Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Hunger and Urgency of the Movement's Moment

There is a hunger in our movement for discussing the state of the movement, and future directions. Every session that I've attended today that had part of its focus as immigrant rights also wanted to focus on national strategy, especially now given that the Senate Bill, is as far as we can see, dead.

There was the first press conference this morning from 9:30 am - 10:00 am at the Immigrant Rights tent.

The first workshop I went to was hosted by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and facilitated by Cathi Tactaquin from NNIRR and Hamid Khan from South Asian Network. The second one was one facilitated by Susan Williams and Monica Hernandez of the Highlander Research and Education Center.

What I captured from the conversations that people wanted to call out and lift up in terms of strategy were the following:
  1. calling out the DC groups - their lack of accountability to grassroots groups, to groups outside of DC.
  2. more education -- both internally in our own communities, and between communities (race, gender, nation, sexuality, documentation status and others) about the different lived experiences
  3. more media work that supports the effort at internal education - this means for us, doing work in immigrant communities through youth and ethnic media. For white folks, it means not shying away from the discussion on racism, and learning to listen in a deep way.
  4. to stand in meaningful solidarity with each other
  5. healing work for the hurt and trauma and fear of those affected -- detainess, former detainees, their families & communities
  6. education -- the link to colonialism -- if there's one thing we learned from all the struggles to decolonize, ongoing and past, it's that we can't play by their rules.
  7. doing anti-oppression work -- one woman brought up that she entered the work on immigration through work against domestic violence with women on the border, calling attention to the many ways that violence manifests, and the different ways that we are made vulnerable.
anyway, that's what i can think of right now.

come visit us at the Immigrant Rights Tent!


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