Latina/o, Black, Native American, Asian, Arab, White, Immigrants With and Without Papers, LGBT—
WE ARE ALL CALIFORNIANS!
RALLY & MARCH WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10:
"DAY WITHOUT A GAY"
Undo Prop 8
Pass the Dream Act
Make UC-Berkeley, UCLA, and All Our Colleges Diverse, Integrated, Affordable Sanctuary Campuses—Centers of Critical Thought and Progress
Check BAMN.COM/UndoProp8 for an updated list of local events
BERKELEY: 12PM - RALLY & MARCH at UC-Berkeley's Sproul Plaza (Bancroft + Telegraph) ... 1:30PM - RALLY at Berkeley City Hall (Milvia + Addison)
OAKLAND: 4PM - PRESS CONFERENCE at City Hall/Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th St. + Broadway)
Endorsed by (partial list): BAMN, UCB Queer Alliance & Resource Center (QARC), Queer Straight Alliance (QSA), Berkeley Stop the War, Oakland Tech HS Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
Join and invite your Facebook friends to the DEC. 10 FACEBOOK GROUP
Go to BAMN.COM for more info on the DREAM ACT and the fight to UNDO PROP 8
The election of Barack Obama changed our beliefs about the potential of our lives, our nation, and of the people who are America. President-elect Obama’s victory was not just the victory of a gifted politician. It was a victory for the movement that was determined to see America elect its first black president. A victory for the millions of white people who put aside their irrational prejudices and voted in their self-interest and against this nation’s long legacy of racism. A victory for the millions of Latina/o and immigrant people, with and without papers, who opened up this whole era of hope and progress in 2006 when the huge civil rights marches for immigrant rights swept across America and handed the conservatives and racists their first defeat.
It was a victory for the black communities of this nation who have never stopped seeking equality and dignity for all. And most of all, a victory for the young people who ignored the cynicism and despair of the older generations and seized their chance to make America a nation imbued with optimism and won. The battle cry of the great immigrant rights movement of 2006 "Sí Se Puede/Yes We Can" became the rallying cry of the Obama campaign. The campaign unified and moved millions of Americans to make the impossible or at best unlikely, a certainty.
Building a new America created in the image of what we were on election night, a people bound together by the joy and exhilaration of real brotherhood and sisterhood, will require the young people who worked so hard for the Obama victory to stay mobilized and politically active. With the election behind us, we must turn our attention to making sure that the progressive political program of change we want implemented is put into effect. No one man can realize the vision of change by himself—building the power of the new civil rights movement is absolutely vital if we are to realize the changes we want and need.
We have a lot of work to do. On the same night that Senator Obama was elected President, the right to gay marriage was struck down in California with the passage of Proposition 8. Our movement must overturn Prop 8 and defend the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender people. The LGBT community and the immigrant communities are both gripped in the struggle to end their second-class treatment and to defeat irrational prejudices and discrimination. One of the central aims of the new civil rights movement must be to unite these two struggles into a single movement inexorably bound together by their shared fight for equality.
Winning passage of the federal Dream Act to give undocumented immigrant students the ability to obtain financial aid and a pathway to citizenship is a key demand of Latina/o and immigrant students and youth. Our struggle to overturn Prop 8 will be immeasurably strengthened if the leaders of the campaign to overturn Prop 8 take up the struggle to attain the immediate passage of the Dream Act. Our struggle to win the Dream Act will also be strengthened if we make the concerted effort that the mainstream leaders of the opposition to Prop 8 failed to make, of winning Latina/o, immigrant and black community support for equal rights for the LGBT community.
Reestablishing our national commitment to equal educational opportunities through the restoration of affirmative action and integration programs is vitally needed to end the discrimination in admissions of Latina/o, black, Native American and other underrepresented students within the UC system. Returning UC Berkeley, UCLA, and other public universities into centers of critical thought and progressive initiative requires transforming our campuses into diverse, integrated, affordable, sanctuary campuses. Ending the unconscionable Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy of raids and deportations, including at schoolhouse doors and on college campuses, is something President Obama can achieve by a simple stroke of the pen the minute he takes office and assumes control of ICE.
Winning new and expanded financial aid programs in addition to the new loan and federal income tax programs which are being discussed, would give poor, working-class and middle-class students struggling to stay in school the ability to do so. It's clear that there are resources available to expand opportunities if the political will exists.
We worked so hard for and are so hopeful that the new era we opened up can make America a nation resting on our shared commitment to equality and democracy, rather than a nation weakened by longstanding fears and prejudice. We have made some progress, but cannot rest because our vision will not be realized without our vigilant struggle. America has never made progress on fundamental civil rights questions without mass action. Building the new civil rights movement on an independent basis is both our biggest challenge and our real hope for victory.
December 10, 2008 has been called as a day of protest to overturn Prop 8, the recently passed ban on gay marriage. This day of action provides progressive students and others with the opportunity to come together on these campuses, rally and march for all our demands. Our efforts have already successfully provided leadership to the nation. We must continue the fight that has just begun.