May 1, International Workers Days marks an outpouring of working class solidarity around the world. This day first observed in 1886 has in recent years been adopted by Latinos and the immigrant rights movement across the US.
Thus, today hundreds of thousands of activists will march to raise the banner of better working conditions, higher wages, justice for immigrants and above all to reject the anti-immigrant agenda of Congress and the White House.
Today also marks an inflection point for the anti-Trump “resistance” movement which has mobilized Women, Muslims, LGBTQ’s, Blacks, environmentalists, and now Latinos and immigrants in a series of uncoordinated, but politically connected marches and rallies spanning more than 3 months.
In fact, “the resistance” has bought time for America by helping to block or slow down most of Washington, DC’s neo-fascist agenda. Truth be told Mr. Trump has been frustrated by an unusual cocktail of united opposition from Congressional Democrats, divided Republicans, and “the resistance”, which has in practice prevented his agenda from being even partially enacted.
This street level resistance movement must continue at every opportunity.
But it’s also time to start to plan out next steps including 2018’s primary and general elections. If Latinos are to prevail over the anti-immigrant, anti-Mexico agenda in DC they must “sooner than later” figure out how to hold anti-immigrant legislators accountable. Who are they? What districts do they occupy? What record-votes on legislation or public statements can be used to educate the voters about their xenophobic/racist politics. How many unregistered Latinos and Asians live in those districts? What organizations are on the ground in those districts? And…who will run against them in primary and general elections? And so on.
Yes, it’s time to add an effective offensive strategy to the effective defensive strategy the movement has employed to date. My Republican friends in DC tell me insiders say that if Elections were held today 40-50 Republican legislators would lose and Democrats would take over the House of Representatives. If that logic holds, and it will only do so if the stars align at the appropriate time, objectively speaking, the inherent competition between Democrats and Republicans will serve Latinos by blocking anti-immigrant legislation and appropriations. That would be a good thing.