Annual Fundraising Appeal

The US Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake this morning with its epicenter near Wasilla, Alaska, the probable result of Sarah Palin opening her mail box to find the latest issue of CounterPunch magazine we sent her. A few moments later she Instagrammed this startling comment…

Ayers

The lunatic Right certainly has plenty of problems. We’ve made it our business to not only expose these absurdities, but to challenge them directly. With another election cycle gaining steam, more rhetoric and vitriol will be directed at progressive issues. More hatred will be spewed at minorities, women, gays and the poor. There will be calls for more fracking and war. We won’t back down like the Democrats. We’ll continue to publish fact-based critiques and investigative reports on the shenanigans and evil of the Radical Right. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day10

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Immigrants Must Show Their Power--Or Face Repression

The Immigration Movement at a Crossroads

by DAN La BOTZ

America’s immigrants-most of them Latinos and most of those from Mexico-have been waiting and hoping for a comprehensive immigration reform, one that would legalize those who have been working in the United States and give them a path to citizenship without creating new guest workers programs. A year ago the Latino immigrants marched with their flags, with our flag, and with the slogan "No Human Being is Illegal." They asked to be recognized for their labor and their on-going contribution to our society. Since that wave of demonstrations, they have waited patiently.

Now Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), have put forward the Strive Act of 2007, a bill born in the hope of pleasing not only the immigrants but also conservatives in both parties. The bill will please neither. The immigrants have already spoken. Nativo V. López of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), who has been the most consistent fighter for a genuinely comprehensive immigration reform, has called the bill unacceptable as has the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.

Once again, López has it right. The Gutierrez-Flake proposal fails to guarantee legalization for all immigrants who are here now, it would continue to criminalize immigrants, and it includes guest worker programs with the promise of legalization, but many years down the road. Under this bill, immigrants can’t even apply for legalization until corporations like Boeing, Ericsson, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon have made millions making the border secure. If immigrants want something better than this-and we know they do-then they will have to show their power as they did last spring.


A Day Without a Mexican

The immigrants’ power is enormous. Last year’s demonstrations in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, but also in many other cities and small towns, verged on becoming general strikes with the power to shut down both industry and services. If immigrants were to use their peaceful power, either by a one-day national strike-"A Day without a Mexican"-or by a series of strikes in selected cities or industries, they would once again put their case before the American people. They would show beyond a doubt that immigrants are working people-and that they demand their rights.

The grassroots Latino organizations know they have the power to do this, to call national demonstrations and to strike, with or without the blessing of the Catholic Church, without or without the sanction of the mainline Hispanic organizations, and with or without the okay of the unions. Latinos know they have the power because they did it once before, only a year ago, in the largest demonstrations of a social movement in the history of the United States.

If immigrants take to the streets again in the spring they will through their mobilization draw many tens of thousands of people into the movement. New people will come out who have never been involved before. The movement will construct new organizations and create new leaders. A Latino movement in the streets will find new allies in American society and it will keep pressure on Congress.

While the establishment organizations may be fearful of another round of demonstrations and the possibility of a strike, once the demonstrations begin the churches, the mainline Hispanic organizations and the unions will rally to the cause. Latinos and other immigrants represent a minority of the society and they need allies to win, but one gains allies only by acting with integrity in one’s own interest. Power exerts a magnetic force and draws others to it, just as weakness repels.

If immigrants do not keep up the pressure, then they can expect that Flake-Gutierrez will be whittled down to a highly repressive law that legalizes some while leaving most as guest workers or as undocumented immigrants condemned to continue to lead lives in the shadows. If immigrants don’t use their power, they can expect the raids like that in New Bedford, Massachusetts to continue, where men and women rounded up, detained and deported while their children are left behind. If immigrants don’t use their power, we will continue to see more Hazelton, Pennsylvanias and more Butler County, Ohios where local authorities terrorize the immigrant population.

The Latino immigrant movement stands at a crossroads, immigrants themselves will choose. They will either stand up again courageously as they did last year and use their tremendous peaceful power to win the solution that they deserve-legalization for all who are here now, a road to citizenship for those who so desire, and no guest programs-or they will step back from the challenge, allowing their opponents to divide and conquer with a "compromise bill." The lives of millions of immigrants and the future of the immigrant communities for the next several decades will be affected by their decision.

DAN La BOTZ serves on the coordinating committee of the Coalition for Immigrants Rights and Dignity (Coalición por los Derechos y la Dignidad de los Inmigrantes ­CODEDI–www.codedi.org) which helped to organize the spring 2006 demonstrations in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. He alone is responsible for the opinions expressed here.