Editor’s note: These are excerpts from a speech by Laura Garcia at Harold Washington University in Chicago. Laura is the editor of the Tribuno del Puelbo, sister paper to the People’s Tribune.
Everyone is aching for the kind of America we want and against what trump and the class he represents need. Trump is not alone, he represents a class that is organized and prepared to keep ruling.
As parents, we are asking, ‘will our kids go to school, to college? What will happen to them, to me? Will I end up homeless?’
The situation is different today. It will only continue if we don’t reach out and support one another’s struggles and keep them from dividing us.
Trump used the undocumented as a scapegoat for all the economic ills of this country. No jobs, it’s their fault. Scared you will get bombed? It’s the refugees fault.
He used immigration to form a social mass of people to support his policies by promising jobs, building a wall, keeping refuges out, and saying it will get better. We know automation is taking the jobs. There won’t be jobs.
Meanwhile, they are planning to keep corporations in power, take more out of our paycheck, and deny us the necessities of life. Immigrants are used as a scapegoat to keep us from seeing who is taking the money.
From this perspective, we want to discuss the situation of the undocumented immigrants. Guadalupe, a mother whose children are citizens, was deported within 24 hours. Her daughter said, “the only crime my mother made was trying to feed her children.” She’s not a criminal.
ICE agents took a Texas woman with a brain tumor and in need of surgery from her hospital bed, with hands and feet shackled. Why such a lack of humanity?
People are responding and its not just Latinos, and its not just the undocumented. Its people rising up in the defense of civil rights—African Americans, white, all saying this is not right. It’s not the country I want.
What trump is unleashing is not only a violation of civil rights but human rights. And it doesn’t end with the undocumented. It’s extending to other sectors of the population. For example, Mohammad Ali’s son was stopped in the airport because of his name.
Why is it happening? Eight billionaires control the same wealth as ½ of the world’s population. What are they going to do with that wealth? Homelessness is growing; 49 million people go to bed hungry; 16 million are children. How much longer can we put up with it?
It’s time to unite as a people based on a higher law, human rights. We’re the majority and either we’re going to win or they’re going to. Our children face this world. It’s up to us to do something.
Let’s talk, read about the issues, network and unite. We have to find answers, map out our course and move forward.
My generation was fighting to get into the system. Your generation has a more difficult situation because a lot of you are getting kicked out of the system as the jobs vanish.
Human beings have a higher moral value than a dollar. We’re coming together. We’re on the march. I saw this in the Women’s march, marchers upholding the workers’ demands: Women’s rights. Healthcare. Education. Worker and Immigrant Rights. No Ban. No wall!