Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Another post-May Day take on the state of the immigrant rights movement

After a relatively low turnout of immigrants rights marchers during last Tuesday's May Day rallies, one headline screamed "May Day Protests Show Weak Immigration Movement." A couple of posts in the last few days on Multi-American have provided a reality check, analyzing the evolution of the immigrant rights movement in the years since the massive marches of 2006 and questioning whether crowd count is still the best indicator of a movement in the virtual age.

One different thing this year is that the immigrant rights rallies on May 1 shared the stage with rallies put on by the Occupy movement. I'll be posting a reaction or two from readers later, but here's a more recent May Day post-game from blogger Michelle Chen in the Huffington Post:

While the Occupy banner blanketed much of May Day, demonstrations in several U.S. cities incorporated immigrant rights groups, including protests against Arizona's draconian immigration law SB 1070, currently under review by the Supreme Court, and the Obama administration's sweeping deportation policies. New York City's May Day Solidarity Coalition brought together groups that link labor, immigration, and economic justice, like the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United.

But immigration issues weren't highlighted as they were in May Day 2006 -- possibly a reflection of activist fatigue that's sunk in after so many years of stonewalling by politicians. And tactically, it might be hard to wrap the purposefully amorphous Occupy ethos around the everyday struggles of immigrants who live in perpetual fear of being ripped apart from their families and deported.

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