This month in
One could just review the week's headlines in the newspapers, which here like in every city, are mouthpieces for the corporations. Today's Business section's front page shouts: "Big 3 CEO's fight fuel standards: Execs tell Congress economy rules must be reasonable." The Big Three CEOs are pictured like mugs in a jailhouse line up with the fourth, Ron Gettlefinger, President of the UAW, speaking Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
So this is where the energy and the human capital goes: defeating measures that protect the environment. Further research will show that the auto companies are heavily involved in defeating individual states' rights to establish and promulgate their own auto emissions standards. That's the ticket! Make it illegal to lower emissions. If we can make it illegal to shop for generic brands of medicine that provide needed medications to AIDs patients, why couldn't we make it illegal to protect the environment? It could be illegal to say "global warming." It could be illegal to say certain words in certain combination: National Health Care, for example. We see that is possible to make an entire population of people "illegal," by stealing their land, then their economy.
Last night at Centro Obrero in
If you are in a city with a lot of immigrants, these are some of the things we do to relieve the misery:
Have a welcome committee. If people have come thousands of miles, crossing treacherous borders and washing dishes, cutting lawns, fixing cars, saving money and sending it home, traveling further, hiding out, running from law enforcement, not knowing English enough to get through a day, then we can offer some human compassion. Hold some English classes that give relevant instruction, like how to ask for the right pay, how to explain a violation on the job. We hold baby showers for newcomers, welcoming babies and new life into our beleaguered community. We can say to these sojourners in our midst: Take some rest here. Eat a meal with us, here are some clues to how to live here in our community with us, and welcome, we are glad you survived the long journey. Call your family and let them know you're safe. We will be your family far from your beloved homelands.
In this climate of repression and fear, we have only ourselves to depend on. There are many grass roots organizations popping up around the country that can give ideas and share resources to make things better.
One solution in the near future is to attend the US Social Forum in
In this atmosphere of repression and fear, it is an act of resistance to be kind; to be human. These are some of the little ways we maintain our humanity in
Elena M. Herrada is the Director of Centro Obero in Detroit & a CLR Endorser