The Immigration Conflation

So, what have we learned from the May Day general strike? We learned that there are a whole lot of immigrants–here legally or not–who can take a day off from work or school to attend a rally calling for equal treatment. (Such as, say, freedom of speech or association….) I learned (via a live broadcast on Dan Yorke’s show) that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan sent a representative who talked about the the Bush Administration’s “terrorism” of immigrants. (Soak in that irony for a bit…) And I learned a whole lot more about the history of the general strike and of the true motivations of those behind it. Finally, I’ve concluded that any distinction between “legal” and “illegal” immigrant seems to have been lost.

As Patrick Buchanan writes:

[T]he purpose of the May Day walkout from schools and jobs and boycott of shops and stores was to show how much immigrants contribute and how they deserve appreciation and respect, and not to be treated like criminals.
But if this was all it was about, there would have been no need to go on strike. Americans have always welcomed immigrants. They are better treated here than anywhere on earth. While most Americans believe we now need a timeout to assimilate the 36 million here and their children — like the moratorium we had in the Roosevelt-Truman-Eisenhower-Kennedy years — no one urges any denial of rights to legal immigrants.
What, then, was May Day really all about?
May Day was a strike against America. It was a show of force, a demonstration of raw street power to force the government of the United States into granting to 12 million illegal aliens, who have broken our laws and broken into our country, not only the full benefits of U.S. citizenship, but full citizenship.
It was brazen act of extortion to coerce Congress to grant amnesty now, and not to enforce our immigration laws or secure the Mexican border — or to be ready for big trouble in the streets.

Don’t believe him? How about CNN’s Lou Dobbs who writes about the strike’s organizers:

The Washington Post, alone among national papers, reported that ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) has become an active promoter of the national boycott.
Some illegal immigration and open borders activists in the Hispanic community are deeply concerned about the involvement of the left-wing radical group. But others, like Juan Jose Gutierrez, whom I’ve interviewed a number of times over the past several months, manages to be both director of Latino Movement USA and a representative of ANSWER.
As Gutierrez told us on my show, “The time has come…where we need to stand up and make a statement. We need to do what the American people did when they pulled away from the British crown. And I am sure that back in those days many people were concerned that was radical action.”
Just how significant is the impact of leftists within the illegal immigration movement? It is no accident that they chose May 1 as their day of demonstration and boycott. It is the worldwide day of commemorative demonstrations by various socialist, communist, and even anarchic organizations.
Supporters of the boycott have made no secret of their determination to try to shut down schools, businesses and entire cities. . . Radicalism is not confined to Gutierrez and Latino Movement USA. Ernesto Nevarez of the L.A. Port Collective is promising to shut down the Port of Los Angeles today: “[Transportation and commerce] will come to a grinding halt. …They are going to put a wall along the border with Mexico. We’re going to put a wall between us and the ocean. And those containers ain’t going to move.”
No matter which flag demonstrators and protesters carry today, their leadership is showing its true colors to all who will see.

I’ll conclude with a bit of history from Lee Harris:

For most Americans, the phrase “general strike” may not pack much of a wallop. But it was once a revolutionary slogan, and one that was embraced by one of the more fascinating and original thinkers of the first half of the twentieth century, Georges Sorel.
In his most famous book, Reflections on Violence>, published in 1906, Sorel argued that the general strike was the utlimate weapon in the arsenal of revolution, one that would lead to an apocalyptic transformation from capitalism to socialism….A general strike is not to be confused with a normal strike. A normal strike takes place when workers refuse to work until a specific set of demands is met by those who have been employing them. Sometimes the workers get what they want; sometimes they reach a settlement; sometimes the strike is simply broken, as occurred during the strike of the air traffic controllers under Ronald Reagan. But the general strike is not targeted at any particular businesses or industries — its target is the state itself. It is designed to intimidate the state into acceding to the political objectives of those who have called for the general strike.
The very idea of a general strike runs contrary to all the traditions of American politics. Instead of working within and through the traditional political system, those who championed the general strike have used it as a method of forcing the government to give into their demands by tactics such as taking to the streets and paralyzing the normal course of life. . .
Any general strike poses a danger to constitutional government by offering a path to political power that short-circuits the normal rules of the political game that everyone else has been playing by. That is why, whenever a government permits itself to be influenced by the tactics of the general strike, it is unwittingly preparing for its own dissolution — it is de-legitimatising itself by legitimatising the streets. The moment people believe that the traditional rules of the political game get them nowhere, and that the most effective means of procuring what they want is by taking to the streets, then everyone, sooner or later, will end up taking to the streets, and no one will see any point in playing by the old traditional rules of the political game. {If you read Harris’ whole piece, also read this small corrective from Jonah Goldberg}

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Anchor Rising
18 years ago

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