Since election night 2016, people all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality, but many are wondering what it is they can do. Here, a conversation with Gloribell Mota, an organizer with Neighbors United for a Better East Boston who is serving as the Boston coordinator for Movimiento Cosecha's May Day event.
Cosecha is planning strikes and marches in over 40 cities across the country, along with mass student walkouts and escalated actions.
“On this day, we will not go to work. We will not send our children to school. We will not buy anything,” said Francisca Santiago, a farmworker from Homestead, Florida who will be joining the May 1st Strike. “We are the workers who harvest and prepare food, who repair homes, who come into office buildings after 7pm to clean them. But on May 1st, instead of going to work we will be in the streets celebrating our communities, and demanding the permanent protection, dignity and respect that our people deserve.”
Leaders of the Cosecha Movement are planning farmworker strikes and boycotts in rural communities, such as Homestead, Florida. Workers will also be striking in cities where Trump won with decisive margins, including Grand Rapids, Tulsa, Wichita, Memphis and many others.
A group of 20 activists and faith leaders were arrested in front of Boston's South Bay Detention Facility on Monday, according to protest organizers. The 20 arrestees were part of a larger group of activists who staged a sit-in to protest the recent detention of an undocumented immigrant rights activist from Vermont."What we're hoping to accomplish is to make it clear to the community that we're going to be protecting every organizer — even if they're undocumented," said Maria Fernanda, an undocumented volunteer organizer and with the group the immigrant workers' rights group Movimiento Cosecha, who came to America as a child.
Three immigrant rights activists were arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan, today (April 20) after they blocked—and stopped—traffic during a direct action. Activists began by marching to the city's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building with song and drum-banging. They held a banner that read, “We stop disrupting you when you stop disrupting our families,” and varying signs calling for an end to deportations.
The leaders of four national unions - part of a new Labor for Our Revolution network - are calling for broad labor support for "A Day Without Immigrants." The union leaders are urging their organizations' local leaders and members to participate in the expected May 1 actions by millions of immigrants who will be striking and marching in cities and towns all across the country. The four unions’ combined memberships represent almost one million workers.
Labor for Our Revolution issued a joint statement of support - signed by Larry Hanley, President, Amalgamated Transit Union; Chris Shelton, President,Communications Workers of America; RoseAnn DeMoro, Executive Director, National Nurses United; and Peter Knowlton, General President, United Electrical Workers - and sent the statement to its list of union leaders and activists requesting additional grassroots support, resulting in more than 1,000 union members also "signing on" to the call supporting A Day Without Immigrants.