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

No More Aaron Bushnells

Aaron Bushnell was a victim of the U.S. military and a world where it's normal for people to burn. He should inspire a massive movement for a world without despair.

Samuel Karlin

March 3, 2024
Aaron Bushnell, who self-immolated in protest of the genocide in Palestine.

Aaron Bushnell’s Cry of Despair in the Face of Genocide

The media and international community was profoundly affected by the self-immolation of U.S. soldier Aaron Bushnell in protest against the genocide in Gaza. His death and desperate act of protest starkly shows the cruelty and brutality of U.S. Imperialism and Zionism.

Enzo Tresso

February 28, 2024

The U.S. is Putting Journalism on Trial: Interview with Kevin Gosztola

Left Voice spoke with journalist Kevin Gosztola about the political nature behind the trial of Julian Assange, the threat that extradition poses to international press freedom, and how the Biden administration has advanced other attacks on press freedom.

Samuel Karlin

February 28, 2024
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

MOST RECENT

Black UAW workers, a black-and-white image, holding signs that say "UAW ON STRIKE."

To Achieve Black Liberation, Class Independence Is Key

A united, working-class party fighting oppression is our only hope for Black liberation.

Tristan Taylor

February 29, 2024
A banner reads "Real Wages Or We Strike" at a rally for CUNY, which is experiencing cuts from Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul.

CUNY Faculty and Staff Have Gone One Year Without a Contract — It’s Time to Strike

CUNY workers have been without a new contract for a full year and the university has yet to make any economic offers. It's time to take action.

Olivia Wood

February 29, 2024
Florida governor Ron DeSantis stands at a podium that reds "Higher Education Reform"

U.S. Higher Education Is Being Gutted, but We Can Fight Back

Across the United States, higher education is being gutted through program eliminations and budget cuts. We must prepare to fight these attacks with everything we have.

Olivia Wood

February 28, 2024

Berlinale: Filmmakers Say What the Rest of the World is Saying

At the Berlinale film festival, Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers called for equality and peace. German politicians want to ban such hateful talk.

Nathaniel Flakin

February 28, 2024