Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Garment Workers Protest in Port-au-Prince

Report posted on one-struggle-circle and bosolidaritynetwork
November 30, 2015

Happening right now: workers in Haiti shut down a factory this morning! Please share widely. Support the autonomous struggles of the working class!

Port-au-Prince, November 30
The Korean-owned garment factory gave paychecks with insufficient funds. The government promised the workers they would pay the workers themselves but they never did. This protest is going on right now in SONAPI industrial park.

The workers closed the factory by blocking the front with branches. Since this morning with posters in hand, they wanted to block the whole park but did not have the capacity for that. They are at present continuing the mobilization at the factory.

Report from Batay Ouvriye (Creole)
November 30, 2015

Depi maten an ouvriyèz yo mobilize nan Sonapi. Se yon seksyon sendikal ki nan SOTA. Pi presizeman, se ouvriyèz ki leve kanpe poutèt faktori kote yo t ap travay la, DKDR ki se yon izin Koreyen t ap dirije, fèmen. Pou sa fèt selon lalwa, yo peye travayè yo. Men vwala, lè sila yo al chanje chèk yo depi semenn pase, yo tout jwenn chèk yo san provizyon !!! Lè a, y al lakay moun Koreyen yo... epi yo annik wè Koreyen yo kite kay kote yo te rete a!!
Port-au-Prince, November 30

Konsa, nou pare yon mobilizasyon pou jodi lendi a granm maten nan Sonapi. Sèten nan reskonsab yo pale deja nan radyo. Dòt, ansanm ak reskonsab BO yo, ale nan Afè sosyal.

Apremidi a, apre jounen mobilizasyon an, yo gen randevou ak reskonsab BO yo nan lokal la ansanm ak yon avoka nou deja kontakte pou konn sa k ap fèt nan nivo legal tou, pandan mobilizasyon an ap kontinye.

Lòt nouvèl va swiv.

Report from Batay Ouvriye (English)
November 30, 2015

Since this morning, workers mobilized in SONAPI (National Society of Industrial Parks). The workers are members of one of the Unions in SOTA. Precisely, the workers rose up because the factory where they worked, DKDR, a Korean factory, closed down. According to the law, they paid the workers. However, when the workers went to cash their checks last week, the checks bounced!!! At that time, they went to the home of the Koreans only to find that they moved.
Port-au-Prince, November 30

Therefore, we planned demonstration today, Monday, very early in the morning in SONAPI. Some leaders spoke on the radio already. Others, together with BO representatives went to the Ministry of Social Affairs.

This afternoon, after a day of mobilization, a meeting is set with BO representatives and a lawyer at the BO Workers hall to decide what to do legally also while continuing the mobilization at the same time.

More news to come.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Part of “Illegal” They Don’t Understand: Book Review

By David L. Wilson, Monthly Review
October 2015

Aviva Chomsky, Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Boston: Beacon Press, 2014), 256 pages, $16, paperback.

Anyone who really wants to understand U.S. immigration policy needs to read the brief history of the U.S.-Mexico border in Aviva Chomsky’s often-brilliant new book on immigration.1

Politicians constantly tell us we have lost control of the border. In fact, as Undocumented demonstrates, never in the 166 years since the border was established by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo has it been so tightly controlled as it is now. For nearly half its history it was exactly the thing immigration opponents say they fear most—an open border. The first serious restrictions did not come until a head tax and a literacy requirement were imposed in 1917, and even then there was an exemption for Mexican workers, the people most likely to enter the country from the south. The creation of the Border Patrol in 1924 was mainly a Prohibition Era measure to keep alcohol out.

Far from trying to control the border, U.S. businesses and politicians were trying to get people to cross it.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, October 23, 2015

NYC, 10/30/15: "Close-ups on Revolution: the Nicaraguan Films of Marc Karlin"

VOYAGES (1985), 42 min.
SCENES FOR A REVOLUTION (1991), 110 min.


MARK KARLIN (1943-1999), one of the greatest British filmmakers of his generation, created an outstanding body of philosophically rich, formally bold work that explored themes of history, memory, labour, and political agency in a time of neoliberal despair.

Foremost among his achievements are the five films he made on the Nicaraguan revolution: spanning the Sandinista decade, focussing on rural and urban grassroots movements, attentive to the sadness and disappointments of the revolutionary process, they are a remarkable chronicle of a remarkable era.

MEMORY AND ILLUMINATION: THE FILMS OF MARC KARLIN, the first US retrospective of his work, begins with two works from this period.

VOYAGES (1985) is composed of stills by renowned Magnum photographer SUSAN MEISELAS taken in 1978 and 1979 during the overthrow of the fifty-year dictatorship of the Somoza family. Written in the form of a letter from Meiselas to Karlin, it is a ruminative and often profound exploration of the ethics of witnessing, the responsibilities of war photography and the politics of the still image,

SCENES FOR A REVOLUTION (1991) is a film about aftermaths and reckonings. Revisiting material for his earlier 4-part series (1985), Karlin returns to Nicaragua to examine the history of the Sandinista government, consider its achievements, and assess the prospects for democracy following its defeat in the general election of 1990.

Friday, October 30th 6:30pm
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Post screening discussion with:
Susan Meiselas, Magnum photographer since 1980 and 1992 MacArthur Fellow.
Hermione Harris, anthropologist; collaborator on the Nicaragua series.
Jonathan Buchsbaum, author of Cinema Sandinista: Filmmaking in Revolutionary Nicaragua, 1979-1990.
Susie Linfield, author of The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence.

Organized by Sukhdev Sandhu. QUERIES: ss162@nyu.edu

Friday, October 16, 2015

U.S. and Dominican Immigration Policies: Is There a Difference?

By David L. Wilson, Upside Down World
October 16, 2015

Texas officials have now found a way to circumvent the long-established understanding that children born in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens.

Over the past year some state officials have been refusing to provide copies of Texas-born children’s birth certificates to their undocumented parents. The Texas bureaucrats don’t try to deny that the children are citizens; instead, they simply demand that the parents produce certain types of identification documents—-documents which many unauthorized immigrants from Mexico and Central America are unable to obtain. The result is that the kids are being denied their rights as U.S. citizens—-including, in some cases, the right to enroll in kindergarten—-and may end up stateless.

This subterfuge must sound familiar to many Dominicans of Haitian ancestry. The current threat by the Dominican Republic to expel tens of thousands of Dominican-born Haitian descendants evolved over the past decade out of an unofficial practice very much like the one in Texas.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Time for Bernie Sanders to Step Up on Immigration

If immigration is a problem, it's because US policies have made it one. For someone like Bernie Sanders, there should be no difficulty finding a solution.

By Jane Guskin and David L. Wilson, Truthout
September 28, 2015

As the presidential primary races heat up, Donald Trump has gotten a lot of attention for spouting racist diatribes against Mexicans and proposing to deport all undocumented immigrants.

On the other end of the spectrum, Democratic contender Bernie Sanders has a record of supporting rational immigration policies. He backs legalization for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living here now. He supports efforts to make sure immigrant workers have the right to organize and to earn a decent wage. He opposes guest-worker programs, which bring foreigners here to work for low pay with limited labor rights and then boot them out of the country when the job's done - or whenever they try to organize or speak out about abuses.

Yet in an interview with the news website Vox, Sanders dismissed "open borders" as "a Koch brothers proposal," referring to the notoriously right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Courts Dismiss Claim That Amnesties Trigger Migration

"Just as we do not infer that the rooster's crow triggers the sunrise, we cannot infer based on chronology alone that DACA triggered the migrations that occurred two years later."--Judge Pillard

By David L. Wilson, MRZine
August 25, 2015

On August 14 a federal appeals court dismissed as "speculation" one of the most persistent of the anti-immigrant right's many fantasies: the claim that any sort of humane treatment of undocumented immigrants by the U.S. government will lead inevitably to a "flood" of foreigners pouring over our borders.

At issue was a suit in which Joe Arpaio, the rightwing sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County, is seeking to block President Barack Obama's November 2014 plan for giving a temporary reprieve from deportation for as many as half the country's more than 11 million unauthorized residents. The plan includes the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and an expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Both programs would protect qualifying immigrants from deportation for three years and would grant them a work permit for the period.

The suit, Arpaio v. United States, isn't so important in itself; it's basically just the latest of the sheriff's notorious publicity stunts. The more significant DAPA-DACA case is Texas v. United States, with which 26 states have managed to win a February injunction putting a hold on the programs. But Arpaio's suit accomplished one thing worth noting: it provided a test in court of an old anti-immigrant favorite: the notion that giving some undocumented immigrants legal status -- or even a temporary deferral of deportation, as in DAPA and DACA -- creates a "magnet" drawing more unauthorized immigrants into the country in the hope of getting legal status themselves.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stop Securing the Border and Start Valuing Migrants' Lives

Above all, we need to remember that border enforcement isn't just a counterproductive waste of taxpayers' money; it's also lethal.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
July 27, 2015

US billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not the only politician intent on barricading the southwestern border of the United States. Calls for "regaining control of our border" are commonplace in US political discourse, routinely repeated by both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. The most recent proposal for "comprehensive immigration reform" is a good example. The bill, which passed the Senate in June 2013 but was blocked by House Republicans as "dangerously liberal," included provisions for doubling the current number of Border Patrol agents and adding $30 billion to the border enforcement budget over the next ten years.

The general public overwhelmingly backs these calls for more enforcement. While a survey the Pew Research Center conducted in May found respondents generally supportive of immigrants - 72 percent said undocumented people now living here should be allowed to stay - 80 percent thought "a lot" or "more" could be done to reduce unauthorized immigration at the borders.

This support continues despite a complete lack of evidence that an increase is necessary or that it would be effective - or even that there's an actual "crisis" of people crossing the border. What the facts show, on the contrary, is that the current policy is expensive and counterproductive and needs to be rolled back.[...]

Read the full article: