2011 will be remembered as the “year of the protestor” and of global revolutions, with people across the world rising up against systematic poverty, oppression, and violence. When the Occupy Wall Street movement erupted in NYC and spread like wild fire across the country, we started participating showing that immigrants are part of the 99% and highlighting the ways in which Wall Street exploits immigrant communities.
Families for Freedom has been participating in actions, workshops and more to draw attention to the fact that banks and corporations, supported by the government, continue to profit from immigrant detention and deportation.
On December 11th, Families for Freedom participated in a teach in to talk about the devastating affects deportations have on our families, lift up the particular organizing campaigns and concerns of immigrants workers and to highlight that globalized capital–in the form of financial institutions, multinational corporations, and neoliberal state economic policies–is the impetus for economic migration to the United States.
Then on December 18th, International Migrants Day, under the banner of #ImmigrantsOccupy we marched with immigrant and worker rights groups and the Occupy movement to highlight the importance of immigrants within the 99%. Together we protested anti-immigrant laws across the country, and took on Wall Street's construction of private for-profit immigration prisons and wage theft from immigrant workers. Even though it was absolutely freezing, hundreds of people gathered in Foley Square, for a diverse array of music, dance, and street theater which culminated in a multi-lingual General Assembly at Zuccotti Park.
The #ImmigrantsOccupy/#D18 march came on the heels of Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Arizona’s appeal of a decision blocking much of that state’s racist anti-immigrant law, and comes as advocates battle similar legislation in states around the country, including Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah – laws that have already torn immigrant families apart, wreaked havoc on local economies, and made immigrant workers even more vulnerable to wage theft and exploitation.
This year we will continue to participate in the Immigrant Workers Justice Working Group of Occupy Wall Street engaging in educational teach ins and actions to protest large financial institutions like Wells Fargo in promoting for-profit immigration prisons along with increasingly harsh policies to fill those prisons.
Please contact Families for Freedom if you are interested in participating in future Occupy Wall Street actions or attending meetings of the Immigrant Workers Justice group of OWS.