To Win, Detroit Must Keep the Immigrant Rights Movement Alive!
Then, Cinco de Mayo, May 5 March from Patton Park @ 12 noon
BAMN CALL TO ACTION to Fight for Full Citizenship Rights for All
Full citizenship rights for all people who live here, go to school here, work here, and otherwise contribute to this society. Latina/o, black, Asian, Arab, Native American, white, immigrants with and without papers–we are ALL Americans.
Open the borders—give people the same rights that NAFTA provides to the corporations for unrestricted passage across borders.
No more deportations.
Make all young people brought by their parents full citizens now.
No fines for the millions of people without papers who are here now.
Stop long probationary periods for people to gain citizenship. Create a quick and cheap pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people.
Pass the federal DREAM Act Now!
Stand Up for Detroit: Stop the Attacks on our Schools and our Neighborhoods!
Detroit Can Lead the Nation in the Fight to Win Full Citizenship Rights for ALL
If we bring the spirit and energy of April 10th to Detroit this May 1st and May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, we can win the equality, dignity and respect we have always been fighting for. Mobilizing thousands of people to march with us, we can be the spark needed for the New Civil Rights and Immigrant Rights Movement to fight and win!
Detroit is starting on an incredibly strong foot. On April 10, more than 300 students and parents from Detroit and other Michigan cities, including many who are undocumented, joined other BAMN activists from around the country to march in Washington for immigrant rights. The Detroit contingent was organized by an integrated group of BAMN youth leaders, most of whom are high school and middle school students. The students’ enthusiasm inspired friends and family to drop everything and get on the busses. The real Detroit, Latina/o, black, Asian, Arab and white, unbending in our dedication to integration and equality, happy to follow the leadership of youth, made clear the nation that there is a new leadership emerging that loves our city and will never sell us out.
Our march lifted the spirits of tens of thousands of others who came to Washington to fight for the freedom, equality and dignity we deserve.
Marching through the streets of Washington D.C. without a permit or permission from any authorities, our BAMN group was saluted and protected by construction workers, store keepers, tourists and others we passed, who marveled at our ability to turn harassing and menacing police, hellbent on stopping our march, into our personal escorts and color guard. The Detroiters who led our march in DC are battle-tested. The students who organized the Detroit contingent know how to fight and win.These leaders are ready to go, certain our movement can win.
REAWAKEN THE MOVEMENT OF 2006. MARCH FOR FREEDOM ON MAY 1st
Since 2006, when the movement for immigrant rights was born in the mass marches and demonstrations that were held in dozens of cities across America, May 1 has been the day designated for mass actions demanding full citizenship rights for all, an end to deportations and for passage of the Federal Dream Act. Organizing marches and rallies on May 1 has, for the past several years been an important way to keep the movement of 2006 alive. However, in recent years the marches have been more a commemoration of what our powerful movement accomplished in the past and less an expression of our determination to change our futures. Because immigration reform is back on this nation’s political agenda for the first time since 2006, this year’s May 1st march must express our enormous social power and will to win. This is our moment to let the politicians know that we are fed up, angry, and impatient for change. Every one of us resent and hate our second class status. This May1st we must take the bold action we need to free our communities from the fear of deportations, the constant bullying and indignation of working low-paying jobs and all the other irritants of living under the new Jim Crow. This year we march to win.
Detroit: Making History in DC, Restoring the Dignity of Our City
The Latina/o communities, documented and undocumented, other oppressed people and all those who support immigrant rights and want to win everything in this nation need our leadership. What happens in Detroit does not end in Detroit. What we do matters in a huge way to the rest of the nation because of our history of struggle, namely the 1967 riot, and our resistance to giving up. The Latina/o communities in Pontiac and Grand Rapids will follow our lead in this fight; they just need a strong Latina/o and black city like Detroit to take the lead. We can get all of Michigan and the rest of the nation to follow our lead because they want to fight but lack the leadership needed to begin fighting. And if Detroit can bring out thousands of people to march for equality for all, then why not Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Chicago, other big and small majority-minority cities and states? Everybody in this nation will know the significance of Detroit leading this fight.
On April 10th in Washington DC, our more than 400 person march was the life of the event. Our BAMN contingent was the only truly integrated contingent, being mostly made up of black, Latina/o, Arab, Asian and white youth from schools in the southwest, east and west sides of Detroit including Western, César Chávez Academy, Cass Tech, Catherine Ferguson Academy and Hamtramck HS. About 100 black, Latina/o and Asian students from our L.A. and Bay Area BAMN and other chapters joined us as well as people from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, who agreed with and wanted to march with BAMN. We were truly what the new integrated youth-led civil rights and immigrant rights movement should be all over the world!
On the night of April 9th more than 270 black and Latina/o Detroiters yearning to breathe free filled 6 buses to begin a 10 hour drive to Washington DC to march for nothing less than full citizenship rights for the more than 12 million undocumented people living in this nation.
Arriving in DC some of us were surprised to be welcomed by a sunny 94- degree afternoon. After filling up on pizza and pop and taking a vote on our 6 demands, which passed unanimously, at a church that hosted our contingent, we took our first steps while multiple people on bullhorns let loose the first chant of the day: ¡Aquí estamos y no nos vamos!
Documented and undocumented, and over 400 strong, we marched loud and proud and took to the streets of D.C.
Along the first mile of our march, people who completely supported our fight for full citizenship rights for all cheered us on and honked at us while walking or driving along one of the busiest streets in D.C. Raising our heads higher than ever, some of us for the first time, we were determined to get to the Capitol despite harassment from D.C. motorcycle cops, which included blaring sirens, driving through our march, and revving their engines to intimidate us. But our boldness and determination to keep the streets forced them to provide us with a police escort, stopping traffic for us to appear as if they had been on our side the whole time. They could not get us to give up our street. We had the power over the police on April 10th in Washington D.C. With full support from passersby, a construction zone full of workers that erupted in cheers as we marched past and pop vendors who wanted to contribute to the movement, BAMN took DC’s streets and marched to the Capitol building!
As we approached Capitol Street we saw the other contingents that had pledged to march. Unfortunately, their recognized leadership made a deal with the police to keep the marchers contained within the boundaries of yellow police tape so that they could not express themselves freely. Fortunately, BAMN’s youth contingent was there to break through the almighty yellow police tape! We broke through without hesitation and joined our two marches. It was our day to express our anger and aspirations after all, not the police’s or any other self-proclaimed authority figure’s day to continue to oppress us. With our two marches made one and the capital building finally in sight, we marched up Capitol Street and headed straight for the Capitol building.
There were more than 100,000 people from all over the country at the Capitol rally. They were people who agreed with our demands and were so happy to just hear us say we were fighting to open the borders and to get the DREAM Act passed. We were the only organization fighting for immigration reform that will give us all more rights instead of assigning us second-class status forever. To all the people who were there or watched us march, we were the physical representation of freedom and equality.
Our day concluded with a spirited BAMN rally, away from the main “official” speakers because they did not allow us to speak in front of the whole crowd. We expressed how free, happy and powerful we felt marching and feeling that we could really win if we continued fighting and leading.
All Out For May 1 and Cinco de Mayo, May 5!
Cinco de Mayo has been the one holiday in which we have worn our Mexican flags with joy and without criticism. It has been the day that Latinas/os, especially those from Mexico, have been able to celebrate the pride, fighting spirit, defiance and independence of the people of Mexico. Since we rose up in 2006,the scared and obedient, self -declared business and civic misleaders of Latina/o communities through out America have preferred to shutdown or depoliticize Cinco de Mayo celebrations to hold our movement back and to mute our anger and pride.
In Detroit, thousands of people still turn out every year to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Our annual parade, which begins at Patton Park, celebrates our heritage, culture and achievements. This year it should also express the strength of our movement and what we are fighting for. We must make Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of the freedom we are fighting to attain, an expression of the history we intend to make. Cinco de Mayo is our holiday. This year in Detroit, let’s wrap ourselves in Mexican flags, assert who we are, be the voice of all the immigrant communities, and demand to be treated as equal Americans.
Experience the Joy of Collective Mass Action!
We want to share the joy of collective mass action with those who missed their opportunity to fight and are yearning to breathe free. April 10th was the beginning, not the end, of our Movement. We will march until we win. We are dedicated to this and would love it if you joined us!
BAMN is a mass, democratic, integrated, national organization dedicated to building a new mass civil rights movement to defend affirmative action,integration, and the other gains of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and to advance the struggle for equality in American society by any means necessary.