Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Racism, Redevelopment, Displacement and the San Francisco Earthquake; Chinese Progressive Association Statement on building the movement

See BeyondChron's great coverage of this week's people's forum on the Centennial of the Great SF Earthquake - The Other Side of the Earthquake Story by Jacob Schneider‚ Apr. 18‚ 2006
A diverse group of San Francisco politicians, progressive activists, and Chinatown residents packed an elementary school auditorium Monday night for a unique forum. As the city marked the eve of the 100-year anniversary of the great 1906 earthquake and fire with a variety of commemorative events, “Ruin, Rubble and Race,” sought to connect the social fallout of that disaster with the reaction to Hurricane Katrina last year.
Lastly, immigrant rights groups are mobilizing for the large A23 - April 23 immigrant rights rally and march in San Francisco. for details
Asian and Pacific Islander organizations are mobilizing and holding forums this week as well.
Forum at Chinese for Affirmative Action today at 4pm.
Youth forum 4/20 at 4:30 at Chinese Progressive Assn office 1042 Grant, 5th Fl. SF
info 415/391-6986 or

Here's a new statement from the Chinatown-based Chinese Progressive Association on the eve of the immigrant rights events -

April 18, 2006

Stand Up Against Anti-Immigrant Laws!
Equal Rights and Dignity for All Immigrants!

Globalization and Imperialism Fuel Global Migration
Following NAFTA in 1994, millions of Mexican communities were forced off their land and were given no other option to provide for their family than to risk their lives to find work in the U.S. In China, similar free trade policies have impoverished and displaced over 120 million farmers and migrant workers. Faced with long waiting lists and barriers to legal immigration, over 11 million undocumented immigrants, including nearly 1 million from China, have come to the U.S. in recent decades seeking a better life. The U.S. government’s response to the consequences of their own neo-liberal trade pacts has been to militarize the U.S./Mexic//o border and criminalize the very people that they displaced: immigrant workers.

Today's Anti-Immigrant Laws Mirror the Anti-Chinese Laws of the 1800's
In 1882, the U.S. government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act to ban immigration of Chinese workers to the U.S. and prohibit Chinese immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens. This discriminatory law was eventually expanded to exclude all Asian immigrants and was not fully reversed until 1965. To pass these laws, racist politicians blamed Asian immigrants for “stealing” jobs from white Americans. Today, similar arguments are used by racist politicians to push new anti-immigrant laws such as HR 4437.

We Are All Immigrants
Right wing groups and politicians have focused their recent attacks on undocumented immigrants. Regardless of your immigration status, this is just a way for the Bush administration to divide us and undermine the rights of all immigrants. In 1994, Prop 187 excluded undocumented immigrants in California from social welfare benefits. Two years later, the U.S. government cut off most legal immigrants from public health care, food stamps and cash assistance programs for the needy.

We Demand COMPREHENSIVE Immigration Reform
The Chinese Progressive Association stands with communities across the entire nation, and throughout the world demanding full equality and dignity for immigrant workers. We call on our senators and representatives to say NO to enforcement-only legislation such as HR 4437 and to support comprehensive immigration reform that will:
§ Provide the opportunity for undocumented immigrants to legalize their status
§ Expand avenues for legal immigration and support family reunification
§ Strengthen labor protections and their enforcement for all workers, both native and foreign born
§ End neo-liberal trade policies that impoverish and displace farmers and workers in developing countries and fuel global migration

Chinese Progressive Association
1042 Grant Ave. 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: (415) 391-6986 Fax: (415) 391-6897

1 comment:

saraD said...

Immigrants are the bread and butter of the US. They are often the hardworking, family-oriented folks the right-wing is always preaching about. More importantly, they are human and deserve access to the same human rights we all can proclaim.

This week the Los Angeles Times ran a special on the New Foreign Aid - the remittances sent home by hard working immigrants.

Denying the rights of immigrants in the US while simultaneously choking developing nations with unfair trade and farm policies, and continuously sending proportionately far-less foreign aid than the rest of the "developed" world is just bad business.

For those who don't care about rights, think of the investments that can be made toward fighting "terrorism", enhancing security and gaining international economic stablility by supporting immigrants, keeping families together and ending the criminalization of people who are trying to put food on the table.