The Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition, and its supporters, took to the streets Sunday morning in San Diego on the National Day of Action to show their support and solidarity for the migrants of the Caravan.
Protesters marched to the San Ysidro Port of Entry where they were confronted by agents and officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Homeland and Security (DHS), as well as San Diego Police.
Nearby, DHS agents sickeningly fired tear gas at migrant families in Tijuana when they made their way to the border wall, with hopes of crossing and applying for asylum in the United States.
Nov. 25 was declared an international day of solidarity with the refugee caravan that has traveled from Honduras to the borders of the United States. Following are reports from some of the many actions held in the United States, which the PSL participated in and helped organize.
Columbia, South Carolina
PSL mobilized its members and other activists to do outreach and distribute hundreds of bilingual leaflets condemning the imperialist establishment’s racist, anti-immigrant frenzy and calling for solidarity with the caravanistas in Columbia’s working class neighborhoods and communities. One unemployed worker we spoke with embodied the feeling of an increasing number of class conscious workers, dismissing the anti-immigrant hatred pushed by the Trump administration in response to the caravan as “a rich man’s plot.”
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
A small group gathered with signs on Sherwood on the corner of Southfork drive, the corner where the U.S. border patrol has an office. The security was less welcoming than the crowd and insisted that we stay off the grass and on the sidewalk. Participants complied then returned to Sherwood where the action was more visible. Claire Marshall, a Biology major at LSU said, “I think it’s super important for people to welcome refugees at the border …having people there to welcome them and treat them like your family or treat them like so they will be less lonely.”
New York City
About 250-300 immigrants’ rights activists gathered at the NYPL on Fifth Avenue and 41st street to say “immigrants are welcome, open the borders!” “No Family Separations, Jail or Deportations,” and “They’re killing us with guns made in the USA.” The group marched to Mexican consulate, where there was a collection of flowers and teddy bears left to honor those killed by border patrol or trying to cross over to the U.S.
San Francisco , Ca.
In the Mission, a predominately Latino community in San Francisco, the Party for Socialism and Liberation held a rally in solidarity with the Caravan. Several speakers at the rally had immigrated through previous caravans and spoke of their harrowing journey to escape the poverty and violence U.S. imperialism has created in their homelands. They faced racism, exploitation, and prison as they struggled to gain refugee status. Speakers drove home the point that this is not an immigration crisis but a crisis of neoliberal capitalism which has pushed so many countries to extreme poverty as their super exploited wealth moved from these nations into the pockets of U.S. capitalists. It is not immigrants who prevent us from finding decent jobs and lives of dignity but monopolies, such as Amazon, which use their power to drive workers’ wages into the ground.
Community organizers gathered to express solidarity with the asylum seekers from Central America. Organizers discussed with community members the need to express international workers’ solidarity and expose the lies by Trump about immigrants. Many people expressed their support for the refugees. Lancaster has a long tradition of supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
The Northwest Arkansas ANSWER Coalition organized an emergency demonstration in the early afternoon in Springdale. Springdale is an extremely diverse city, hosting a large Latino and Marshallese population. As such the caravan and the treatment of refugees is an important one to the people of Springdale. The overall response was a very positive one, with numerous people slowing down to shout words of support and denunciations of Trump’s refugee and immigration policies.
Demonstrators held up signs on a busy traffic route (outside the Tim Hortons on 5&20 in the Town of Geneva). Several cars passing by honked to show their support. After the demonstration, we had a branch meeting to discuss, among other things, Geneva’s personal stakes in conversations about immigrant rights. For instance, Geneva has seen a major influx of immigrants from Central and South America: Geneva City School District’s Latino population has grown 20 percent in recent years. The branch will be holding a “peace talk” event to further discuss immigration issues.
On Nov. 25, PSL members distributed flyers in downtown Minneapolis announcing the “We welcome Honduran refugees! No troops at the border!” rally organized by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Immigrant Movement for Justice and other progressive organizations in the Minnesota/Twin Cities area. Minneapolitans responded to news of the rally with approval and support. The rally is scheduled for 5 P.M. November 30, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse.
A group of around activists and community members gathered at the intersection of 14th Street West and Cortez Road. Organizers spoke about the role of U.S. imperialism in bringing about the conditions in Central America which have lead to the refugee crisis, as well as for the need for a mass movement for socialism to end forced migration. Many people driving by honked and showed support for the action.
New Haven, Ct.
New Haven hosted a free community study group and discussion on the caravan and the roots of mass migration from Latin America. Community members met up at a local coffee shop and were able to learn about how to combat common propaganda against immigrants in the U.S.. Shortly after our study group ended, participants heard from friends in a local immigrant rights group asking for to help coordinate an emergency action in solidarity with the caravan on Nov. 26.
Some 45 people came down to Westlake Park in downtown Seattle for the National Day of Action in Solidarity with the Caravan. In the time between the “Thanksgiving” holiday and Christmas, this area is full of holiday shoppers and families enjoying window displays, decorated trees and a carousel. Tonight’s action was initiated by PSL and ANSWER Seattle. Other groups which mobilized for the action included Radical Women, International Socialist Organization, Freedom Socialist Party and Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity. Participants chanted “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!” A spirited open mic attracted attention from passersby as demonstrators passed out statements.
PSL in Denver organized a demonstration in front of the state capitol building in coalition with Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, MUJERR, Abolish ICE Denver, Denver DSA, Denver ISO, Boulder ISO, UMAS y MEXA de Boulder, Front Range Mutual Aid Network, and ANSWER Coalition: Colorado. Bruno from PSL spoke about the interconnectedness of all working and oppressed peoples’ struggles and the importance of organizing for socialism and the of U.S. imperialism. Jeanette Vizguerra, who gained national prominence in 2017 after seeking asylum in a Denver church, spoke about her experience as an organizer and an undocumented mother fighting the deportation machine. She and several other local organizers echoed the importance of organizing and the responsibility of U.S. imperialism for violence, exploitation, and destabilization in Latin America. After hearing from speakers, the crowd then marched through the city.
In solidarity with the refugee caravan gathering at the US-Mexico border, the Sacramento branch of the PSL held a study session at its office on Florin road. The focus of the reading and discussion was the history of U.S. military involvement in human rights abuses in Honduras following the 1981 “transition to democracy.” This period saw Honduras act as a base for U.S. funded Contras seeking to destabilize the neighboring Sandinista-led Nicaragua as well as supporting the military against the FMLN in El Salvador. The construction of the Palmerola Air Base and organization of the Battalion 3-16 death squad are two lasting legacies of this period. This historical context is necessary to understand the conditions in Honduras that have forced so many thousands to flee for the United States.
Salt Lake City, Utah
PSL Salt Lake organized a rally in solidarity with the refugee caravan at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building. PSL members spoke about the effects of U.S. imperialism on Central America and how the struggle of caravanistas intersects with all workers’ struggles. The list of demands made by the Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition was read between chants. Utah Against Police Brutality, Students for a Democratic Society and Colectiva La Nopalera also spoke, providing information about other upcoming local actions in support of the migrant community. Attendance was moderate, but the message of solidarity and need for further agitation was well-received.
A speak out took place in Pittsburgh, explaining the importance of solidarity with the caravan and giving a history of the coup in Hondorus that lead to this caravan and why it is important to build a movement to make sure we stand in solidarity with the caravanistas. Melissa Kira of PSL read and refuted myths about immigrants and as well as the demands of the coalition, which got a round of applause for support. We chanted for some time and then our next speaker, Rev. Paul Dordal, spoke about the importance of Christians accepting refugees and the moral imperative of caring for one another.
El Paso, Texas
Activists and El Paso community members rallied together at the El Paso County Detention Center to stand in solidarity with the Honduran refugee caravan. Those in attendance demanded an end to U.S. imperialism in Latin America and made it loud and clear that refugees are welcome here! The rally was followed by a march to the U.S. Mexico border where speakers highlighted the history of El Paso and Juarez as sister cities where working class people are being exploited by U.S. corporations on both sides of the border.
Poets, activists, and working people gathered on a windy afternoon in Dallas to stand with the asylum seekers. Over ten progressive organizations worked as a coalition to answer the call placed for international solidarity. Many emotional stories were shared and much unity was inspired. Speakers point to the role of imperialism in devastating the homes of Hondurans, El Salvadorans and others and why right wing scare-mongering should not be tolerated now, or ever! The demonstrators speak out against xenophobia, bigotry, and the unnecessary violence against LGBTQ caravanistas, women, children and families alike.
On a chilly Boston evening the PSL held a speak out and rally outside of Maverick T station in East Boston. Roughly 25 people gathered and spoke out against the criminal role that the U.S. played in destabilizing Central America, specifically supporting a coup in Honduras in 2009 against the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. Members spoke about the history immigration law in the U.S. and how it is mired with racism, the need to organize against the racist prison state and its arms like I.C.E., and the need for multinational working class unity and international solidarity to combat the oppression that refugees and migrants face as a result of imperialism. Many passerby stopped by to listen and took flyers for the Party’s community forum on U.S. imperialism and Latin America. Members from Cosecha Boston and the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador were also present and participated in the rally and speak out.