July 2, 2018
This past Saturday rallies were held across America in opposition to the administration’s policy of separating asylum-seeking families at the border. Here in New York City, thousands marched across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Boro Hall where a rally was held. Speaker after speaker condemned the policy, demanded answers about the children’s welfare and whereabouts, and vowed political action. New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer told the Gazette, “When Inwood comes to Brooklyn that means a movement has been born.” Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and actor Amy Schumer were also sighted at the rally.
Reverend Anthony Austin of New Ebenezer Baptist Church in Harlem said he recently spoke about the family separation policy with some retired generals he knows at West Point, “and they don’t like it either.”
An announcement from the speakers’ podium at 1 o’clock said that people were still crossing the bridge, some two hours after the first marchers arrived. The crowd sent up a rally cry of “the People united will never be defeated!” SEIU Local 32BJ President Hector Figueroa addressed the rally and afterwards told the Gazette, “children grow in stages, they don’t belong in cages.”
Revolution Books spokesperson Andy Zee said “attacks on immigrants are the battering ram of a bigger fascist agenda against the environment.” He said organizing mass demonstrations, day after day in key cities, in a sustained way is “the only way out of this nightmare.” He cited the examples of South Korea 2 years ago and Armenia 2 months ago where this tactic successfully drove out their leaders.
Mike from National Alliance for Filipino Concerns said as many as a quarter of immigrants from the Philippines are facing insecurity about their status. Because of the labor export policy, many people in the Philippines are driven to work outside their home country. It began under Marcos and is being enforced by Duterte. It formalizes human trafficking and keeps the country stuck in an agrarian economy largely dominated by China and the USA.
Here are some more sights from Saturday’s rally in Brooklyn: