Our Coop Supports Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice 4 Day Fast and Protests Rally June 25-28

29 Sep

Alabama Multi-Cultural Fishers and Seafood Worker-Owned Cooperative


Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice 4 Day Fast and Protests Rally June 25-28

(See local media report: http://www.alabamas13.com/story/25871720/immigration-reform-supporter-begin-three-day-hunger-strike-outside-spencer-bachus-office

Our destinies are intertwined” Ingrid Chapman

On April 1, 2014 our cooperative had the privilege of sharing the podium at the steps of the Alabama State House in Montgomery with Ingrid Chapman who represented Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. A theme of Sister Chapman’s talk was “Our destinies are intertwined”.

Ingrid Chapman of Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice speaking April 1, 2014 at AL State House

Ingrid Chapman speaking for Alabama Coalition for Justice on the steps of the Alabama State House  Alabama Moral Mondays Rally April 1, 2014 9photo from Ingenious Multimedia and Graphics : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz34Hs9Oywk&list=UUnmnRaZLmBt6Rt4nsbMBqRw)

One of the stories Ingrid told illustrating this basic truth was about a friend whose family owned a tomato farm in Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) financially ruined their farm. So Ingrid’s friend, at the age of 16, was forced to walk 5 days across the border desert to try and find work in the U.S.

Analyzing thousands of similar tragic stories are immigrant rights activists such as author and award winning journalist David Bacon who stated in a recent interview with therealnews.com: “When the North American Free Trade Agreement allowed big U.S. grain companies, for instance, to dump cheap, cheap corn on the Mexican market, hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmers essentially were not able to sell their crops for the cost of growing it, had to leave home in order to survive…”

Trying hard to survive in Alabama, Ingrid’s friend now works 3 jobs to pay for the medical bills for her mother who has cancer. She was going to school but under Alabama’s inhuman anti-immigrant laws she had to quit her studies, even though she pays her own tuition. And Hispanic families can be ripped apart at any moment by any police in Alabama who have now all been deputized to enforce the inhuman deportation laws.

It is the same NAFTA, and similarly codified corporate greed and pollution, that threatens the very existence of commercial fishers in America. And fisher families at “Safe Harbor” in Bayou La Batre know what it is like to have families ripped apart because of the greed of a few. Our coop greatly appreciates the support Frank Baragan of Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Reform showed these families at our May 22 Shrimp & Crab Boil for Justice: http://sosmovement.net/2014/05/15/sos-members-rally-support-displaced-bayou-la-batre-mothers-safe-harbor/

Indeed “Our destinies are intertwined”. Yet we can transcend our current tragic destiny of joblessness or low wages, homelessness, lack of human rights, deportations, the erosion of public education, and even people dying because the governor will not approve Medicaid expansion! For when we stand together and support each other’s struggles for justice, then our common destiny will be one that is just and deserving of our human dignity.


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