Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Nationwide #DayWithoutImmigrants Shuts Down Businesses and Schools

On Thursday schools and businesses closed due to nationwide #DayWithoutImmigrants protests.

Left Voice

February 16, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Image from the Washington Post

Thursday was a #DayWithoutImmigrants, grinding some businesses and schools to a standstill. Across the US, immigrants refused to go to school, to go to work, or to purchase anything in order to demonstrate that the US economy is fueled by immigrant labor. According to the Pew Research Center, undocumented immigrants make up 9% of the hotel and restaurant industry. At least 11 million undocumented people live in the United States, and the strength of these immigrants when organized as workers is staggering.

The movement is a response to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda — from expanding the border wall between the US and Mexico to the ban on travel from Muslim majority countries (now in limbo due to the ongoing court battles) and to the ICE raids that have rounded up hundreds of undocumented immigrants across the US and struck fear into immigrants throughout the country. These raids are not new; the Obama administration deported more undocumented immigrants than any other president in the history of the United States. This level of resistance, however, has not been seen since the 2006 immigrant protests that swept the nation.

On Monday, Milwaukee held a massive #DayWithoutImmigrants march which drew 10,000 people. On Thursday, thousands around the country followed. From big cities to small towns, immigrants came out in droves to protest against Trump’s xenophobic policies.

Some businesses shut their doors in solidarity. Others were forced to shut down for the day because no one showed up to work. Most notably, McDonalds locations around the country were forced to close.

mcd.jpg

mcdonalds.jpg

Even Washington elites were impacted by the protests. At the Pentagon, many resteraunts were closed because immigrant employees were on strike.

School districts around the country were affected by #DayWithoutImmigrants protests as thousands of students skipped school as participation in the protests. This occurs in the shadow of the mobilization of hundreds of high school students across the country who organized walkouts to protest against Trump’s policies. On Thursday, these protests were nationwide with thousands of students missing school as a political statement.

In Brooklyn, NY hundreds of students walked out of Sunset Park High School. “Part of it was student organization and word spread that the teachers understand what’s going on and they are encouraging us to if we want to march,” said student Benji Marin.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, for example, the school district will likely have to call a snow day because so many students missed school in protest.

But people did not just stay home on Thursday — they took to the streets. Most major cities held protests.

austin_texas_protest.jpg
A protest in Austin, TX.

Even an art museum expressed solidarity. The Davis Museum at Wellesley College in Massachusetts took down all art created or donated by immigrants, draping black cloth with labels reading “Created By an Immigrant” in the place of the formerly displayed artworks.

These protests come after weeks of mobilization against Trump; from the January 21 Women’s March to the airport protests, the people of the United States are demonstrating that they will fight against Trump on the side of the oppressed. In order for these protests to gain strength and strike at the heart of capitalism, we need mass strikes that go beyond groups of individuals who choose to not go to work. The unions have an important role to play in calling for a series of strikes against Trump and in mobilizing the working class to put their weight and power behind opposing Trump’s policies. We must organize independently from the Democratic Party, who ordered and oversaw the deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants. Together, working class people, immigrants, young people and women have the strength to defeat Trump’s policies. This is just the beginning.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

United States

Three activists stand together while one activist holds up an "uncommitted" sign with the word "vote" written on it many times. In the left side of the picture another activist holds a sign that says "abandon Genocide Joe"

Don’t Vote Uncommitted — Commit to Breaking with the Democrats

Tapping into deep anger with President Biden, the left wing of the Democratic Party is urging Michigan voters to vote “uncommitted” in the primary election. But this strategy funnels progressives’ energy back into the Democratic party when we need political independence from the parties supporting the genocide in Gaza.

Brian H. Silverstein

February 27, 2024

The Organic Crisis in 2024: This Year’s Election Is a Battle for the Hearts and Minds of U.S. Workers

The battle between Trump and Biden is being shaped by a crisis of the political regime, requiring the intervention of both the judiciary and the union bureaucracy. The battle for the presidency is a battle for the working class and a battle over which approach to imperialism is best for competing with China and reestablishing US hegemony. As usual, the Democrats are taking up the cudgel of democratic rights in order to rally disaffected voters.

Sybil Davis

February 23, 2024
A NYPD officer arrests a masked pro-Palestine protestors wearing a kaffiyeh while other cops and masked protesters look on.

Attacks on the Pro-Palestine Movement Are Attacks on the Right to Protest

As the movement for Palestine against Israel’s brutal military invasion of Gaza and attacks on the West Bank continues at a lower intensity than last fall, the State is cracking down on the leaderships of the movement and rolling back gains made by the Black Lives Matter uprising of 2020. The movement must grow in order to fight back against repression and protect our democratic right to protest.

Carmin Maffea

February 10, 2024

When Columbia Students Are Under Attack, We Must Stand Up, Fight Back!

On January 19, two Columbia University students who are former Israeli Defense Forces soldiers attacked students with a chemical-based weapon called “skunk,” at a campus protest against the genocide of Palestinians. Students must unite with workers to defend our movement; from Palestine to Low, the attacks have got to go!

K.S. Mehta

February 2, 2024

MOST RECENT

Protesters at an evening protest in NY carry a sign that reads "from ferguson to palestine occupation is a crime"

This Black History Month, Let’s Fight for Palestinian Liberation

Black liberation struggles have always expressed solidarity with the struggle against the Zionist occupation of Palestine. This Black History Month, as Israel continues its genocide in Gaza, this tradition takes on a special importance.

Carmin Maffea

February 26, 2024
All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: Two Years of War in Ukraine

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the war in Ukraine after two years, and the continued need for an independent, working-class solution.

Left Voice

February 24, 2024

The Tide Is Turning: New Yorkers Are Speaking Out for Palestinian Liberation

New York's anti-zionist movement is is rising up and speaking out for Palestinian liberation.

Ana Orozco

February 23, 2024

The United States Is Trapped in the Middle East

As a result of Israel’s offensive on Gaza, the United States is again becoming deeply entrenched in the Middle East. This is a humiliating blow to President Biden, who promised to reassert U.S. imperialism by moving away from direct involvement in the region.

Samuel Karlin

February 22, 2024