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Vol. 81/No. 8      February 27, 2017

(front page)

‘Amnesty now!’ says SWP candidate in LA

VAN NUYS, Calif. — “Oh, I already met Dennis when he came to my door in Highland Park and I got a subscription to the Militant and some books,” Favi Castro told me at the Feb. 12 protest here against recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids. Dennis Richter, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, was marching in the action that day too.

Government agents arrested 161 people from the Los Angeles area.

As Castro left the protest, she told Richter, “I’ll be staying in touch so we can discuss more politics.”

Chants of “Stop the deportations” were nearly drowned out by horns honking in support from people driving. Some found a place to park and joined in. Numerous people complimented Richter on his sign that said, “Stop the Raids! Amnesty Now!”

The day before, Richter joined a rally of over 100 union members fighting for a contract in front of an AT&T wireless store in Los Angeles. Protests were held in San Diego, Bakersfield, San Francisco and around the country. The contract covers technicians as well as retail and call-center workers employed at AT&T’s wireless division. (See article.)

Dozens of AT&T workers from the company’s traditional wired phone business joined the rally as did many of those working at DirectTV, recently acquired by AT&T. The contract for 17,000 wireline workers in California and Nevada expired last April.

Richter offered his solidarity and raised the need for the labor movement to fight for unity between native-born and those without papers accepted by the government in Washington.

“We call for amnesty for all immigrants in the U.S. today,” Richter told rally participants. “There are 1 million immigrants without papers in the Los Angeles area. If we organize them with the same rights, think what we could accomplish in building strong unions.”

“We need an amnesty plan like they had under Reagan,” Nathan Atchison, a wireline worker, told Richter.

“We need to rebuild a fighting labor movement that includes all workers, those with or without papers,” Richter said. He pointed to the powerful mobilizations led by immigrant workers that took place across the country on May Day in 2006 that defeated the anti-working-class Sensenbrenner Bill.
Related articles:
‘Stop the raids! We are workers, not criminals!’
Thousands join protests against immigration raids
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