February 20, 2002: National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants

Revolutionary Worker #1138, February 10, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org

First they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, but by that time, no one was left to speak up.

--Pastor Martin Niemoeller, Nazi Germany

We call on people everywhere to participate in a National Day of Solidarity with Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants. The words of Pastor Niemoeller spell out the challenge facing all of us as people who seek justice and a better world. This time, first they are coming for the Arab, Muslim and South Asian immigrants. Based on their racial profile, over 1500 have been rounded up and the government refuses to say who they are, where they are jailed and what the charges are!!! Already, a Pakistani man has died in custody. Who will be next? The recent "disappearances", indefinite detention, the round-ups, the secret military tribunals, the denial of legal representation, evidence kept a secret from the accused, the denial of any due process for Arab, Muslim, South Asians and others, have chilling similarities to a police state. We will not allow our grief for the tragedy of September 11 to be used to justify this new repression. We are clear that being an immigrant is not a crime, Muslims, Arabs and South Asians are not terrorists.

120,000 Japanese- Americans and Japanese immigrants were rounded up and put in concentration camps during World War II. Only after 50 years had passed did the U.S. government acknowledge that injustice. Let us work together to build a hospitable community for immigrants and refugees by resisting and stopping these new injustices now. Human life is more important than unjust laws. Join with people across the United States in observing a National Day of Solidarity. Stand together with Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants on February 20, 2002. It is only the voice and action of the people that can STOP these attacks and assure freedom and justice for all.

On February 20 wear a blue triangle with the name of one of the newly "disappeared". In the early 1940's, German Nazis used many different colored triangles to categorize and divide people in the concentration camps. We will not allow the same kind of profiling to happen here. We will wear a blue triangle in a positive way to show our solidarity with those being targeted today.

Find the ways to express your solidarity: churches, synagogues, unions and schools provide sanctuary for the persecuted; organize a vigil or demonstration at a local INS detention center; hold a teach in at your local school, college, or university; call your political representatives and demand that these outrages cease; organize a poetry SLAM or a music show; write a letter to your local newspaper calling for justice for all; students demand that your colleges or universities not turn over the files of immigrant students to the government; contact local tv and radio talk shows asking to be part of the program; sponsor a "Meet the Immigrant" educational and cultural event so they can tell their stories.

Remember the tragedy of Nazi Germany when so many looked the other way as their neighbors were disappeared, persecuted and stripped of their civil liberties. What would you have done then? What will you do now?

l Signatories:

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, San Francisco Chapter American Civil Liberties Union of Texas Amnesty International, University of St. Thomas Chapter, Houston, TX Anarchist Action of Rochester, NY Art Car Museum, Houston, TX Andonon Organizing South Asian Workers, New York, NY Asian-American Legal Defense Education Fund, New York, NY Asians for Mumia/Jericho (New York) Dave Atwood, Pax Christi*, Houston, TX Black Radical Congress New York Metro Black Student Alliance at City University of New York Graduate Center Bob Buzzanco, Professor of History, University of Houston* Chicago Anti- Bashing Network Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program Geeta Citygirl, South Asian League of Artists in America Comité No Nos Vamos de Fresno, Fresno, CA Committee for a Democratic Palestine Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi USA* National Council Chairperson Ecumenical Peace Institute/Clergy and Laity Concerned, Hayward, CA Jack Elder, San Antonio, TX Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, San Antonio, TX Filipino Workers Center, New York, NY Freer Speech Coalition, University of Houston* Fremont Peace Action, Fremont, CA Georgia Coalition for Peace Global Awareness and Global Democracy Forum, University of Houston* Global Relief Foundation Greens/Green Party, USA Haitian Coalition for Justice, New York Randall Hamud, attorney at law, Civil Liberties Defense Foundation, San Diego, CA Harris County Green Party, Houston, TX Hayward Peace and Justice Coalition, Hayward, CA Houston A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Houston Coalition for Justice Not War (HCJNW) Houstonians United for Mumia INS Watch, San Francisco, CA International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal Yuri Kochiyama, Oakland, CA Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates (KIWA), Los Angeles, CA Miguel Maldonado, Immigrant Workers Association, New York, NY Travis Morales, La Resistencia National Council, Houston, TX Muslim American Society (MAS) Muslim Student Association, San Diego State University* National Action Network Chuy Negrete, folksinger/musicologist, Mexican Cultural Institute, Chicago, IL Neighbors for Peace, Evanston, IL New York Taxi Workers Alliance October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation Palestine Aid Society, Chicago, IL Peace and Freedom Party, San Diego Chapter (CA) Beatrice Pita, Instructor, University of California San Diego* Progressive Workers Organizing Committee of Galveston County, TX Queers for Racial and Economic Justice, New York, NY La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco, CA Refuse and Resist! La Resistencia Herbert B. Rothschild Jr., Coordinator, Peace Action* - Greater Houston Safe Space, Austin, TX Rosaura Sánchez, Professor, University of California San Diego* San Francisco Day Laborers Program, San Francisco, CA Dr. David Michael Smith, Assistant Professor of Government, College of the Mainland*, Texas City, TX South Asian Action and Advocacy Collective, New York, NY South Asian League of Artists in America (SALAAM) South Asians Against Police Brutality and Racism, New York, NY Southwest Alliance to Resist Militarization (S.W.A.R.M.), Tucson, AZ Students Against a Violent Earth (SAVE), Southwest Texas State University* The Street Wall Journal, Ann Arbor, MI Dr. Ghade Talhami, Professor, Lake Forest College*, Lake Forest, IL Trade Roots Reggae, San Diego, CA Tri City Peace Action, Union City, CA United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA) United Muslim Association, San Diego, CA Universal School, Bridgeview, IL Vietnam Veteran Against the War Anti- Imperialist David Wong Support Committee, New York, NY Juanita Young, mother of Michael Ferguson killed by NYPD Howard Zinn

(*For identification purposes only)

Please endorse this call & distribute, post & publish everywhere! Funds are quickly needed to organize for February 20. We urge you to immediately send donations. All actions on February 20 should be publicized and popularized. Write, e-mail or call the La Resistencia National Office with news of activities in your area: P.O. Box 2823, Houston, TX 77252-2823; (713) 521- 3099; laresistencia@laresistencia.org www.laresistencia.org

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4479
(The RW Online does not currently communicate via email)