On June 10, over 600 people converged in Boston to protest
bigoted Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who was attending the annual meeting of the
National Governor’s Association.
March against SB1070
Boston, Ma, July 10, 2010
PSL photo: Ashley Sauers
The demonstration began with a rally in Copley Square.
Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and
End Racism), co-chaired the event. She made explicit the purpose of the
protest: “That we will not let the racist Arizona law SB-1070, or any racist
bills to be considered across the country, go unchallenged.”
Priscilla Lounds, representing March Forward!, connected the
movement for amnesty to the anti-war struggle: “In a country that treats the
undocumented as criminals, as less than human, it is the height of hypocrisy
that the number one target of military recruiters is undocumented youth!”
“Right now,” Lounds continued, “there are immigrants who
have still not received citizenship being killed and maimed in the mountains of
Afghanistan, and the deserts of Iraq—being made to fight for the same colonial
U.S. policies that force immigrants into this country in the first place.”
Ruben Miranda, representing Deported Diaspora, spoke out
about the upsurge of raids by Immigration Customs Enforcement that break up
families and cause undocumented workers to live in perpetual fear.
Among the other speakers were Bishop Felipe Teixeira of
the Diocese of St. Francis of Assisi, CCA in Boston; Marco Castillo of Unidad
Latina en Acción (ULA) in Connecticut; Mary Kate Harris, DARE (Direct Action
for Rights and Equality) of Rhode Island and Vanessa Kerr of the Student
Immigrant Movement (SIM.) The importance of workers to stand united in face of
the divide-and-conquer tactics of the ruling class was stressed heavily
throughout the rally.
After the militant rally, demonstrators began a two-mile
march to confront Brewer at the Sheraton Hotel, where the NGA conference was
being held. Demonstrators shouted chants and carried signs that read “Stop the
raids and deportations now!” and “Say no to racial profiling and police
brutality!” in Spanish and English. Intense rain and flash floods failed to
thin out the march, and actually had the effect of further energizing the protest
where at points drenched marchers waded through ankle deep water in the
Although Brewer has stated publicly that her racist
legislation represents the mood of the majority of people in the U.S., there
was a noticeable lack of counter-protesters. Only a handful of unorganized
opposition showed up, and they disappeared as quickly as the rain set in.
The Boston police department used so-called
“security threats” as a pretext to prevent
the permitted march from approaching within 100 feet of the Sheraton Hotel.
Still, protestors made their voices heard, chanting
“¡Brewer, escucha! ¡Estamos en la
lucha!” and “¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!”
The march was a definitive success and sent a message to
Brewer that whatever coast she travels to, she will be met with ardent
opposition from workers of all sectors of society.
The ANSWER Coalition is organizing a protest to take place
in Phoenix, Az., on July 28, the night before SB1070 goes into effect. The rightwing
in Arizona is planning to draft more racist legislation attacking immigrant
workers and children, and other states are considering measures similar to SB
1070. Now, more than ever, is time for a united mass movement to defend all
workers from every corner of the globe. The workers struggle has no borders!