces to process refugees expeditiously, and with the human dignity that all human beings deserve. This response greatly diminishes the United States’ reputation as a champion for human rights,” said Al Otro Lado Border Rights Project Director Nicole Ramos.
Multiple NLG entities are contributing to the effort, including our International and Mass Defense Committees. The National Immigration Project of the NLG is also lining up volunteer immigration attorneys. Local NLG chapters in California including Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego will be ready to provide legal support on the US side, building upon work done during the previous migrant caravan with Pueblo Sin Fronteras that arrived in April earlier this year.
“On our 2016 Mexican delegation, we interviewed migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, who described their harrowing journeys of rape, robbery and murder. These refugees have an absolute right to come to the US under US and International law,” said NLG member Jose Luis Fuentes.
In addition, the Military Law Task Force (MLTF) of the NLG condemns the deployment of US military forces to the border in what MLTF Executive Director Kathleen Gilberd calls “an immoral and illegitimate use of US troops.”
Says Michael Galvan, NLG Queer Caucus Co-Chair: “My work with the caravan exodus began when a contingent of about 70+ LGBTQ persons split off and arrived in Tijuana sooner than most had anticipated. I’m amazed by the folks in the caravan, who though frustrated and tired, are showing tremendous patience, gratitude, and determination.”
# # #
Al Otro Lado is a bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico.
The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights.
Contact: email@example.com, 212-679-5100, ext. 15