Over 200 people took to MacArthur Park in Los Angeles on Nov. 3 to show solidarity with the migrant caravan now en route to the U.S.-Mexico border from Honduras. The rally was called by local activists from Left Voice and the Party for Socialism and Liberation and brought together a broad coalition of organizers from various Southern California grassroots movements.
Protesters chanted slogans over busy weekend pedestrian and vehicle traffic, and across the street stood the Consulate General of Mexico. Protesting in front of the consulate, the demonstrators hoped to shame the Mexican government for its role in repressing Central American migrants at its southern border and implementing U.S. border militarization plans.
Julia Wallace, from Left Voice, pushed working-class voices from Southern California to contest the racist, xenophobic rhetoric of the current U.S. administration, saying “we are only a few hours from the Mexican border,” a zone of ever-increasing militarization and dehumanization. “Democrats and Republican have always been united in attacking the multi-national working class of Los Angeles,” Wallace reminded those assembled.
The class-consciousness of the demonstration was palpable. Internationalist chants of “la clase obrera no tiene fronteras” echoed throughout the park. Jose, a speaker from Corriente Obrera, loudly denounced imperialismo yanqui – the root of the forced migration that compels poor and working people towards the border.
Diego Sanchez, from the Party for Socialism and Liberation, explained that in order to stand in solidarity with migrants from Central America activists in the U.S. need to understand why people migrate in the first place, and work to end the economic exploitation that foments mass migration. Jimena, from Left Voice, went into the destructive effects of NAFTA and CAFTA on Mexico and Central America that have impelled migration and decimated Latin American societies. This impending confrontation on the U.S. border between the forces of an obscenely racist, nativist reactionary right and poor people pushed to flee destitution, violence and precariousness in Honduras, must be seen as the ramification of a decades-long policy of neoliberalism in North America, and not just a recent development of the Trump administration. Martin Pineiro, a Honduran activist from Los Angeles, spoke indignantly about the ruin of his native country following the U.S.-backed coup that brought Juan Orlando Hernández to power in 2014 – part of “a century of American imperialism.”
Spiraling violence in Honduras, set in motion by U.S. neoliberal meddling to push Latin America away from left-wing alternatives to its hegemony, has led people to flee to any place of relative safety. The caravan on its way to the U.S.-Mexico border calls attention to this cruel historical fact. “No one is fleeing in search of an ‘American Dream,’” Pineiro shouted. “They are fleeing a Honduran nightmare!”
As the protest progressed, the unity of purpose of all of the groups who came out in support of the caravan grew stronger. People chanted “Let them in!” and “La lucha obrera no tiene fronteras!”
Los Angeles, a city shaped by many different generations of forced trans-continental migration, has stood up in defiance of the bigotry and cynicism of the U.S. ruling class by showing support for this righteous caravan.