Revolution #149, November 30, 2008

Protest Against Murder of Immigrant on Long Island

Be on Notice, We Are Taking Up the Fight!

On November 8, a group of teenagers in eastern Long Island murdered Marcelo Lucero as he walked near a train station. Marcelo Lucero was an Ecuadoran immigrant who had been in the U.S. sixteen years. He worked at a dry cleaning store and regularly sent money to his ailing mother in Ecuador. According to statements by law enforcement officials in the New York Times, the murderers of Marcelo Lucero were a crew that regularly went out beating and terrorizing people who looked Latino. One told police, “I don’t go out and do this very often, maybe once a week.”

 The Times wrote, “The attack has horrified and puzzled many in this comfortable Suffolk County Village.” People should be horrified – more than that, outraged and joining in protests. But nobody should be surprised. Across the U.S., an incessant torrent of vicious scapegoating and demonizing immigrants emboldens these kinds of attacks. Long Island politician Steve Levy (a Democrat) has made a career out of whipping up anti-immigrants hatred. We received the following letter in Spanish from a young reader who was part of a crew that took Revolution newspaper out in the area where Marcelo Lucero was killed. (The translation, from Spanish to English, is by Revolution.)

Imagine you are walking along the street some time at night, towards a friend’s home, when suddenly a group of youth gets in your face wanting to attack you because you don’t belong here, because you don’t know their language, because your skin color is not the same as theirs…and suddenly they beat you and finish you off with a stab in the chest, you lie bleeding on the sidewalk while trying to get help...your mind begins to cloud up, you think about your family, your friends, your mother, the place you left behind just a couple of years ago, and suddenly you stop breathing, the light goes out, it’s over… you are dead and just for the crime of having been born on the other side of the border.

I am a little worried. I don’t know what I’m going to find, but surely we are gonna support the resistance against the constant attacks on immigrants. We’re already on the train to Long Island, specifically to the County of Suffolk, where an Ecuadoran immigrant was stabbed to death. We know his name was Marcelo Lucero. He was one of the so many victims of racial attacks against immigrants who come to this country in search of a better future, risking their lives crossing borders to get here, but that is not the worst of it. Once getting settled here, they run up against racial prejudices like when they don’t want to rent apartments to people without papers thanks to the “MF Levy” [Steve Levy, Suffolk Country Executive]. They don’t want to see them standing on street corners asking for work, and if they get work, sometimes they don’t pay or they beat them.

When we arrived at the place where the body of Marcelo was found, there were few people. We organized a good number of people to go sell Revolution newspaper and talk to people about what happened. At first, there were around 50 people, but in a few minutes about two hundred more came. We sold more than a hundred papers but people seemed a bit scared or maybe intimidated due to what had happened. There was an atmosphere of confusion, some shouting “Justice!! Justice!! Justice!!” The organizers of the vigil told people to calm down, that we should stick together, and sow seeds of love.

Then I got a little pissed because I thought how the fuck are we gonna sow seeds of love when a brother was just killed and he wasn’t the first nor will he be the last to be attacked. This is intolerable. You can’t even go to the police because they themselves have committed outrages against immigrants, not to mention the representatives of the government, like the motherfucker Levy, who not only makes racist comments but also has passed laws so immigrants aren’t accepted any place on Long Island.

But at the end of the vigil, we ended up with a group of immigrants who are building resistance and who rose up and said enough of their fucking racist laws! They have been beaten by the police and racist neighbors, but they have not given up. On their own they have taken up the task of documenting everything, with cameras and photographs, a whole roll of film but with a very conscious and inspiring content for the struggle, and it is a sign that the only way to stop all this is making a revolution.

If we really want to get free of these outrages, we have to organize ourselves and fight like these youth have done.

We suggested they do a more complete interview to tell us their stories and how they have had to fight these attacks. We also organized a showing to see the video of the DVD talk by Chairman Avakian, REVOLUTION: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About. They offered to find a place and invite the whole community, to unite them.


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