U.S. Fight for Rights of All
Construction and Immigrant Workers Stand Together in New York City
At a recent demonstration in New York City, construction workers stood with fellow immigrant workers to block efforts by state-fomented racists to attack the immigrants. The handful of racists brought cameras in an attempt to intimidate undocumented immigrants present at the demonstration. The immigrant rights forces, with many undocumented workers present in the spirit of Undocumented and Unafraid, demonstrated in Times Square for 11 days. The action, which was joined by many others across the country on November 11 and 12, culminated on the twelfth day with an 11-mile march from midtown Manhattan to the home of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer in Brooklyn.
An undocumented immigrant organizer with National Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) who helped block the racists explained, “What they do is put their camera in your face and demand to know your name. Then they post it online and tell their followers to ID you so you can be reported to ICE.”
The effort to bully the undocumented immigrants failed, however, as the racists found themselves facing a wall of building and construction unionists from Laborers Local 79. “They were there to agitate,” said Christina Culpepper, president of the women’s committee of Laborers Local 79. “But unionists, who are not a separate community from immigrants, weren’t going to back down.” The racists were sent packing as all stood together. As one participant brought out, the strong unity is the result of many years of building relationships and recognition of the importance of a united fight for rights.
(Photos: NICE, Laborers Local 79)