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Nothing new, just hypocrisy has been thrown out the window

Marú Mora Villalpando  |  Issue: December | January 2017
November 2016 election

CHICAGO, IL — “If there is no peace for the people, may there be no peace for the government.” This sums up the people’s rejection of Donald Trump after he claimed victory in the November 2016 election. In this new order we are facing, there are new opportunities and new challenges. As a committed group of people, we have shown we are here for the long haul and we are not afraid of taking on bigger challenges.
PHOTOS: Bob Simpson

 

Editors’ note: Marú Mora Villalpando is a pro-immigrant right activist in Washington State. After years of activity in defense of the rights of the undocumented immigrant, she herself came out and announced her status. In 2013 she joined the local #Not1More deportation campaign to plan a civil disobedience action. On Feb 24, 2014, she with nine others locked arms and blocked the street outside the Tacoma detention center shutting down ICE office and halting deportations for a week.

In the article below she addresses her community and puts forth her proposal as to how to wage the fight now with Trump as president.

These elections are the result of a long process built by both parties. And the losers are actively looking to blame the same people they have left down, oppressed and abused while smiling at them at the same time.

Democrats don’t want to be questioned, they have used right-wing xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc. to force our communities to accept them as they are, and not be accountable to us.

If neoliberalism is on its way out, that doesn’t mean free trade is gone. It probably will change a bit. Under fascism, there is a possibility of more protectionism to calm the base that elected Republicans again. But corporations will find an easier way to exploit people, resources, land, etc. Standing Rock will be in even more danger.

Forced migration will continue, and let’s remember that it has evolved from purely economic reasons (which progressives would like us to believe is the sole reason why migration continues) to more complicated elements created by U.S. and Western international policies, such as wars, organized crime, land grabbing, climate change, etc. These will continue and expand under this new administration in a way we have never seen before.

Many ally groups will focus on the “good immigrants” a.k.a. Dreamers or DACA recipients. Most of the “good ones” don’t have a criminal record. Therefore, the first community to be targeted for deportation proceedings under Trump will continue being the same people Obama targeted: those with criminal records, or those who will be in contact with the criminal system.

We have survived

As in our home countries, as in this country, we have survived. We have learned how to live day by day, find ways to not be seen, find small support networks, then bigger ones. Heck, some of us even dared to live a real life without fear, and without a safety net.

We have resisted

And when we got tired of being afraid, tired of listening to “Wait, be patient … wait for immigration reform,” we began the resistance. First in the form of rapid-response teams (deploying legal observers to the sites of immigration raids, finding legal support, doing “Know Your Rights” workshops, etc.); then conducting our own lobbying at national and state levels, and then using direct action based on community organizing strategies. We have been willing to risk whatever we have left to create real political, societal and cultural change.

We have won

We have tried different things, and as long as leadership is true to the cause, we have won! We are a sore to Geo Group and a thorn in the side of ICE. Media and local communities recognize us as the experts; we can speak for ourselves and about ourselves.

People in detention and their relatives rely on our work. Other People of Color grassroots movements also recognize our work and integrity. We have been able to bring together people of different backgrounds and experiences, and work together. And because this work, we must continue this formula.

As we develop collaborations, we have to keep our integrity and be true to our work. We will need to work with many people, and we can’t do this alone. But most importantly we need to create long-lasting change and this can only come with leadership that comes from the base and for the base. Now, more than ever, we need real grassroots community organizing and law advocates who understand their role in a larger movement.

Do what we know how to do best: organize!

This new phase in our work and in the nation is not about this election alone. We knew that even if the Republican Party had lost, we would have been facing a more difficult challenge: the illusion of progress, such as what we have in this “blue” state of Washington.

In this new order we are facing, there are new opportunities and new challenges. As a committed group of people, we have shown we are here for the long haul and we are not afraid of taking on bigger challenges.

When they come to get us and deport us, I say: bring it on! We won’t go quietly. ¡No agachados pero luchando!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre compañerxs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Proposal for going forward

  • Continue organizing as possible with people in detention.
  • Continue using direct action as one of our main tools.
  • Invite non-detained immigrants to organize house meetings, with our support, and organize in their neighborhoods.
  • Once we have enough groups organized in different regions, we will connect them to grow the network and create a regional shield.
  • Parallel to this work, we will work with our trusted national partners for them to give us a heads-up on federal policy coming down the pipe, with model local policy to counteract its impact.
  • Create deeper relationships with local POC grassroots-led groups: abolitionist, climate justice, gender justice, reproductive justice, farmworkers, Native Indigenous, Black, Asian Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ, formerly incarcerated, Muslim, etc.
  • Look for co-conspirators, reserve space for allies.

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