Cosecha and DSA
By Duane Campbell and Maria Svart, for the Immigrants’ Rights Committee of DSA
You don’t want to wake up on May 2 and read about nation
Cosecha is a new nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Their name, “harvest” in Spanish, honors the long tradition of farmworker organizing and the present-day pain of the thousands of undocumented workers whose labor continues to feed the country. Committed to winning real victories for their community, Cosecha believes in using non-cooperation to leverage the power of immigrant labor and consumption and force a meaningful shift in public opinion. On April 24 some 30 Cosecha members and allies including DSA members carried out a sit-in at the Boston ICE offices.
Cosecha emerged from a year and a half of strategic planning by immigrant rights and DREAMer organizers who have watched politicians battle for their votes, only to stall legislation year after year. For this reason, Cosecha doesn’t rely on traditional tactics or dance with political parties. Instead, they are going on the offensive and calling for a series of strikes and boycotts to show that this country cannot function without immigrants.
In January DSA was one of many groups to endorse the call by Cosecha for a Dia Sin Inmigrantes (Day Without Immigrants) on May 1. You will find DSA’s logo on their partners page along with many of our usual allies such as National Nurses United and SEIU. The DSA National Political Committee tasked our Immigrants’ Rights Committee to encourage DSA locals to support Cosecha in areas where Cosecha is active. You can see a map of active Cosecha groups here. http://www.lahuelga.com/getstarted/
DSA has offered to be allies and to provide support for the Cosecha efforts. They request support in the following manner
Fundraising . Go to the link on their web page to make donations. www.lahuelga.com
Worker protection. Cosecha wants to focus heavily on walkbacks and boycotts as part of worker protection. Allies like DSA showing up for those particular actions and campaigns will be key, in addition to May Day participation. If members of your local DSA are willing to join in the worker protection efforts, contact DSA’s Immigrants’ Rights Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your name, your DSA local, and contact information. We will try to put you together with Cosecha efforts in your region.
Boycotts are planned for the future. Please watch for announcements.
DSA chapters in Sacramento, New York, Boston, New Jersey and more are already meeting with Cosecha and coordinating work. Several other DSA local chapters are participating in May Day efforts organized with a wide variety of coalition partners. This approach of local decision making based upon local conditions is consistent with our strategy of distributed organizing. Local DSA chapters are marching on May Day in Chicago, Los Angeles, East Bay, Sacramento, and more.
The national DSA effort has focused on working with Cosecha and the Dia Sin Inmigrantes. Our position on socialism and immigration is here http://www.dsausa.org/socialists_and_immigration_dl We encourage DSA chapters to assist with Cosecha’s worker protection efforts. Members of DSA Immigrants Rights Committee have contacted DSA local chapters in their area to encourage them to support the DSA/Cosecha efforts. We welcome and encourage DSA local chapters to work with and remain in communication with the Immigrants’ Rights Committee to foster ongoing coordination of efforts.
You can get in touch with the Immigrants’ Rights Committee here http://www.dsausa.org/antiracism
Duane Campbell is a professor emeritus of bilingual multicultural education at California State University Sacramento, a union activist, and former chair of Sacramento DSA. He is the Director of the Mexican American Digital History project. He is also the co-chair of DSA’s Immigrants’ Rights Committee. The committee can be found on the DSA website.
Maria Svart is the National Director .
Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. Democratic Left blog post submission guidelines can be found here.