Cosecha; Cora Lewis
April 13, 2017
April 13, 2017
For years our community has marched, voted, and gone through the courts. We’ve won some battles, but we’re losing the war. Striking will show the public that this country cannot function without us and help us win protection, dignity and respect. Cosecha is organizing a series of strikes that will culminate in a week without immigrants. It all starts on May 1st. STRIKING REVEALS OUR TRUE POWER – MAY 1ST IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
Cosecha is a nonviolent movement activating the migrant community and the public at large to fight for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all immigrants in the United States. Developed by organizers who watched immigration reform stall in Congress for over a decade, Cosecha is taking a new approach. We believe that in order to win real protection for our communities, we need to mobilize millions of active supporters—by polarizing the American people to take an active stance on immigration issues.
Our work honors and draws from the legacy of other social movements in this country. We are students of the thousands of farmworkers who, under the leadership of Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and Cesar Chavez, fought back against labor exploitation. We have learned from the millions of African Americans who challenged the racism of Jim Crow and fueled the Civil Rights Movement. Building on this tradition, Cosecha views non-cooperation as our best tactic for building popular support and securing real victories for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Why We’re Striking
Time and time again our community is called upon to vote for the next Deporter-in-Chief, whether Obama or Trump, who will shape immigration policy for the next four to eight years. Each election, we’re promised that if we vote for the Democrats, they will give us immigration reform. When their promises go unfulfilled–when Obama deports 3 million immigrants or when Trump expands his power to deport and terrorize our communities–what do we do? We strike.
Long enough have we voted, marched in DC, and gone to court to protect the morsels of protection that we have; longer still have we endured pain as our communities are exploited, unrecognized, shamed, and torn apart.
Let’s be clear. We are not striking to make the Republicans like us or to pass legislation that is in our favor. We are not striking because we want to remove Trump’s oppressive executive orders. We are striking because our fight is not in DC–it’s in every home, business, and industry that takes advantage of our labor and consumption. By striking, we make it clear that this country cannot function without immigrants. We build confidence that through non-cooperation, we can force this country to recognize us and realize that it depends on us. It is not until the United States accepts that it cannot sustain itself without immigrant labor that we will be able to win permanent protection, dignity, and respect.
On February 16th, the immigrant community demonstrated their readiness and willingness to self-organize. The first Day Without Immigrants made waves all over the media. Now, Cosecha is pushing to organize a series of intensifying strikes.
We will start with one day, but we are going for seven–a week without immigrants. We will end with dignity, respect, and permanent protection.