National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference
Friday - Sunday July 28-30, 2006
Ward Circle Building, American University
The success of May 1st's "A Day Without Immigrants" has been an historical turning point for the immigrant rights movement.
At this point it is vitally important for the immigrant rights movement to keep the momentum going, and there is an urgent need for national meetings in which community/grassroots immigrant activists can meet face-to-face to discuss how to build a new national, broad-based, immigrant rights/civil rights movement, and to set a 6-9 month national strategy for this movement.
* The Senate's immigration 'reform' bill (S. 2611) positive provisions,) are far outweighed by the damaging impacts it will have
* When the Senate bill meets that of the House (HR 4437) in conference the outcome, if there is any, will inevitably be worse.
* There is a pressing need to quickly ourselves nationally for what we know will be a long grassroots campaign to defeat the racist anti-immigration legislation currently being debated.
* There is a need to maintain the momentum of the undeniable success of the Los Angeles March 25th "Gran Marcha" and the national May 1st "A Day Without Immigrants" boycott/strike.
* In order to successfully move forward in our organizing process, there is a need to resolve the conflicts that have arisen within the movement, many of which (not all,) are a result of tactical differences (primarily regarding the May 1 boycott.)
* TRUE SOLIDARITY (founded on mutual aid and respect and demonstrated through embracing a diversity of tactics,) between progressive mobilizations across the country can only benefit us all.
The following are the Working Goals of the Conference:
1. Agree on points of unity for a new civil/ human /immigrant rights movement.
2. Create a broad-based, multiethnic, community-led national immigrant solidarity coalition (similar to coalition models such as United for Peace & Justice and US Labor Against the War), with an elected steering committee and working groups.
3. Set a 6-9 month national campaign strategy plan for united action.
4. Establish a framework for true solidarity amongst organizations nationally by: recognizing our common points of unity and the value of a diversity of tactics. Such solidarity will, hopefully, resolve the conflicts that have arisen in the movement and allow us to focus on the work at hand
Working Points of Unity for the Conference:
(Drafted by the Los Angeles March 25th Coalition)
- No to the anti-immigrant HR4437/SB2611 legislations from Congress
- No to militarization of the border
- No to criminalization of immigrant communities
- No to the planned immigrant crackdown across the country
- No to the guest worker program
- No to Employer Sanctions
- Yes to amnesty for undocumented immigrants
- Yes to immigrant family reunification
- Yes to a humane path to citizenship
- Yes to labor rights and living wages for all workers
Vision of the Conference:
We envision this as a grassroots activist conference of broad-based, multiethnic organizers from African American, Native American, African immigrant, Asian American, Latino/Latina, Arab-Muslim-North African, progressive labor, interfaith, LGBT, student, anti-war/peace and global justice groups from across the country.
We envision this conference as a nexus around which a large diversity of organizations can cultivate true solidarity, e.g. anti-militarization of the border/ anti-war efforts, joint labor/ immigrant rights work regarding the effects of N.A.F.T.A.
We invite your organization:
* To attend and endorse the conference;
* To register as soon as possible-to do so will help us finalize logistics with the university.
* To guide the program of the conference by offering workshops;
* To support our call for creating a national coalition, and consider running for a position on the steering committee or in working groups;
* To bring proposals for the 6-9 month campaign strategy.
On May 1st, millions of us made history with our nationwide action, "A Day Without Immigrants". We have shown the world that our force, our strength and our voice cannot be silenced from this moment -- and we'll fight for our demands until we prevail! United We'll Win! Together We'll Achieve Our Dreams!
United We'll Win! Together We'll Achieve Our Dreams!