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|March 21, 2010|
By Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change
Source: Reform Immigration For America
A broad coalition of national and local groups have announced a massive mobilization, “March for America: Change Takes Courage,” which will bring tens of thousands of people to Washington on March 21 to [show support for]comprehensive immigration reform for new American families.
Throughout American history, only big and broad social movements have produced big change. From abolition to women’s suffrage, from the New Deal to civil rights, the one major lesson of American history is that it is only when thousands and thousands of people take their destiny into their own hands that entrenched special interests can be defeated and progressive policies enacted. The last year has demonstrated again that we can’t expect politicians to grow spines all by themselves, and we can’t sit back and hope for bold leadership from the people we elected to serve the country’s interest. We must instill courage and insert backbone in our leaders through massive, sustained grassroots pressure. This is the only path forward.
I have heard too many people bemoan a broken political system, and complain about how hard change has been to achieve over the last year. Despair and passivity are luxuries our communities cannot afford. There is nothing surprising about Washington’s resistance to change, and we know the formula to break the gridlock. It’s our time to step up. It’s our time to lead and take responsibility.
This is a pivotal moment in the history of America. We are faced with a choice. We can do nothing, and watch as new American families are torn apart by the broken immigration system; watch as profiteers continue to take advantage of people desperate for work; and watch as all American families struggle to find good jobs and make ends meet. Or we can stand up and stand together for our families and our communities.
To everyone who believes in comprehensive immigration reform for new American families and an economy that works for all American families, we need you so that together we can show our collective power and energy. Join the March for America. Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 21. Events begin at 1 p.m. on the National Mall. I’ll see you there.
Get more information and sign up at: www.WeMarchforAmerica.org.
You can also join our cell phone network by texting the word “justice” to 69866 to receive the latest updates on the march.
Follow Deepak Bhargava on Twitter: www.twitter.com/communitychange
Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning feature documentary (70 min) that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from trendy clothing retailer Forever 21. In intimate observational style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.
Three immigrant women come together at L.A.’s Garment Worker Center to take a stand for their rights. Against all odds, these seemingly defenseless workers launch a very public challenge (a lawsuit and a boycott) to one of the city’s flagship clothiers, calling attention to the dark side of low-wage labor north of the U.S.-Mexico border and revealing the social fault lines of the new globalization.
As seen through the eyes of María, Maura, and Lupe, the workers’ struggle for basic economic justice and personal dignity yields hope and growth, but it is also fraught with disappointments and dangers. As the campaign drags on through three long years, meetings at the Garment Worker Center become more contentious and the women undergo dramatic moments of conflict and discouragement. But then the story takes a surprising turn, and the three women find the strength and resources to continue their struggle.
For Lupe, Maura and María, the long campaign is a turning point from victimization to empowerment, and each makes life-changing decisions that they never could have envisioned.
To see where there will be a film screening near you click here.