Leading up to a new wave of immigration demonstrations around the country set for today, employers met with workers, posted letters on bulletin boards and in employee lunchrooms, and braced for the day ahead.
Some urged their employees to come to work today despite calls for a broad economic boycott as a show of immigrants' strength. Others announced that they would let workers out early to participate in events, or, unsure of just what today would bring, would close for the day.
In Las Vegas, operators of some of that city's biggest casinos urged their employees to come to work and to channel their concerns about immigration into carefully planned and approved alternatives -- signing petitions available at work or attending a rally after the first work shift.
So opens Monica Davey's "With Calls for Boycott by Immigrants, Employers Gird for Unknown"
in this morning's New York Times. Because? Because the paper still can't be bothered with writing about immigration in anything other than the rotating schedule for their pet issue of the month. That's really how it works. Once a month or so the paper wrings its hands over a "social problem." Now, on the day of what's expected to be large demonstrations across the country, that Times, which really hasn't bothered to address the concerns of immigrants since these protests began, again wants to take a look at the 'most affected' -- employers.
Davey got sent out once already to put a sad face on the very 'trying' and pressing issues effected employers but apparently it wasn't enough. So this morning, we're once again focusing not on immigrants but on business. The same paper that attempted to present the hideous Senate proposal as 'reasoned' and something to get behind now wants to take a heart breaking look on the struggles and upheavals that are faced day each day in this country by . . . employers. Sadly, this nonsense isn't quarantined within the business section.
Twelve paragraphs in, you get two paragraphs of reality (and that's it):
Jesse Diaz, a rally organizer in Los Angeles, has called on people to avoid buying or selling products, and to skip work or school. He dismisses any division over the question as "wishy-washy."
In an earlier march, Mr. Diaz said, the crowd went "crazy" when he announced plans for the boycott. "You could just tell these folks were ready to boycott," he said.
Which is correct, it is a popular plan. And the paper could have pursued that were their interests not elsewhere.
Martha notes the Washington Post's take on it, Krissah Williams and Karin Brulliard's "Rift Could Diminish Boycott's Strength: Area Immigrant Groups Argue Over Movement's Path:"
Some local activists predicted that thousands of Washington area immigrants would participate in a national economic boycott today, but immigrant groups who have spoken out against the boycott said they fear that the immigration reform movement is being commandeered to promote political causes beyond immigration.
The public tug of war, which continued in the Washington area yesterday on Spanish-language radio, could result in more limited participation in the region than is expected in Dallas and Los Angeles, where the organizers of last month's massive protests have been more unified in support of today's boycott, which asks immigrants to refrain from buying goods and to stay home from work and school.
My own guess? This is a lot like the Ring Around Congress (for those with older memories) and a lot of people are turning up to dampen enthusiasm (I'm not referring to reporters). The protests will take place, there will be large numbers. And you'd be wise to take note of whose voices were trust worthy and whose weren't. (Again, I'm not speaking of reporters.) There will be large turnouts. Those predicting otherwise, remember their names. It's always interesting to see who stabs a movement in the back. So remember the names.
The Times isn't interested in immigrants (we'll note what they really are interested in the next entry) and it's a continued pattern. Today they want to make a point of taking up the cause of big business. "Today?" some cry. True. Never forget that regardless of the focus during the holiday season each winter, for the paper, day in and day out, "the neediest cases" always boils down to big business.
But what is today? Don't go to work, or walk out on work. Walk out on school. Don't buy anything. Those are among the goals. Show your support, however, you can. Today is May Day. All the more reason to honor the protests. For information about May Day, you can read several articles at CounterPunch (though three members write that you can't read Sharon Smith's article -- link takes you to an error page apparently). There were suggested highlights but I'm not sure how familiar everyone is (within the United States, outside the US it is widely known) with the holiday that has roots in Chicago. So we'll just note CounterPunch itself. (If anyone can access Smith's article, or if the link's fixed later, please pull an excerpt and we'll note it.)
Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) of Democracy Now! today.
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