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ZAZ COMMUNICATIONS By Javier Rodriguez   Los Angeles      16 June 2017

ICE is silently  raiding, hunting, and SEEKING every possible opening in the courts, school environments, work sites, researching all 800,000 DACA  DREAMers, immigrant activists  and the homes of the nation’s 11.3 undocumented immigrants, as it recently happened -twice in the same home-  in LA’s Boyle Heights community of 100,000 population, of which 95% are Latinos. ICE raided and arrested a mother which immediately sparked intense community pressure led by her activist daughter Claudia Rueda, and, in a matter of days she was set free.

Claudia is an unregistered DREAMer, a CSULA student, a community leader, a passionate unafraid activist and she is not a criminal. The only spot on her record is a civil disobedience detention for defending the undocumented.

With these credentials, the LA ICE Brass politically decided to arrest her and deport her, as they did with Elvira Arellano in 2007. The young activist was then spied upon by ICE agents close to her home, not far from where I live. When she stepped out for an errand, she was grabbed and immediately sent to the San Diego Detention Center.

Again the community went up in arms and organized protests demanding her freedom in Boyle Heights and in San Diego. Creatively, the area’s leaders and activists had a press event in front of Claudia’s home. The protesters and Claudia supporters are part of the people enraged against the gross scapegoating of immigrants and Latinos by the Trump Administration. Leonardo Vilchis of Union de Vecinos, asked a poignant question to the hundreds of thousands watching the news: Are we going to have to stop ICE from taking our people in our own neighborhood?

Could organized Boyle Heights community prevented Claudia’s ICE arrest?

A few days later, another protest ensued to also demand her freedom. This time it was called by UTLA, the 50,000 militant teachers union, Claudia’s family, students and community activists. Shunning the traditional downtown sites, organizers staged it at the symbolic Roosevelt High School with a 6,000 student body 97% Latino.  It is also Claudia’s Alma Mater and mine.  

This school has witnessed a historic set of generations of struggle by students, teachers, staff and parents going back the 1968-70 student walkouts to the 2006-07 Latino Mega marches and boycotts, when again  many schools walked out and marched to the tune of 370,000 students  in California and Southwestern states, and Roosevelt never wavered. 

These socio-political accomplishments are planted historical marks which unfortunately are not part of the present curriculum of the school system. Even though, the Student Walkouts or student strikes of the late sixties were part of the civil rights struggle for equality which accused the school boards of institutional racism and discrimination.

36 years later, it was clearly the issues of immigration reform, separation of families, the anguish and widespread fear of raids and deportations. Students joined their parents in the marches of millions of immigrants and Latinos in the immigrant Spring of 2006.  Roosevelt High along with hundreds of other schools and were key in defeating the infamous xenophobic Sensenbrenner Law which, like today, criminalized immigrants and anyone who in any form assisted the undocumented.

Claudia was set free by the people’s protest and her defense.  By winning her freedom, the community has won a major victory that is spreading like wildfire in the nation. Also, the fact the supportive events were staged and televised from Claudia’s eastside neighborhood, set a precedent and are highly important because the psychology of fear in the barrios is real and deep. I assume that after a rest she will again join the trenches of the fight against ICE, Homeland Security and the embattled ultra-right winger Pres. Donald Trump.

 

BARRIO DEFENSE NETWORK AGAINST ICE

Last January, before Trump was seated as President, I met with leaders of the Hermandad Mexicana TransNacional as a political advisor to discuss what is to be done, to defend immigrants and Latinos against the Trump Administration brutal attacks on all Americans.  After listening carefully to the women leaders of this historic organization, I proposed the making of a Community Defense Network to directly confront and block ICE from the moment their patrol caravans enter the neighborhoods to the point of arrest. To do this the network must be built and composed of residents volunteers from, Hermandad members, the local churches, Unions, small businesses, and the vital piece, “The Social Networks”.

Javier Rodriguez is a co-founder of the March 25 Coalition, a journalist, a blogger and a Media and Political Advisor

Javier Rodriguez Media and Political Strategist ZAZ Communications blog Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com
FRIENDS FAMILY MEDIA, TRUSTME, YOU WANT TO READ THIS ARTICLE BY A CONTEMPORARY VENEZUELAN REVOLUTIONARY WHO IS LIVING AND ACTIVELY FIGHTING IN THE PROCESS OF A REVOLUTION THAT APPEARS TO BE IN DANGER OF FALLING TO THE ULTRA RIGHT FORCES, THE SUPPOSED HEROES AND POLITICAL PRISONERS, WHOSE MESSENGERS RECENTLY MET WITH DONALD TRUMP TO ASK FOR HIS HELP. THEIR GOAL IS TO TAKE THE COUNTRY BACK TO WHEN THE AMERICAN GLOBAL CORPORATIONS CONTROLLED ONE OF THE RICHEST OIL RESERVES IN THE PLANET AND THE COMEBACK OF A SUPER RICH LOCAL RULING CLASS,  WHO before MERCILESSLY EXPLOITED THE 99%. YOU ALL KNOW WHO I’M TALKING ABOUT, THE SAME 1% THERE AND HERE, WHO HAVE  SCREWED US FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS UNDER THE GUISE OF CAPITALIST DEMOCRACY, FLAG WAVING AND SOME PRIVILEGES. ESSENTIALLY THEY WANT DRIVE VENEZUELA TO THE SAME SWAMP THAT HONDURAS, IRAQ, LYBIA AND SYRIA ARE IN. THE PIECE IS IN SPANISH, SO IF YOU’RE NOT BILINGUAL FIND SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY OR A FRIEND TO TRANSLATE IT, IT’S ABSOLUTELY WORTH YOUR TIME, ‘CAUSE ESSENTIALLY YOU HAVE ALSO BEEN INUNDATED WITH THE PROGANDA MACHINE THAT REPEATS AND REPEATS THE LIES ZAZ
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 Rodolfo Walsh, cuya coherencia y rebeldía ante el poder establecido sigue alumbrando el camino de nuevos y anónimos revolucionarios y revolucionarias, despreciaba a cierto tipo de “intelectuales” que nunca le encuentran la punta al clavo. Ese tipo de gente que predica desde púlpitos que ellos y ellas mismas se construyen para sugerir que nunca llega el momento de lo que indudablemente hay que hacer, o que se devanan la sesera para descubrir los puntos débiles de tal o cual proceso revolucionario que sí se hizo, a pesar de ellos. En otras palabras, son los que prefieren ver el árbol e ignorar el bosque, y casi siempre se equivocan en sus acertijos situacionales, porque muy pocas veces (como en todo hay excepciones) se embarran los pies con los de abajo.
Rodolfo Walsh, cuya coherencia y rebeldía ante el poder establecido sigue alumbrando el camino de nuevos y anónimos revolucionarios y revolucionarias, despreciaba a cierto tipo de “intelectuales” que nunca le encuentran la punta al clavo. Ese tipo de gente que predica desde púlpitos que ellos y ellas mismas se construyen para sugerir que nunca llega el momento de lo que indudablemente hay que hacer, o que se devanan la sesera para descubrir los puntos débiles de tal o cual proceso revolucionario que sí se hizo, a pesar de ellos. En otras palabras, son los que prefieren ver el árbol e ignorar el bosque, y casi siempre se equivocan en sus acertijos situacionales, porque muy pocas veces (como en todo hay excepciones) se embarran los pies con los de abajo.
Algo de eso viene ocurriendo en este último tiempo con cierta “izquierda”, mayoritariamente académica, que en las actuales condiciones de embestida imperialista contra Venezuela prefieren hacerse a un costado de lo que sostiene la mayoría de la franja más humilde del pueblo de Bolívar y Hugo Chávez y lanzar por todo lo alto una nueva carga de munición gruesa contra este proceso. Y lo hacen desde la variante de resucitar, otra vez, la teoría de los dos demonios.
Como no podía ser de otra manera, este tipo de ataques, formulados en declaraciones, artículos o manifiestos cuentan con amplia difusión en medios ostensiblemente de derecha, que se regodean en contar entre las filas de los aporreadores de la Revolución Bolivariana no solo a los cómplices del golpista Capriles Radonski y al instigador de crímenes contra el pueblo, Leopoldo López, sino también a una pléyade de “izquierdistas”, entre los que figuran quienes siempre salen de la escena cuando la situación pinta borrascosa, o los que se suman a la estampida “por las dudas”, temerosos de no quedar “pegados” al eventual naufragio de un barco que en alguna lejana ocasión (cuando corrían buenos tiempos y se practicaba la solidaridad 5 estrellas) ellos mismos ayudaron a navegar y hoy tratan de hundir.
Estos “izquierdistas” propagandizados por Infobae y otros medios derechistas, acusan al gobierno de Nicolás Maduro de estar “deslegitimado y con marcados rasgos autoritarios”. Para dar más fuerza a sus denuncias se recuestan en los recovecos de la democracia burguesa, de la que se dicen cultores y defensores, y desde allí critican que el Ejecutivo venezolano “desconoce a otras ramas del poder”, entre ellas la Asamblea Legislativa, invadida desde diciembre de 2015 por una banda operativa de propagadores de la violencia fascista. Esos mismos que hoy lanzan a la calle a sus cachorros, mezcla de “nenes de mamá” con lúmpenes y paramilitares colombianos, para arrasar con todo lo que huela a chavismo, golpear a mansalva a ciudadanos y ciudadanas que no se suman a sus objetivos desestabilizadores, degollar con cintas de acero a desprevenidos motoristas. En su práctica terrorista han llegado a quemar vivos a jóvenes chavistas o linchar a un ex teniente de la Guardia Militar Bolivariana.
Por muchísimo menos que eso, en cualquiera de los países de donde provienen estos “intelectuales de izquierda”, no la policía sino el propio ejército ya hubiera generado, en su afán represivo, un auténtico cementerio. Sin embargo, el “autoritario” es Maduro que ha ordenado que el freno a tanta criminalidad se haga ateniéndose al Estado de derecho. Y cuando esto no ocurre, a diferencia de otros países, no se duda en detener y juzgar a quienes desde un uniforme han violado los derechos humanos.
¿Se quiere ignorar acaso que la mayoría de los muertos los ha vuelto a poner el chavismo, como ocurriera con el golpe de 2002? ¿Se trata de ocultar, desde la palabrería pseudo-izquierdista, que si en un supuesto negado, estos asesinos que hoy aspiran a volver a la Cuarta República, lograron sus objetivos, no terminarían convirtiendo a Venezuela en algo muy parecido a lo que la OTAN y sus cómplices mercenarios han hecho en Iraq, Libia, Afganistán y Siria?
Mienten descaradamente quienes atacan a una Revolución que en 17 años ha ofrecido a todo su pueblo una avalancha de conquistas sociales, solo comparables con las otorgadas por sus hermanos revolucionarios cubanos. Mienten, cuando hablan de ilegitimidad sabiendo muy bien que es uno de los procesos que más confrontaciones electorales han tenido que atravesar, y en la gran mayoría de ellas ha salido victorioso.
Mienten cuando desde su democratismo de ocasión señalan que el Gobierno venezolano bloqueó y postergó el referéndum revocatorio, sabiendo que fue la oposición la que no cumplió con los plazos para la presentación de esa demanda y que se inventó y falsificó miles de cédulas, incluyendo una buena cantidad de muertos, para forzar lo que desde todo punto de vista era ilegal.
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Mienten cuando hablan de “fallido autogolpe del ejecutivo”, cuando en realidad lo que está ocurriendo desde hace años, en forma más acentuada desde que el Comandante Hugo Chávez fuera asesinado, es una verdadera escalada golpista, que incluye todos los elementos de una guerra de cuarta generación: bloqueo económico y destrucción de una paridad racional del dinero venezolano con respecto al dólar, contrabando ilegal y masivo de gasolina y alimentos hacia Colombia con la complicidad del gobierno de Juan Manuel Santos y del paramilitar Uribe Vélez, desabastecimiento constante para afectar con la falta de alimentos y medicamentos a los sectores humildes, mientras en los barrios del Este caraqueño, donde vive la burguesía maiamera, se puede adquirir lo que no se encuentra en Catia, Petare o el barrio 23 de enero. Ni qué decir del rol jugado por el terrorismo mediático en todas estas instancias.
Mienten estos “intelectuales y académicos” cuando hablan de que a ellos les interesa la paz para detener la “violencia institucional y la callejera”, típico de la teoría de los dos demonios. No hay dos violencias, sino que por un lado hay terrorismo puro y duro, y por el otro un intento racional y medido de contrarrestarlo.
Mienten estos “pacifistas” cuando pretenden ignorar los numerosos intentos de convocatoria al diálogo realizadas por el gobierno de Maduro a una oposición, que como ocurre en Siria, lo único que le interesa es la guerra y el derrocamiento de un gobierno legítimo para construir una neocolonia norteamericana en suelo venezolano. Una vez que ello ocurra, lograrían su verdadero objetivo de tanta destrucción y muerte: recuperar para Washington todo el petróleo hoy administrado por PDVSA, así como los yacimientos minerales distribuidos profusamente en suelo venezolano.
Llama poderosamente la atención que estos mismos planteos “izquierdistas” coincidan tanto con los formulados, en clara actitud provocadora, por el secretario de la OEA, Luis Almagro e incluso con los “llamamientos humanitarios” lanzados por el Comando Sur norteamericano. Esto ocurre, porque en los tiempos que corren, donde el imperialismo está en plena ofensiva y nuestros pueblos resisten en los diversos escenarios que les permiten sus propias fuerzas, no es de izquierda levantar las propuestas de la derecha internacional, no es de izquierda oponerse a lo que la mayoría del pueblo trabajador y campesino, los estudiantes, las mujeres, los jóvenes y la gran mayoría de los colectivos sociales anhelan para Venezuela. Y esto es, defender las innumerables conquistas logradas con la Revolución chavista, apoyar al gobierno de Nicolás Maduro, fortificar aún más la unidad pueblo-fuerzas armadas (algo que la oposición quiere romper a fuerza de asesinatos selectivos contra militares) y lograr instalar un escenario definitivo de paz y no injerencia.
Como ocurriera en otros tiempos, en que la Revolución cubana tuvo que tomar medidas drásticas para frenar ataques terroristas orientados por el gobierno de Estados Unidos, hoy también, como ayer, algunos “intelectuales” deciden coquetear con el diablo y atacar lo que el pueblo venezolano está dispuesto a defender hasta con su propia vida. El gran problema es que la calle del medio por la que tratan de transitar estos criticones ya no existe. Se acabaron las medias tintas, y la disyuntiva es elegir, si realmente se es de izquierda: entre la Revolución y el antiimperialismo, profundizando y ridiculizando su accionar para llegar al socialismo, o acoplarse vergonzosamente con los acólitos venezolanos de la destrucción política, económica y militar de nuestros países.
Leyendo la lista de firmantes de algunos de estos manifiestos opositores “de izquierda” duele encontrar a algunos nombres que supieron estar a la altura de las circunstancias en diferentes patriadas anticapitalistas. Solo a ellos, no a otros que nunca entendieron ni a Cuba ni a Venezuela, vale la pena pedirles que recapaciten y no sigan acercando más gasolina al fuego de la destrucción de la gesta bolivariana. No es cuestión de desentenderse del pensamiento crítico, ni mucho menos, hay diversos temas que quienes nos sentimos chavistas también debatimos sobre errores cometidos, pero con la responsabilidad de saber sobre que terreno pantanoso el Imperio ha ido instalando al proceso bolivariano.  En ese sentido, es fundamental tener en cuenta una premisa que viene desde la historia de las luchas populares, se trata de que el enemigo principal quiere apoderarse de Venezuela, como antes lo hizo en Honduras, Paraguay, Brasil. Si Venezuela cae, toda la Patria Grande será afectada duramente y ya será tarde para los arrepentimientos.
Por último, constatar que todavía hay mucho pueblo y no pocos intelectuales y académicos de izquierda con mayúscula que están dispuestos a defender a Venezuela, a su gobierno y a su proceso revolucionario. Caiga quien caiga, le guste a quien le guste y cueste lo que cueste.
Fuente: Resumen Latinoamericano

FRIENDS FAMILY MEDIA, TRUSTME, YOU WANT TO READ THIS ARTICLE BY A CONTEMPORARY VENEZUELAN REVOLUTIONARY WHO IS LIVING AND ACTIVELY FIGHTING IN THE PROCESS OF A REVOLUTION THAT APPEARS TO BE IN DANGER OF FALLING TO THE ULTRA RIGHT FORCES, THE SUPPOSED HEROES AND POLITICAL PRISONERS, WHOSE MESSENGERS RECENTLY MET WITH DONALD TRUMP TO ASK FOR HIS HELP. THEIR GOAL IS TO TAKE THE COUNTRY BACK TO WHEN THE AMERICAN GLOBAL CORPORATIONS CONTROLLED ONE OF THE RICHEST OIL RESERVES IN THE PLANET AND THE COMEBACK OF A SUPER RICH LOCAL RULING CLASS WHO, before, MERCILESSLY EXPLOITED THE 99%. YOU ALL KNOW WHO I’M TALKING ABOUT, THE SAME 1% THERE AND HERE, WHO HAVE  SCREWED US FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, UNDER THE GUISE OF CAPITALIST DEMOCRACY, FLAG WAVING AND SOME PRIVILEGES. ESSENTIALLY THEY WANT DRIVE VENEZUELA TO THE SAME SWAMP THAT HONDURAS, IRAQ, LYBIA AND SYRIA ARE IN. THE PIECE IS IN SPANISH, SO IF YOU’RE NOT BILINGUAL FIND SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY OR A FRIEND TO TRANSLATE IT, IT’S ABSOLUTELY WORTH YOUR TIME, ‘CAUSE, ESSENTIALLY YOU HAVE ALSO BEEN INUNDATED WITH THE PROGANDA MACHINE THAT REPEATS AND REPEATS THE LIES AND WITH IT, THE MASS CONFUSION IS LIKE A DARK CLOUD THAT ENGULFS THE THINKING PROCESS,  ZAZ

Desde abajo y a la izquierda, hay mucho ueblo dispuesto a defender a Venezuela

Carlos Aznárez    01/06/2017  Read the rest of this entry »

By Javier Rodriguez        Los Angeles       31 May 2017

Friends Family Media, This is a must! As you all may know, during the immigrant Springs of 2006 to 2007, I was the director and principal strategist for the March 25 Coalition. During this intense 14 month period full of momentum, millions were mobilized in hundreds of cities nationally, and, more millions through the “Great American Boycott I and II”.  Additionally, through a historical and psychological view of the conduct of the Latino media, we were able to tailor an inclusive parallel plan to influence and motivate them to move our message, with us as the principal messengers.

The unprecedented mega marches, which had no ending in sight, pressured the Federal Legislature to the point they 1.) Placed the infamous, xenophobic Republican Sensenbrenner Bill HR4437, into the trash bin of history and 2.) The progressive and liberal wings in Congress and the Senate, along with moderate Republicans, subsequently introduced, not one but two, comprehensive Immigration Reform bills. One with a path to legalization and a 15 year wait to citizenship.

However, although the Republican George W. Bush occupied the White House, the bills were blocked by a majority right wing Congress. Similar to the Republican obstruction applied during all the Obama Presidency. In 2013, the U.S. Senate approved a comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, not too different than the bipartisan proposal of 2007, but, it never reached the House floor. Three years later, President Obama issued an unprecedented Executive Order named DAPA, stipulating a continuous three year stay to 5 million undocumented immigrants with U.S. born children, allowing a work permit, as well as expanding the successful Youth Program DACA, in effect since April 2012. The violent Republican machine used the known activist conservative 5TH District Federal Appeals Court to do the dirty work. The ruling by this bench was a predictable “NIET” and blocked Obama’s historical order.

In the Trump era, this year’s traditional May Day National Marches for 2017 were a good show of force that I estimate reached a respectable 200,000 people from coast to coast, with California responsible for half the crowds. 

The awaited Republican response arrived last week with more disguised silent raids netting 188 immigrants on the ground. Moreover, on Wednesday May 24, the Republican controlled House Judicial Committee, voting on party lines, approved the “Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act H.R. 2431”.

This is by far the most aggressive piece of legislation against the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants and their families, since Donald Trump took office.  Just as the Sensenbrenner Bill of 11 years ago, it criminalizes immigrants by making their presence a national “good all American” misdemeanor. Plus, all local and state enforcement agencies in America will be compelled to enforce immigration laws. The bill also calls for an added force of 12,500 ICE agents, equipped with new lethal weaponry, to hunt down the millions of undocumented. It will also make it easier to hold these immigrants in detention centers, and finally, by de facto, it will attempt to outlaw “Sanctuary Cities,” by cutting federal funds.

In retrospect, if we had really unified and mobilized this year half the millions moved in 2006-07, what would have been the anti-immigrant war machine’s response?

Javier Rodriguez, a leading activist co-founded and directed the March 25 Coalition 2006-11

ZAZ COMMUNICATIONS

bajolamiradejavierr@gmail.com  blog Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com

By Javier Rodriguez        Los Angeles       29 May 2017

Friends Family Media, This is a must! As you all may know, during the immigrant Springs of 2006 to 2007, I was the director and principal strategist for the March 25 Coalition. During this intense 14 month period full of momentum, millions were mobilized in hundreds of cities nationally, and, more millions through the “Great American Boycott I and II”.  Additionally, through a historical and psychological view of the conduct of the Latino media, we were able to tailor an inclusive parallel plan to influence and motivate them to move our message, with us as the principal messengers.

The unprecedented mega marches, which had no ending in sight, pressured the Federal Legislature to the point they 1.) Placed the infamous, xenophobic and Republican Sensenbrenner Bill HR4437, into the trash bin of history and 2.) The progressive and liberal wings in Congress and the Senate, along with moderate Republicans, subsequently introduced, not one but two, comprehensive Immigration Reform bills. One with a path to legalization and a 15 year wait to citizenship.

However, although the Republican George W. Bush occupied the White House, the bills were blocked by a majority right wing Congress. Similar to the Republican obstruction applied during all the Obama Presidency. In 2013, the U.S. Senate approved a comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, not too different than the 2007 bipartisan proposal of 2007, but, it never reached the House floor. Three years later, President Obama issued an unprecedented Executive Order named DAPA, Which would a continuous three year stay to 5 million undocumented immigrants with U.S. born children,  allowing for a work permit as well as expanded the successful  the successful Youth Program DACA in effect since April 2012. The violent Republican machine used the known activist conservative 5TH District Federal Appeals Court to do the dirty. The ruling by this Republican dominated bench was a predictable “NIET” and blocked Obama’s historical order.

In the Trump era, this year’s traditional May Day National Marches for 2017 were a good show of force that I estimate reached a respectable 200,000 people from coast to coast, with California responsible for half the crowds.  

The awaited Republican response arrived last week with more disguised silent raids netting 188 immigrants on the ground. Moreover, on Wednesday May 24, the Republican controlled House Judicial Committee, voting on party lines, approved the “Michael Davis Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act H.R. 2431”.

This is by far the most aggressive piece of legislation against the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants and their families, since Donald Trump took office.  Just as the Sensenbrenner Bill of 11 years ago, it criminalizes immigrants by making their presence a national “good all American” misdemeanor. Plus, all local and state enforcement agencies in America will be compelled to enforce immigration laws. The bill also calls for an added force of 12,500 ICE agents, equipped with new lethal weaponry, to hunt down the millions of undocumented. It will also make it easier to hold these immigrants in detention centers, and finally, by de facto, it will attempt to outlaw “Sanctuary Cities,” by cutting federal funds.

In retrospect, if we had really unified and mobilized this year half the millions moved in 2006-07, what would have been the anti-immigrant war machine’s response?

Javier Rodriguez is a leading activist and co-founded and directed the March 26 Coalition 2006-11

Press Statement

By Javier Rodriguez and Ruben Gonzalez Los Angeles May 2, 2017

Conclusively, this May 1st 2017, hundreds of thousands marched nationally in  defense of  immigrants, children, women, Muslims, workers, unions, gays and against the continued inhuman, racist, brutal and misogynist attacks by Pres. Trump and his underlings, US Attorney General  Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security’s Chief Kelley. The message to the neo-fascist billionaire administration was clear, “today we Latinos and immigrants got our stride back with hundreds of cities marching against you, and we have finally opened the door to once again build a movement as powerful as the millions that marched and boycotted during the Immigrant Spring  of 2006, and with it and all allies, we will force your ass out of the White House”.

The powerful rebuke to the president’s negligible 100 days in office, was the largest show of street power by Latinos in diverse cities like New York, Milwaukee, Miami, San Francisco, and proudly May Day in Los Angeles was 50,000 strong in the streets of McArthur Pk, Wilshire Blvd, Hill and Broadway, Boyle Heights. Statewide tens of thousands protested in San Francisco and more in Pomona, La Puente SGV, Riverside, Santa Ana and Long Beach.

For the usually divided immigration reform groups in and around downtown LA., this was the largest demonstration since 2010, when ¼ million people marched against Arizona’s SB 1070.  However, of all the mobilizations, the day belonged to the CHIRLA, labor and Day Laborers led Coalition and its 60 plus organizations. With an estimated 40,000 marchers -our count- their event extended a mile, wall to wall, all the way through City Hall. This, the largest block consumed 90% of the media coverage directly with their opening kickoff and indirectly through staged protests and civil disobedience by clergy, labor, the Southwest Caravan to break the fear and the protests against the Sheriffs  by NDLON. Many people that saw them in the news caught on, however we noticed throughout they never once invited the people or the media to the May 1st March. We speculated this talking point could have doubled their crowd and doubled the coverage. Elemental.

Because we followed the organizing campaigns and the media coverage for two months in which this block captured 90% of the coverage; knowing most of the actors at play; scanned the assembly gathering from 9:30 AM to the starting time, and saw 300 people mushroom by the thousands; walked the 2.45 miles and throughout the route alternated appraising the march from head to toe, including, ID all the organized contingents and actually sizing the independents at the cry of “march,” when at least 2,000 of them bypassed the protocol line and the  leading huge American flag, and subsequently multiplied the protest. In fact, the deciding point of the route for our estimated count, was the corner of Wilshire and Hope where we had a panoramic view of the surging proud, angry and happy militant throngs.

The event was full of colorful signs and banners accompanied by 15 drummers, guitarists, Korean tamborines and the versatile Jornaleros del Norte singing revolutionary songs, corridos and yes cumbias and Salsa, which motivated dancing in all the beautiful enraged women who were the majority of the day. A reversal to the many marches called since Trump’s election in LA, the May Day  events were overwhelmingly Latino but also multiracial, but the tens of thousands of progressive white activists were missed. Moreover, the Latino Spanish chants were back along with their English counterparts.

“Unity Light”

The declared unity by the leaders of the coalitions just four days before May 1st in their only press conference, was  certainly a step in the right path. Their decision to hold several marches and then justify them as the best approach to generate support, appeared to us as “Unity Light”. Not surprising, the two coalitions on Broadway and Olympic scheduled to start at the same time, bucked horns over positioning, and predictably,  according to my long time friend Gloria Saucedo, the Full Rights Coalition led by Juan Jose Gutierrez, moved a diminutive quantity of marchers.

To add Kate Del Castillo’s Honor Tequila to the wound, Gloria’s busload of Hermandad Mexicana female members ended in the opposite coalition, that is, Juan’s march of 150 people and their sound truck in the back. So she gave the instructions to her Hermandad Adelitas, to move their people to the front demonstration which according to one observer I know, had “3k to 5k people”. The LA Times reported several thousand but LA Opinion, the TV networks and the LAPD saidhundreds.

Additionally, upon reaching First and Broadway we saw chaos. There was actually three separate stages, and of course the most professional was a high tech eight feet tall structure, with giant screens, and this was CHIRLA’s group. Incredibly the leaders were not able to reach a “mature welcome to City Hall agreement, where they could have embraced, raised their hands together and show the media, their marchers and the millions through the news that they had unified as we did before in 2008 and 2010”.

Interestingly, throughout their campaigns, organizers created huge march expectations for themselves and a part of the media stating publicly on at least two occasions, “there will be  hundreds of thousands and a big massive immigrant shutdown of the region”. However, humble reality is the granddaddy of all movements. Whether some of the leaders will take it at heart, time will soon tell.

The LAPD brass contentiously called the McArthur Pk. March at 15,000. What mathematical formula are they using to count large crowds? How is it that the cops numbers are never questioned? Why does the media swallow the police lie as if the President was speaking? LOL. Since 2006 we have had this controversy. In March 25, 2006 the cops called it at 500,000, but the majority of the news air reports were saying 1 to 2 million people. And, approximately 7 to 10 days after that event, LA’s KWHY Ch 22 published a study of the size of that march through air photos and a digital count and surprise surprise, their count totaled 1.7 million people which makes it the largest in the history of this country. The M25C knew two weeks before the 25th, we had 1 million, in fact all the rental buses in the state had been taken for the march. In 2010, at a meeting with them, I confronted their representative and he promised they would not get involved because it was their business. At the end of that May Day event, they said 60,000 and we 250,000. Trust me they are not born liars, it comes with the training, police culture and the “Blue Code”, no different than the Mafia’s Mano Negra. By now you must have caught on, this is why we counted with our own formula

Conclusions

In our humble experience, what we saw as the principal message of this process, is the fact the “the door to the elusive world of the real mega marches in the hundreds of thousands or millions, has once again made its appearance”.

The last time this type of juncture surfaced was on April 7, 2007, when Juan’s coalition, with the assistance of DJ El Mandril and La Que Buena Radio  Station, 40,000 marched on Broadway to stop deportations and Immigration Reform. Then on April 20 -with a four month march and boycott campaign as a background. – the M25C staged a 10 day hunger strike in front of the Altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Parish of La Placita. On May 1, 100,000 people marched on Broadway accompanied by the 2nd Great American Boycott which modestly closed everything in sight of downtown. The LAPD though had other ideas for that day. They did all they all could to provoke an incident in our march, they failed so they waited for the afternoon march. You know the rest.

Unfortunately, during the programs of the Monday events, the general strike was forgotten as well as the 2007 anniversary of the police bloodshed on hundreds of immigrants and members of the media.

The May Day battle was won and the effects of the 2017 national marches will reverberate for weeks, however, the war continues against the neo fascists and the Republican Party, whom Noam Chomsky has called the most dangerous organization in the planet. We propose a two day national people’s summit in Los Angeles in the immediate future, to convene some of the best progressive organizing minds in the movement to firmly strategize, without the factional divisions, and plan the fight to build a permanent organic structural struggle for immigration reform and all related issues, such as universal health care. Hopefully if successful and any  funding comes through, a national headquarters in D.C. should be a must and regional statewide offices in every state of the Union. Trust us, we’re not going to be the first, there are already thousands of progressives, who shocked by the results of the November election, are now active in established and/or new found groups in the country, whose main goal is fighting the ultra right fascist billionaires and ousting their boy Trump. To start, a transparent organizing committee and or promoting commission should be convened and openly discuss the idea and allow it to fly. ZAZ

Javier Rodriguez is a media and political advisor and a co-founder and director of the M25Coalition 2006-2011. BAJOLAMIRADEJAVIERR@GMAIL.COM BLOG LARAYUELADEJAVIER.WORDPRESS.COM

Ruben Gonzalez, an immigrant from Cuernava, Mexico was a leading member of the M25Coalition 2006-2010; then moved to Las Vegas and became a leader there also on immigration and a successful proponent of medical services to 1,500 undocumented children with severe illnesses; and today is also a socially responsible businessman and a family man with three daughters studying for their upper level degrees in investigative medicine, dentistry and journalism.

 

*Caution, this press statement does not cover the rally programs before and after  the march. What we can name are the progressive star politicos and their articulate and progressive speeches such as Mayor Garcetti, Sen. Kevin de Leon, Councilman Gilbert Cedillo, Sup. Hilda Solis and Assembly candidate Maria Elena Durazo, she was full of fire.

 

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bajolamiradejavierr@gmail.com blog Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com

  • An Open Conversation with Francisco Castro-Metro Editor at La Opinion

AMENDED By Javier Rodriguez 25 April 2017

Maestro Francisco, you were totally wrong when you published that superficial and subjective investigation against me, as leader of the March 25 Coalition in 2006. And yes, today, is not the same. Then you worked for the newspaper Hoy, owned by the Los Angeles Times, today for La Opinion, property of the right wing Argentinian conglomerate La Nacion, unfortunately, however your vision has stagnated. Your conception of the value of popular mobilizations and their traditional tactical kick offs for the 1st of May- Mega Marches, should be reported only at the end of their campaigns, in bunches, indicates a contemptuous lack of knowledge and sensitivity towards this phenomenon, a political weapon of the Immigrant Rights Movement, of all the social classes, the women and minority blocs that make up the 99%. And to justify it you lied.

 

Mega-marches in America and throughout the world are dialectically initiated, constructed and promoted. The initiators, who are those with the panoramic vision, the directors and organizers who implement that vision, plus the strategic building of coalitions and alliances, do so through political, organizational, media and financial strategies. Most important, ideally, they all collectively analyze the political momentum, the objective and subjective conditions and the correlation of forces at play, at each stage of the process.

 

In this era, the start or campaign kickoff, of necessity, carries a press conference. Of course, through this giant megaphone made up of TV Networks, Radio, the print media, news services and social networks, the leaders and media wonks  attempt to reach millions of citizens with their message, which in many occasions puts the population and sectors of power on alert.

 

For this year’s May 1st campaigns in L.A. and vicinity there are several in the making by a divided progressive web of organizations and leaders, including immigration reform. So far there have been several press conferences in all of California. A few to kick off the organizing and others to educate, motivate, agitate and mobilize the targeted sectors of the population.  With exceptions, all of them are convening “mega marches and a general strike or a boycott on May 1”. I can honestly say the majority did not transcend, except the one held about two months ago by a host Coalition of stated 56 organizations, headed by CHIRLA and labor. They summoned the media to introduce their message and their forces and announced their goal of a May 1st with thousands in the streets. The hope I have, is that, with a semi unified national movement and a truly growing momentum, the organizing could move many more in hundreds of cities across the country, similar to what we did in 2006 and what happened on January 21 with the new Women’s March against the Trump government. With the observation and condition that the unity of a majority of forces is vital.

I also emphasize that the vast majority of the potential participants will be those who strike, not just the marchers, especially in the eastern states. In the overall count in 2006 this was a major error primarily pushed by the police brass and the media executives, which focused much of the coverage on the marches. In fact, if you recall Francisco, in LA there were two mega marches on that May Day and a spectacular and tremendously successful Great American Boycott -a general strike. However, the political establishment, guided by Mayor Villaraigosa, Republicans Gov. Schwarzenegger and President George W. Bush, Cardinal Mahoney, the corporate media, with CHIRLA, the County Federation of Labor, SEIU, COFEM CARECEN, etc. in the streets, attempted to stop it, but they failed. We stopped 20 major industries and two hundred plus cities nationwide, including Los Angeles and New York.

Here, it is important to clarify that in your brief counterattack to the critical observation I sent you the day before, noting that no La Opinion reporter attended the press conference of the San Gabriel Valley Sanctuary Coalition where we announced “A Day of Resistance and the first ever May 1st Mega March and Economic Boycott in this region of LA”, chauvinistically you emphasized that, “La Opinion will cover the marches of the 1st of May only in the last days before the 1st”.

By that time however, specifically on Wednesday March 22, 2017, the Metro section of La Opinion that you lead, gave the CHIRLA led kickoff event, 2 ½ pages with sizable photos throughout the  pages, and highlighting the message better than bullet points. It was a good report. Essentially you gave that coalition 400,000 copies of the newspaper with everything including distribution. I would add one more point, the media event did not start or end on its own. The previous Sunday, March 19, national columnist Michael Myerson, published an extensive interview/column in the LA Times, of CHIRLA’s leader Angelica Salas. Also highlighted were the upcoming  call for this year’s May 1 March and  a surprising first for this block, “ a general strike consisting of No work, No School, No Sales, No Buying”. Additionally here, Angelica stated, “I hope to repeat the feats of 2006,” referring to the Immigrant Spring 2006”, with millions on the streets. Additionally, on March 26, in the editorial section of La Opinion, our friend Henrik Rhebinder followed up/remato with  an editorial supporting a strong and well-coordinated event on the 1st. Francisco, compulsively like President Trump, you lied.

With the amount of Latino and American media – including La Opinion, who attended that press event, I estimate that one to two million people listened, read and watched the call for TV and Cable, radio and social networks. Why? I believe the press speculated this was the next round of big protests was maybe coming against Trump and his ultra-right-wing administration. That is before the large earth day and Science Day and other national street mobilizations entered the scene.   The New Social Makeup of the Street Movements since the Election of the Neo-Fascist In Southern CA this May 1st it won’t be just Latinos and immigrants marching or striking, there will also be great waves of Anglo activists and other ethnicities as seen in L.A. after Trump’s election. Brace yourselves, they maybe a majority on the streets and they are more militant. Allow me to explicate.  After the election, enrage took center stage in the main cities of America, including L.A. For two weeks straight there were daily evening take overs and blockage of downtown streets and the freeways nearby, with minimal rioting. The LAPD and Highway Patrol were on full alert and zealously parked by the dozens inside the freeways and streets. Probably close to 1,500 youth were arrested, but you didn’t see any of the local immigration leaders in sight.  Union del Barrio, one of the grass roots organizations in L.A. and co-founder of the SoCal Immigration Coalition, captured the moment and called for a march on the first or second Saturday apparently allied with white youth leaders of that rising movement. The event began at McArthur Park. And ended at the Federal Building.  I caught up with many white and Latino youth on Alvarado St. walking south towards the assembly point. Trust me 80% were white. Then I waited on Wilshire three blocks west of the 110 Fry. North for the parade to arrive and sure enough, again I estimated an 80% plus white crowd from wall to wall. The cops at that corner attempted to block the marchers and guide them south, I assume to follow the agreed permit route.  Not surprising however, the protesters walked right through the police and their motorcycles. With the disciplined white leaders urging on, the crowd followed suit and continued. There was no police violent confrontation. The blues were taken aback and moved to point B to set up at the next intersection. Then I spotted Ron Gochez and a band of Latino youth followers with a large tall banner, running to the front where again, the cops were waiting. Incredibly, but not surprising, the Union del Barrio leader ironically joined the police, in an attempt to get the march back on track. Again, the people, including Latinos and blacks and a couple of families, ran through them and the police, and from there on until the end at the Federal Building, there were several unauthorized curves joyfully violated. Weirdly this reveals Gochez is a law and order man at heart. To emphasize, since Trump’s election the protests have had a huge bloc of white activists and lesser entrants from other ethnic groups and by far this was the case for the Jan 21 women’s march. To be more incisive, from November 2016 to the present in the marches seen in LA, the waves of whole families and the youth that in the past carpeted the streets of downtown Broadway from Olympic to City Hall/Pershing Square/McArthur Pk. to the Federal Buildings, were replaced by a majority of White youth and middle age citizens. If you walked in any of those marches you observed that the shouts of slogans in Spanish were isolated acts that did not resonate. In this intense media era, the online press, social media, and local and national Latino media have far surpassed their power of reach and influence among the 57 million Latino population but at this moment, el miedo/fear is the word in the community. The participation of La Opinion has always been valuable and historical, although today, with exceptions, the very limited staff do their work by telephone and at home, losing important personal contact to identify the feeling among the masses. Also with La Opinion’s change to a tabloid format and the cutbacks, we have lost a whole generation of experienced sympathetic social conscious and immigrant journalists to marginalization.  All this being said Francisco, I think that your position must be examined to reflect a better understanding of  how the street political movement- who some are totally independent with no pay, some function with foundation and Democratic Party funds and command a large  staff; others are staff labor organizers and representatives and rank and filers- which at certain stages, we all have achieved local or national unity and thus has been able to enter and influence the local and national conversation, as was done in the Immigrant Spring with a media strategy that I designed and directed and reached important goals like: momentarily defeating the ultra-right and their pestilent xenophobia and effectively placed the big prize, “immigration reform in the national conversation with two bills on the table in 2006 and 2007; more important, the monumental marches and the Great American Boycotts ensured dignity and respect from the American people, the media, the political and economic powers in America and the world; the same thing with other insurgent leaders in the 2010 defeat of Arizona’s SB2010.  Today in this 2017 campaign, I can point to the one characteristic we all have is that, with exceptions, the political media strategies are geared to wrest from the monstrous   global capitalist corporations, “social responsibility and free media coverage,” because like the neo-fascist Trump, we also sell news and make them a lot of money. So he  was not the first.   Back to the Kick OffsThe kick offs are important tactical starting points in many sectors and industries such as marketing in private industry, sports, universities, government and election campaigns, particularly the last presidential campaign between Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The latter captured the attention of the media and the extreme right of the country and the world for its savage attack on Mexico, Mexicans and immigrants, accusing them of rapists, criminals and Narco traffickers and the building of a wall on the border. The kick off was a resounding success that Trump managed to repeat hundreds of times, at the close of his campaign and even today. Bro, do you also say that this presidential campaign “should have been given media coverage only at the end?”. If by now you have read our press releases, do you think the San Gabriel Valley Sanctuary Coalition deserves an extensive report in La Opinion as the favorites? Finally, I want to briefly address the issue that the entire press never addresses and that most of the leaders and organizations inside the Immigration Reform Movement avoid like the plague: THE POLITICAL DIVISIONS.  It is imperative that after May 1, the Latino and/or English media, develop a serious and objective investigation, that is, without the journalistic sectarianism that I have observed, and draw conclusions to understand this cancer that has existed since I have political memory. I began to detect it since the Amnesty victory of 1986 in which I also directed the street mass events; again in the battle against Prop. 187 in 1993-94; and the worst in 2009, when Obama had just taken office. Then, on behalf of the March 25 Coalition we knocked on every door and meetings, calling for a unified massive event to place the new president against the wall and wrest the promised reform. Of all the opportunities since 2006, this was the best moment.  However, our illustrious chieftains and usual suspects, several who had marched with us the previous years, feeling rehabilitated, instead of defying the cancer and creating an unstoppable force to meet the historical challenge of the time, “they opted to stage seven comical, diminutive demonstrations, averaging 2,000 people each”. So the President, fully advised by his then Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, now Chicago Mayor, easily placed immigration reform in the back burner for four more years, until his second term and here we are.  Have you Francisco Castro, La Opinion, the media, Jorge’s Al Punto, Radio Pacifica, etc., ever researched, analyzed or discussed these facts and point of view objectively.  Today, with the neo-fascist American government in power, it is crystal clear the leadership is on the same path of defeat unless there is a 180 degree shift in direction. It can be done. We did it in 2010 after a major betrayal in the first two weeks of the May 1st Campaign against SB1070, by CHIRLA, the County Labor Federation, SEIU, the Full Rights Coalition and Hermandad Mexicanas. We broke them and with only two weeks left, we staged a ¼ million march and with many similar events nationally, the infamous bill was defeated.        The principal, but partial questions are: what are the Political and ideological differences of these organizations; the personal; the egos of the leaders; the jealousy; are there secret or open funds to sustain the divisions; which are the games of power before and during the mobilizations; how do certain leaders try to control the exchanges and conversation?; Who are the favorites at Univision, Telemundo, La Opinion and the rest of the media, who then skews the judgment and objectivity of the journalists and the coverage against this movement in general.  Having said all this, to me, it’s highly questionable that we have seldom seen the Latino members of the Spanish or English press marching and protesting with us, or for that matter, respect the call to not work on May Day as is done all over the world, Mexico included. ZAZ

Javier Rodriguez is a media and political strategist and co-founded and directed the March 25 Coalition 2006-2011