Sacramento Declaration — April 23, 2008 We — the undersigned trade unionists, youth and immigrants’ rights activists — came together in Sacramento, Calif., on April 23 following a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol during which we issued an open invitation to participate in the May Day protest actions in Sacramento, Oakland and San Francisco.
Participants in our meeting included representatives from the Front of Mexicans Living Abroad [Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior/FME], Coalición Cívica Primero de Mayo, LULAC of West Sacramento, the Sacramento chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Coalición Aguila Azteca, and the Spanish-language El Organizador newspaper. The purpose of our meeting was to promote across the state of California and nationwide the Continental Campaign for the Right Not to Emigrate.
This Continental Campaign was launched April 6, 2008, in Mexico City by the 283 trade union, political, and youth activists from 16 countries in the Americas who came together in the Second Continental Conference Against NAFTA and Privatizations. This Conference took place at a moment when the peoples of the hemisphere have said, “We’ve Had Enough of the Free Trade Agreements!” that are destroying the material bases of the sovereignty and unity of the nations of the Americas, eviscerating the rights of workers and peoples — and pushing millions on the road to emigration in search of a means to sustain their families.
This Continental Campaign was proposed to the Mexico City Conference by the Front of Mexicans Living Abroad (FME), the Coalición Cívica Primero de Mayo, Coalición Aguila Azteca, and El Organizador newspaper.
In his presentation to the Mexico City Conference, Al Rojas, coordinator of the FME, explained the scope of the Campaign for the Right Not to Emigrate:
“The countries of Latin America need to change course to enact policies that generate economic development and peace, with jobs at living wages, with land for the peasants and basic trade union and elementary human rights for all — rights that have long been denied by the governments beholden to the global corporate agenda. All this is necessary so that the people can live in their own nations, with dignity. … The ‘Free Trade’ agreements are destroying the national economies and are dividing the nations of the hemisphere, thereby promoting the massive exodus of peoples toward the United States in the quest for survival for themselves and their families. … Meanwhile, the Latino workers in the United States, legal or illegal, are struggling to be recognized as a legitimate component of the U.S. working class, with full rights, legalization and Papers For All.”
Both these sets of demands — jobs and living wages in the countries south of the border, on the one hand, and Papers for All Latinos in the United States, on the other — link up the resistance by the workers’ and peoples on both sides of the border to the destructive policies promoted by the U.S. government and by the large U.S. transnational corporations.
In our meeting in Sacramento, we resolved to convey our fullest solidarity and support for the labor and community protests and actions that will take place across the United States on May 1st — International Workers Day. In particular we declare our full support for the Call to Action Against the War issued by the longshore workers on the West Coast. Their call states:
“At the start of the Iraq War in 2003, many working people were opposed to the invasion. Now the overwhelming majority want to end the war and withdraw troops. Yet, both major political parties continue to fund the war. Marches and demonstrations have not been able to stop the war. The longshore workers will stop work for 8 hours in every port on the West Coast on May 1st. This action shows that working people have the power to stop the war. … We will make May 1st a “No Peace, No Work Holiday!”
At our meeting we also resolved to express our full support to the resistance of the workers and people of Mexico to the U.S.-backed offensive to privatize Pemex, the national oil corporation. The fraudulent government of Felipe Calderón, acting on behest of the U.S. oil corporations, want to wrest the control and benefits of Mexico’s oil resources away from the Mexican people through a privatization drive that will destroy Mexico’s sovereignty and will lead Mexico on the road to divisions, confrontation and chaos.
The Mexican people have the good fortune of being born in a country rich in one of the most precious natural resources: oil. But now they have to fight against the policies of their corrupt and country-selling government. The privatization of Mexico’s oil resources goes beyond the question of government corruption — a problem that the Mexican people can address and resolve on their own, as the legitimate president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has stated repeatedly. It goes beyond the fact that the oil revenue accounts for more than 40 percent of the nation’s budget (for healthcare, education, Social Security, transportation, etc.) With the privatization of this natural resource, there is an all-out effort to recolonize Mexico.
We send a fraternal greeting to all the participants in the mass Civil Peaceful Resistance Movement in Mexico headed by López Obrador and Claudia Sheinbaum, and we support the call that only the sovereign people of Mexico should have the right to decide the fate of Mexico’s vast oil reserves — not the illegitimate Congress that rubber-stamped the fraudulent elections of 2006 and further rubber-stamped all the anti-worker and anti-people so-called “reforms” imposed by the U.S. government through Calderon-the-Usurper. We join the Resistance movement in saying, “No to the Calderón-Bush ‘Energy Reform’ package! Not One Step Backward!” [Ni Un Paso Atrás!”]
We call on all labor, political and community organizations that will be mobilizing across the United States to join us in promoting this broad-based Continental Campaign for the Right Not to Emigrate. Support our campaign by filling out the coupon at the end of this message. (Please indicate if you are signing in an individual capacity, or in the name of your organization.)
Last but not least, we call upon all organizations that will be mobilizing this May Day across the United States to raise the following demands from our Continental Campaign in your protest actions, speeches and literature:
– No to the corporate “Free Trade” Agreements!
– Respect the right to self-determination and sovereignty of all oppressed nations!
– Agrarian Reform!
– For Economic Policies that Promote Development and Living-Wage Jobs!
– Defend Pemex in Mexico and all the Natural Resources of all the Nations of Latin America!
– No to the Fake Migrant Parliament in Mexico!
– Legalization / Papers For All Undocumented Immigrants in the United States!
– No to Guest Worker Programs!
– Stop the Raids and Tear Down the Wall of Shame!
Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior (FME), Coalición Cívica Primero de Mayo, LULAC de West Sacramento, LCLAA de Sacramento, Coalición Aguila Azteca y la Revista El Organizador
[ ] I / We endorse the above statement. We support the Continental Campaign for the Right Not to Emigrate.
TITLE/ORGANIZATION (list if for id. only)
(please fill out the coupon and return it to Frente de Mexicanos en el Exterior at and El Organizador at http://freeofstate.org/new/?p=2073)