Press Release: “A Day Without Immigrants” May Day Strike Announced in Newark

Press Release: “A Day Without Immigrants” May Day Strike Announced in Newark

Press Release for April 24, 2017  

Press contacts: Alejandro Jaramillo, Alex.Jaramillo@jan-nj.org, (732) 371-9512 (Spanish or English); Whitney Strub, wstrub@gmail.com, (215) 764-7928 (English); Natasha Abner, nabner@gmail.com, (662) 931-5328 (English)

Newark, NJ - Immigrant rights organizations, unions, students, clergy, and activist groups from northern New Jersey join a national strike billed as a “day without immigrants” to demonstrate that the country depends on the labor of immigrants and working class people of color. Hundreds of thousands of workers have already pledged to strike in what organizers expect to be the largest national strike since the Megamarches of 2006.

“May 1st is the first step in a series of strikes and boycotts that will change the conversation on immigration in the United States,” said Maria Fernanda Cabello, a spokesperson from Movimiento Cosecha. “We believe that when the country recognizes it depends on immigrant labor to function, we will win permanent protection from deportation for the 11 million undocumented immigrants; the right to travel freely to visit our loved ones abroad, and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. After years of broken promises, raids, driving in fear of being pulled over, not being able to bury our loved ones, Trump is just the final straw. As we saw during the spontaneous strikes on February 16th, our people are ready.” Cosecha organizer Alejandro Jaramillo notes that “most undocumented immigrants file federal taxes every year,” paying an estimated $12 billion in state and local taxes, and over $13 billion federally for programs they cannot use. “They work hard in farms growing fruits and vegetables, in restaurants cooking and serving meals, as baby sitters and health care workers taking care of children, the sick, disabled, and elderly, in construction building homes, in landscaping, in factories and in their own businesses producing goods and services that Americans demand, and through tax contributions financing benefits that many Americans receive,” he adds.

In Newark, marchers will assemble at 2pm in Lincoln Park for a rally, followed by a march on the federal building and a 5:30pm Justice Walk to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where a conversation about social justice will be held with New Jersey’s gubernatorial candidates.

The city of Newark has always been a city of immigrants, a place where Catholics and Jews, Slovaks, Poles, Italians, and other European groups built community beginning in the 19th century; a city where the internal domestic Great Migration of AfricanAmericans seeking freedom led to the pioneering election of Kenneth Gibson in 1970, first Black mayor of a major east-coast city; a city that has benefited from the rich diversity of Portuguese communities in the Ironbound, Muslim mosques, and growing African communities; and a place that cannot be imagined in the 21st century without its Puerto Rican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Dominican, Brazilian, and other Latino/a groups that contribute so much to Newark’s culture, economy, and life.

Yet in the wake of Donald Trump’s punitive ICE raids and hateful threats against immigrants, businesses in the Ironbound and across New Jersey (as well as nationally) are suffering, as members of our community live in fear. Mayor Ras Baraka has declared Newark a sanctuary city, but we demand more: New Jersey must lead the way in declaring itself a sanctuary state, with permanent protection for all immigrants and equal rights for all who live here. This means a $15/hour minimum wage; the right to unionize; driver’s licenses for all; and a No Ban, No Wall policy in the face of Trump’s costly racism. In short, we demand real justice in New Jersey: economic justice, environmental justice, social justice, and racial justice.

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Sponsors: Cosecha, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, NJ State Industrial Union Council (NJ IUC) , HPAE Local 5094, Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council, NJ Clergy Coalition, People's Organization for Progress, First Friends, Pax Christi, Esperanza Aztec, Democratic Socialists of America, Rutgers Undocu, NJIT Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, (SHPE), 15 Now NJ, Socialist Alternative, Haiti Solidarity Network, NJ Forum for Human Rights, NJ Socialist Party, Saint Joseph Social Services, Justice Alliance Network, Lazos AU, Saint Peter's University Students for Peace and Justice, NJ Red Party, Food Not Bombs Jersey City, Food & Water Watch, Movement for Socialism, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War, New Caucus, NJ Peace Action, Salvation and Social Justice , Rutgers Muslim Student Association

Press Release: Student Organizers to Host “Day of Culture and Action” on Thursday in Preparation for A Day Without Immigrants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Click here to download as a pdf.

Contacts: Jazmin Morinigo, 240-533-5820, morinigo.j@husky.neu.edu and Nadav David, 408-306-3010, nadav.david10@gmail.com

Student Organizers to Host “Day of Culture and Action” on Thursday in Preparation for “Un Día Sin Inmigrantes (A Day Without Immigrants)”

Students Join Movimiento Cosecha to Stand for Immigrant Rights and Build Power for May 1st Strike and Walkouts

BOSTON, MA — On Thursday, April 13th, students, faculty, staff, and community members from Boston area colleges and universities will gather for a Day of Culture and Action at Brewer Fountain in Boston Common. After years of broken promises from politicians and targeted raids against immigrant communities, President Trump’s xenophobic policies and harsh rhetoric threaten our country’s values while isolating communities that are the fabric of our nation. In response, immigrants and allies will share their narratives through music, dance and poetry, celebrating the diverse cultures that are integral to our communities.

The Day of Culture and Action will build momentum and raise awareness for Movimiento Cosecha’s “Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes (A Day Without Immigrants)” national strike on May 1st. Thousands of members from organizations such as The Fight For 15, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, SEIU United Service Workers West, and UNITE HERE Tech Cafeteria Workers have also pledged to strike on May Day. Cosecha is a nonviolent movement working to win permanent protection, dignity and respect for the 11 million undocumented people in this country. Through boycotts and strikes, Movimiento Cosecha seeks to demonstrate to the American public that this country cannot operate without its workforce, which is primarily composed of immigrants and other marginalized folks.  

Students will support the national strike on May 1st by participating in campus walkouts around the country. Students, faculty, and staff are organizing on their campuses and around the city to raise awareness for the Sanctuary Campus movement, a movement to ensure that colleges and universities will protect their undocumented students, faculty, and staff from arbitrary federal investigations and deportations. Participating colleges include Northeastern University, Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, Bunker Hill Community College, Emerson College and many others. Jazmin Morinigo, an organizer with the Sanctuary Campus Northeastern University Coalition and the Cosecha student circle, says, “As a member of the Latinx community, it hurts me to see xenophobic policies coming from the White House and hateful rhetoric spreading into our communities. The Sanctuary Campus movement is working to protect and support students and community members from all backgrounds, especially undocumented students, workers and staff. We demand that our institutions take immediate steps to protect and support all vulnerable members of our communities, as we stand with Movimiento Cosecha to fight for the permanent protection, dignity and respect of all immigrants in this country. Every immigrant must know that they are valued members of our communities.”

Organizers and co-sponsors include Sanctuary Campus Coalition Northeastern University, Movimiento Cosecha, the Student-Immigrant Movement (SIM), COMBAT (Coalition to Organize and Mobilize Boston Against Trump), EmersonUNITE, Berklee Activist Network, and Harvard Graduate Student Union-UAW Organizing Committee.

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