Skip to comments.Boycott by immigrants urged
Posted on 12/11/2003 8:24:56 PM PST by TaxPayer2000
Boycott by immigrants urged STATEWIDE ACTION PUSHED FOR FRIDAY TO PROTEST DRIVER'S LICENSE LAW REPEAL
The message to Latino immigrants in the Bay Area and around California is sweeping: Keep your kids home from school Friday, don't go to work and stay away from stores.
The unprecedented request, made by immigrant advocates to protest the repeal of a law that would have allowed illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, is intended to show state leaders the collective economic and social clout of California's growing immigrant population.
While it's impossible to measure the success or failure of the daylong economic strike, organizers said they are encouraged that dozens of advocacy groups are rallying thousands of people to participate.
``There is a lot of support for this,'' said Maria Marroquin, a strike organizer who runs the Day Worker Center at Calvary Church in Mountain View. ``We are the ones who pick the fruit, clean the houses, take care of the kids, do the type of quiet jobs that are poorly paid, and it seems like we're undervalued as human beings.''
The idea to strike originated several weeks ago among factory workers in Southern California, and gained significant support since Dec. 3, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation repealing SB 60, the license law signed by former Gov. Gray Davis. The strike is endorsed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a leading national civil rights organization, and other lesser-known groups that advocate on behalf of new immigrants.
Word of the strike has spread fast over the past week among immigrants who rely on Spanish-language media: San Jose's KSTS (Ch. 48), a Telemundo station, has aired nine reports on the subject.
The advocates hope most of California's 11 million Latinos support the strike, though the effort is heavily focused toward immigrants.
Analysts who pay close attention to the saga of the license law say the strike is an expression of frustration for undocumented immigrants who feel their needs are being ignored by policy-makers.
``This is really a very symbolic gesture,'' said Adela de la Torre, the chairwoman of the Chicana/o Studies program at the University of California-Davis.
Organizers have higher hopes. ``We don't have the power of the vote, though we have the power to destabilize the California economy,'' states a boycott flier, which also shows an image of the Virgen de Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint, praying for California. Friday happens to be the day Roman Catholics from Mexico honor the saint.
In economic terms, the strike probably won't make much of a difference, according to experts.
``It's not like you're stopping all consumption of goods; it's just a small segment,'' said Tom Means, an economics professor at San Jose State University. ``The question is, what type of people get hurt?''
Department stores, banks, gas stations, grocery stores and school districts, organizers say.
Nativo Lopez, the leader of a group promoting the strike, the statewide Mexican American Political Association, suggests that parents keep their children out of school because education ``represents big bucks, financed by our taxes.''
Schools are unofficially protesting the boycott because they stand to lose state funding for unexcused absences.
``We really encourage our parents to send their students to school and find other means to protest and fight the Legislature on this,'' said Karen Fuqua, spokeswoman for San Jose Unified School District, where half of its 32,000 students are Latino. The district, she said, loses $38 for every unexcused absence.
Owners of small businesses that are frequented by Latino consumers also are bracing to lose money. Some are considering closing shop. Others are torn between supporting a cause they believe in and trying to stay financially viable.
Jose Godinez, a co-owner of Los Cuates Supermercado on South Winchester Boulevard in San Jose, wishes organizers would choose a different way to get their message across. ``They can send letters; they can pressure the governor, not pressure the people,'' said Godinez, pointing out that business is already slow and fearing a boycott would make the situation worse.
At least two of his 32 employees plan to skip work Friday, including cashier Jackeline Chavez.
``We do the hardest jobs, the dirtiest jobs, the least-paid jobs,'' the 22-year-old Chavez said, speaking generally of Latino immigrants she knows. ``But our money has value.''
(Excerpt) Read more at bayarea.com ...
Cali FReepers should show up and FReep them
"Deport! Deport! Deport!"
I've said that before.
The tip over point will be the reparations for blacks BS.
That will be when things go whopper jawed.
Millions of Americans in a TAX REVOLT will give the feds a jolt!
Great Idea. The state is broke - illegal immigrants are one of the biggest drains on state welfare - let's depress the state GNP even further thus reducing state revenues.
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