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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/2/17

Rising Resistance to Trump on Immigration

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Now, Pablo Alvarado, I imagine that work of those day labor centers also takes on new meanings because who knows who's going to show up and say, "Oh, we want to hire some workers..." and then all of a sudden you're going to be facing some sort-of extreme right-wingers who want to take it upon themselves to fight for the new Breitbart white America. Are there special precautions, are their suggestions, are there ways that people are getting ready to protect themselves?

PA: Sure, I mean we understand that... I mean look, it's not the first time that day laborer, themselves, are under attack. In our community, day laborers are under attack every single day. And, you know, people talk about undocumented immigrants coming out of the shadows. For the day laborers, there is no shade. You know, they are there, exposed. And they are ready to fight.

The thing is that in 2006, that Immigrant Project targeted the day laborers. They came with cameras, they filmed them. And they said "I'm going to send this film..." they filmed their employers, to intimidate them, and they said "I'm going to send this film to ICE, so they can come and get you..." So, this is the kind of hatred that people confronted around that time. And guess what? People resisted in a beautiful way.

So even though they were provoked, they were lured into violence by some of them, the workers, by some of the minutemen, the workers remained peaceful. And we came in and claimed every single worker out of there. If you're calm about... If they provoke you, that's exactly what they want, because obviously that's the kind of attention that they want, that's the kind of tension that they want to create in the community. Because that way they get coverage by the media. But if you resist, if you don't engage in any act of violence against them, if you peacefully, kind of prod us, then we're going to win.

A popular anti-Trump slogan,
A popular anti-Trump slogan, 'Respect my existence or expect my resistance'.
(Image by Artwork by Victoria Garcia.)
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So, what we did instead of creating so much tension, screaming back and forth, when they came to prod us and what we did is we began putting cultural events in front of them. And they, of course, hated that because, you know, Mexican music was offensive to them... it was beautiful for us, but it was offensive to them, because for them anything that has to do with our culture... it's a bad thing, you know? Except the food, because they do like Mexican food, and Latin American food. But anything that has the cultural background of Latino is something that they feel that is not American. So, we fought differently, and we defeated them.

So, this time around if they show up, which will actually happen, we're going to defend ourselves, using the same strategy. I think the importance... what's important here is that a resistance is going to be highly peaceful, but there will be a lot of tension. Even though it's going to be peaceful.

DB: Do you see any silver lining in the cloud that Trump anti-immigrant policies have cast over the communities you represent?

PA: The good thing about what's happening... nothing is good about what's happening. But, what's different is that it's not just that Trump is not just attacking the Mexicans. He's attacking women, and we're going to be in solidarity with women. We're going to be in solidarity with the Muslims, we're going to be in solidarity with the indigenous communities. So we're going to fight together. And we're going to find the ways to align with each other, to resist. Because it's the only way that we're going to be able to stop the fears of attacks that Mr. Trump is unleashing. Not just on the people that he attacks, but I would say on the American people.

And, hopefully, those who voted for him will realize what they have done has cost a lot of harm to the country. And to those, the folks that voted for Mr. Trump, I want to be very clear, cause they might be listening, I want to tell them that we don't have any hatred in our hearts towards them. But they also have to understand that we don't fear them, and that we're going to confront them, if necessary. Always, in a peaceful manner. And we're going to fight back, as much as we can. So, we're not going to just disappear, from one week to another. We work here, and we're not going anywhere.

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Dennis J Bernstein is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints, a daily news magazine broadcast on Pacifica Radio. He is an award-winning investigative reporter, essayist and poet. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Nation, and (more...)

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