What I’ve yet to understand is how societies create necessities, and then demonize the people who fulfill them. This is undoubtedly the case with immigrants around the world. I remember being so confused and frustrated when European politicians would rebuke (mainly) Nigerian immigrants for selling drugs but not the people who buy them. They’re selling drugs to (mainly) White Europeans, and yet these African immigrant entrepreneurs are castigated for supplying drugs to the Europeans who continually buy them. This idea that the African immigrants are somehow tainting public space and urban life with their presence negates the reality that they’re fulfilling the needs of young White Europeans who want easy access to drugs, and in many cases they themselves do not have other possibilities for work. Similarly to the War on Drugs in the United States, the war on immigrants usually affects people who are forced to operate in the lowest ranks of society in order to maintain the hierarchy of lifestyle for the middle and upper class citizens. While most immigrants around the world are not criminals, drug sellers, or any other negative terms used to further degrade these humans, their presence is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the types of societies we’ve created, albeit unjust and inequitable. So yes, they’re here, they’ve been here and they’re staying. We’re staying. All of us.
The other day I went to the DACA Emergency Rally in San Francisco. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Child Arrivals. It is an initiative created by Obama in 2012 (an Executive Order), which allows for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents to remain in the country and work legally. For more information about DACA you can read about it here. Trump is ending the DACA program. We are fighting back. Rallies and protests in support of DACA have been happening all over the U.S. While this program supports a limited amount of immigrants, it symbolizes the need for support for all immigrants and a reality check about this history of the United States. Unless you are indigenous to North America, you are an immigrant. We are all immigrants, unless we are from the indigenous nations that were always here. Irregardless of this fact, the U.S. would not function if there were not immigrants… that is indeed the reality and it has been since before the inception of this country. So yes, all of us here should be fighting for DACA and immigrant rights more generally. At the rally that is what we did.
We shouted things like: “Education not deportation,” and “Let’s keep our immigrants, Trump and Pence are illegitimate,” and “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” We sang, we danced, we marched, we held up signs. We took up space and even blocked traffic. We stayed.
Trump’s time in office has severely disrupted the rights of many people and the progress of policies. Thus, we can disrupt some peoples’ day and commutes to make noise and bring awareness to the necessity of our presence. We’re all immigrants and we’re staying; all of us. While sometimes these protest and rallies do not have clear outcomes or demands, it is a time when those of us who are committed to the same cause can come together, fill the streets, and show our solidarity. There are always people in the crowd and speakers who have more information about how you can help and contribute. These spaces are ripe for guerrilla organizing. Children, adults, old people, young people, Black people, Latinx people, socialists, democrats, artists, Dreamers, drummers, and so many more came together for a couple hours to reclaim space, make a place for and remind those who are continually being pushed out that we are here with you, we will fight for you, and we’re all going to stay here – together.