In Los Angeles Calero helped mobilize support in October 1994 against Proposition 187, a California ballot measure intended to deny undocumented workers and their children access to public education, health care, and other social services.
Working as a meat packer in the Midwest a few years later, Calero participated in a groundbreaking union-organizing drive at Dakota Premium Foods in South St. Paul, Minnesota. Immigrant and native-born workers came together to bring United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789 into that plant. More recently Calero has joined the efforts to expand labor solidarity with the United Mine Workers of America strike by 75 coal miners fighting for union recognition and safe working conditions at the Co-Op mine in Huntington, Utah.
In December 2002, immigration cops arrested Calero upon his return to the United States from reporting assignments at a conference held in Havana, Cuba, protesting the Free Trade Area of the Americasa pact Washington is trying to impose on the region to extend its imperialist dominationand a congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students.
Winning broad support from defenders of immigrant and workers rights and freedom of the press, and with the backing of the Socialist Workers Party, Calero waged a public campaign that prevented his deportation to Nicaragua and successfully defended his right to live and work in this country. The victorious struggle set an example of how to fight to win and inspired others in similar situations to resist and beat back government attempts to exclude them from the United States.
Arrin Hawkins, 29, is a garment worker in New York. She was the Socialist Workers Party candidate for lieutenant governor of New York in 2002.
Hawkins joined the Young Socialists in 2000 in the Twin Cities. She has also worked as an airline baggage handler and as a meat packer. In 2000 and 2001 she worked on the cut floor at the American Meat Packing Corporation plant in Chicago where she was involved in a union fight to win severance pay for hundreds of workers after the plant was shut down and the workers laid off without having received prior notice of the shutdown. The workers there mobilized to win broad labor and community support in their fight for back pay, health-care coverage, and severance pay.
Hawkins has been a part of international delegations to Cuba for the Cuba-U.S. Youth Exchange in 2001 and 2003. She participated in the conference of the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students held in Havana in 2000. She represented the Young Socialists at the World Festival of Youth and Students held in Algiers, Algeria, in 2001, and afterward visited the camps of the Polisario independence fighters in Tindouf, Algeria.
Hawkins helped build the April 25, 2004, March for Womens Lives in Washington, D.C., where hundreds of thousands marched in defense of a womans right to choose abortion.
What the SWP stands and fights for