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Immigrant Rights :   11    |  Search

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View, which has been housed for the past 5 years at the Calvary Church at California Street and Escuela Avenue, is losing its facility on July 31st, 2007. At a press conference on May 18th, the Center was to announce that it has been searching for a new home for over a year, but has been stymied by high real estate prices. The Day Worker Center provides a safe space for workers and employers to connect, fosters community building, and hosts services such as English language classes. The Center is seeking the support of the community to help locate and fund a new space in the appropriate geographic area for its constituency.
A newly formed branch of the Minutemen and other similar groups are targeting the San Francisco Peninsula and South Bay cities with their anti-immigrant messages. The Raging Grannies have sounded the alarm for local community activists to react quickly in response. Calling on peace and immigrant rights groups to counter-demonstrate, the Peninsula Raging Grannies Action League set up a team to get the word out that, "our communities will NOT be divided along lines of immigrant vs. citizen."
The Watsonville City Council meeting was packed on May 8th with attendees in support of a resolution requesting the suspension of random detentions and arrests of residents in Watsonville. Migrawatch, a newly formed network of immigrants rights organizations, called for supporters of immigrant rights to speak up and demand that two clauses be added to the resolution before the council vote. The first clause to make the City of Watsonville a "sanctuary" for undocumented people similar to other cities around the country offering a safe space for members of the community. The second amendment sought by activists was a "notification" clause.
The Circus of (Im)Migration is touring the west coast from April 30th through May 13th. The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) made their first stop in the Bay Area on May 7th at UC Berkeley. The trip continued on May 8th with a San Francisco evening show at Station 40, before a workshop and performance in Santa Cruz on May 9th and 10th.
The MigraWatch Network calls for supporters of immigrant rights to come to the Watsonville City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 8 at 6:00pm, to ask that the City Council pass a resolution which will direct the Watsonville police to notify a human rights group when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is present. It has been reported that when ICE comes into a community, they notify the local police department beforehand. Even in cities that have non-cooperation policies, like Watsonville and Santa Cruz, ICE is able to carry out their agenda without the aid of local law enforcement as evident in the raids in Santa Cruz County last fall.
May 1, 2007 was the first anniversary of the Great Boycott of 2006, in which immigrants led walkouts, boycotts, and protests all over the US. Reports are in that thousands marched in Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco. In Los Angeles, police shot projectiles at a rally tens of thousands strong. Protests were also held in Berkeley, Mountain View, Davis, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville. The ILWU reportedly stopped work in 6 west coast ports, and May 1st was also a day of nationwide student walkouts.
In 2006, a historic mobilization for immigrant rights swept the US as millions took to the streets. Corporate news media predictably covered the marches with a mix of surprise, ignorance, and racism, yet grassroots media activists were there to document the voices and the stories behind this mass movement. ¡Gigante: Despierta! ("Giant: Awake!") is a DVD compilation of short films from around the U.S. documenting the story of May Day 2006, due to hit the streets in the weeks before May 1, 2007. The project was shot, edited, and brought together by a network of independent video activists, graphic designers, community organizers, musicians, and immigrant rights activists.

Immigrant Rights:   11