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TEXAS: Elections Time, “Here We Go Again”

Manuel Torres  |  Issue: August | September 2015
Hundreds Conduct Civil Disobedience to Protest Raids and Deportations

Hundreds Conduct Civil Disobedience to Protest Raids and Deportations
NEW ORLEANS, LA, Friday, July 10—Hundreds of immigrant leaders and allies blocked the streets in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Regional Headquarters in New Orleans, conducting civil disobedience to confront the agency over the brutal, unconstitutional raids and deportations it continues to pursue while President Obama’s administrative deportation relief is tied up in court. The rally included over 800 participants from around the U.S., including the #Not1More Campaign, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, Center for Community Change, Alliance4Citizenship, Reform Immigration 4 America, and others.
The civil disobedience, led by the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ), took place while the Fifth Circuit Court held the latest hearing in the anti-immigrant lawsuit filed by Republican leaders in 26 states to block President Obama’s deportation relief program.


Rio Grande Valley–Once again the election campaigns are gearing up for November 2016. Nationally we see the presidential campaigning from the Democratic and Republican parties, who together have over 10 candidates.  Locally here in the “Valley of Tears,” as the Rio Grande Valley in Texas is known, there will be local, state and county elections in Brownsville, Elsa, La Villa, Weslaco, Donna, Mercedes, McAllen, San Benito.

The number one question on the national level seems to be: “Will we elect the first woman president?” At the same time on the state level there are many anti-working class laws being put forth by legislators that appear to attack only immigrant workers. But in fact these proposed bills attack the whole working class.

Texas leads the nation in attacks on undocumented immigrants. It’s no coincidence that Ted Cruz to this date has not criticized Donald Trump for his slanderous remarks against immigrants. From school board to city commissioners they use the same “trash talk” as Cruz to make workers feel better than the ones behind them.

When we stop falling prey to this kind of thinking and begin to see each other as brothers and sisters, in the same boat, under the same situation, we are going to be better off.  If we unite as one class, no one can stop us.

For those who do vote, find yourself some good honest candidates that are anti-corruption and pro-immigrant and pro-working class. Find yourself a candidate that will defend the rights of all of us the 99% and not the 1%.

We have to start from where we find ourselves. We are over 400,000 registered voters in the Valley, but only 10% to 20% vote.  In a presidential election year maybe 30% vote.  We all know that under U.S. democracy we don’t have control of our lives.  As long as we are under this economic system, we are slaves. It’s not the same kind of slavery of years before, but the new kind of slavery is wage-slavery. You got to work a job, so you can eat, etc.

But if you find yourself with no job, no home, the good thing about it is you are not the only one, there are thousands of Juanes, Johns, Marys, and Marias in the same boat that is being dismantled. On July 2, 2015, at a protest and march led by the local LGBT community lead organizer, Eli Olivares said, “As you march today remember you are marching for human rights and human dignity for everyone, not just for us, but for immigrant rights and youth rights, for everyone who is going through hard times.”

The question is who will win this war — us the poor and dispossessed or the fascists with their daily anti-working class propaganda that keeps us divided. It’s time for us to unite as a class of the 99%.

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