Skip to comments.Turnout for rallies expected to be large(southwest Kansas prepare for large protests)
Posted on 04/08/2006 12:06:12 PM PDT by aft_lizard
DODGE CITY - On Monday, John Martin, a meatpacker here, plans to skip work to attend a rally aimed at bolstering the call for immigration reform.
"We want the work we do to be valued," he explained. "It's hard work in the plant."
Fellow meatpacker David Gunion seconds that, wondering what would become of the plant without the workers, many of them immigrants. "Without us, the plant dies," he said.
Fliers, e-mails and text messages are circulating like wildfire around southwest Kansas, calling on the zone's sizable Latino population to rally, skip work, skip school and boycott stores Monday to show solidarity with the immigrant cause.
No one knows how many will heed the calls, many of them anonymous. But Gunion, whose plant was targeted by one of the fliers, suspects a large chunk of his cohorts will take off, and some school officials are bracing for the possibility of mass absences.
"There have been kids who've said, 'We're not going to be here,' " said Terry Lee, a social studies instructor at Dodge City Middle School and also the city's mayor.
Vernon Welch, superintendent of Liberal USD 480, said he will arrive early on Monday to prepare in the event of massive no-shows, not only among students, but also among lunchroom workers and other support staff. Leaflets and talk of skipping school also have prevailed there this week.
"We've got a plan in place," Welch said.
With debate in the U.S. Senate continuing on how best to reform the nation's immigration system, immigrants' rights groups and Hispanic advocacy groups are planning rallies for Monday all across the United States. A rally is set for 9:30 a.m. in Garden City - organizers expect 2,000 or more - and another is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Dodge City.
Beyond that, a leaflet making the rounds in Dodge City on the letterhead of a group called the Hispanic Union of Telluride, Colo., calls for workers to skip work on Monday and for students to stay home. It also calls for a one-day boycott of all stores and services to protest "unjust, unconstitutional and inhumane anti-immigrant initiatives" and to pressure for "fair, humane and ordered" change.
Similarly, an unsigned leaflet circulating in Liberal denounces a controversial U.S. House of Representatives proposal, HR 4437, and calls, indirectly, on workers to steer clear of work on Monday. HR 4437, decried by many churches and Hispanic advocacy groups, calls for construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico and would make it a felony to aid illegal immigrants.
"If no Hispanic in the United States goes to work this day, we will demonstrate that (the country) really needs our sweat," says the leaflet. "Or go and work and continue being humiliated, discriminated against, jailed, deported or murdered by racist people."
Members of Liberal's Cinco de Mayo Committee, which organizes an annual celebration around Mexico's May 5 holiday, had been planning an event for Monday as a show of solidarity with calls for immigrant reform. But they canceled the plans in light of the letter as well as what they see as lack of clarity from federal officials on the direction of immigration reform.
"There was really nothing there we could be solid about," said Cinco de Mayo Committee Chairman Jack Cooley, referring to U.S. Senate efforts at immigration reform. "Then all these rumors started going and everything else."
Welch said mass e-mails also are being used to spread the word, and Concha Aragon, head of a southwest Kansas advocacy group called Hispanics United, said some students are receiving anonymous text messages about skipping class.
Amid the flurry, some are calling on the zone's Hispanics to keep their appointments with work and school and warning that doing otherwise can hurt the immigrant and Latino cause.
Onesimo Aranda, head of the Regional Latino Affairs Council in Dodge City, an advocacy group, said contacting elected leaders is the way to demonstrate.
"We don't want to promote anything that's going to hurt the (Hispanic) community," he said. "We're trying to build them up."
Sister Janice Thome, a member of the Dominican Sisters Ministry of Presence and one of the organizers of the Garden City rally, said going to class instead of skipping will demonstrate Latino students' dedication to education. That, in turn, will help in efforts to open up universities to undocumented students, she says.
For its part, National Beef, in a letter distributed to workers this week, questioned the wisdom of skipping work as a form of protest, touting contact with elected leaders instead. The letter alluded to Latino efforts to demonstrate their importance to the U.S. economy and Hispanic opposition to HR 4437.
"We at National Beef already know that we need our Hispanic work force," the letter stated. "We disagree that not working is the best way to express your disapproval of this bill."
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They are not IMMIGRANTS, they are ILLEGAL ALIENS!
Seems to me if the meat packing plants are in that kind of danger of closing then how can they afford to close EVEN for one day?This whole thing is a ruse to change people's thinking and has NO basis in fact.
I will tell you something about meatpackers in Kansas, they will only hire a non-hispanic if its there last resort or if they need to hire for a job that requires an education. Excel,IBP and National Beef, each and everyone of them where the same, and they do hire illegals by the buttloads.
BTW I used to work at both Excel and National Beef(before national beef they were called Farmland and they mostly hired english speaking citizens but when they were sold to National Beef(or was it a merger?Cant remember) there hiring practices changed incredibly.)
In Texas, the students are supposed to stay in school until 10:00 to be counted present for the day so the schools can get their daily attendance money from the state. If I had children in those schools, I would keep them home for the entire day. Let the schools do without that money because absolutely NO learning will take place that day anyway.
Something is wrong anyways, I went to Frys Food here in phoenix and a pound of hamburgers was literally more expensive than a 1 lb ribeye steak, first time I can remember seeing something like that.
Why do I think that those communities will cave?
I hope you prove me wrong.
It's an old marketing trick. If hamburger is not selling, raise the price of steak & roast. If steaks aren't selling, raise the price of hamburger. They cover their profit margin no matter what they do.
It's nice to see we have these commie invaders in every section of our country. It's also nice to see they get such good support for our fellow americans. Good job all! I hope you enjoy learning Spanish along with your future Arabic lessons. Iberia circa 1400 here we come!
Do they obey the labor laws or not?
I was browsing through wehirealiens when I found the company I work for listed. I have emailed them to please retract. It is absolutely not true my company hires illegals. Apparently someone went to a site where a store was being built and a bunch of aliens ran away when OSHA showed up. These would be employees of the building contractor, Tom Tancredo found himself in the same situation when building a basement. The company I work for is very pro America, very right wing (for example we are not allowed to buy goods from Viet Nam for fear of offending the veterans employed there). The site should not just go off one person's word, they should be more careful about who they name on there, they need to check it out first.
The site just forwards reports. If the company you work for has lawful hiring practices, they should be able to invite scrutiny of their hiring practices.
Since the Bush administration has only prosecuted 3 companies for hiring illegals this year, no company is scared.
The senators keep ICE and INS from conducting raids on their businesses.
If you are concerned with the bad publicity, I think FAIR is reasonable enough to withdraw the comments.
There has to be an outlet to publicize illegal hiring conduct of employees. The media and govt sure as heck will not.
You might be right, they are probably about 50% or more Hispanic(and thats just the legal ones) and a huge amount of integration has gone on there, in Dodge City( my old home town) there are almost no nightclubs for English speakers so everybody pretty much goes to 'latino' clubs, and there entire economies are pretty much tied to nothing but the meatpacking inductries.
Yes it's no man's land. Geez louise...
Who needs labor laws when you have the UFCW to threaten you whenever you want to fire somebody with a non-matching SSN, plus it is incredibly easy to come up with proper paperwork, a few people who work for the DMV have been arrested in DOdge City over the years for provided drivers licenses and other things.
Now perhaps you understand the error of the extremists. Simply upon the utterance of a single person (or spokesperson), your business may be destroyed. Never mind reasonable cause, a warrant naming the specific crime, and describing the exact person. It is all fun and games until the pack mentality of wehirealiens and those calling for the violent expulsion of people hits YOU. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." People had better make certain that they have facts before slandering me or my business. It IS a federal crime to file a false report with ICE or CBP.
You are a piece of work. Your pet site is extorting innocent business, and you tell another FReeper "don't worry about it. After you company is ruined and convicted in the court of public opinion, they can go down and prove that they did nothing wrong". A pox upon you. And please donate a lot more money to your pet website. They are going to need it for the litigation. If they are still running next week.