#FreedomCities, creating Cities Without Fear

The “Freedom Cities” concept builds on “sanctuary city” policies, under which local governments order their agencies to refuse direct cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. As New York’s adherence to broken windows–style policing illustrates, however, the promise of “sanctuary” might amount to little more than a well-intentioned gesture as long as aggressive, racially polarizing police practices remain in place. In light of the escalation of federal crackdowns even in supposedly “immigrant-friendly” cities, the Freedom Cities campaign seeks more than a mandate of non-cooperation with federal authorities. It aims to build a more just, inclusive society from the neighborhood level up, through mutual aid, community protection, and long-term cultural change.

Basma Eid, a trainer with Enlace, a partner of the Worker Center Federation, says the inspiration for the campaign emerged from “workers themselves, who had been meeting regularly, building their leadership . . . they were the ones who were like, ‘This is the vision that we have.’” Worker centers, she says, offer a platform for members to air “really strong and important voices that are often being left out of the conversation around resistance,” since grassroots labor struggles tend to get sidelined in public discussions about Trump’s assaults on civil rights.

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B&H discriminated against Hispanic workers, Labor Department lawsuit says

Story highlights

  • The suit claims Hispanic workers were relegated to separate bathrooms
  • Black and Asian men and women were also discriminated against, government says
  • B&H says the accusations are “far from factual” and “scurrilous”

(CNN)One of the world’s most famous photography stores is facing accusations that it discriminated against women and minorities and relegated Hispanic warehouse workers to separate restrooms.

A lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor last week alleges that B&H Foto & Electronics Corp “systematically discriminated against Hispanic employees and female, black and Asian job seekers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse.”

The store, which takes up an entire block in New York and has been a Mecca for AV enthusiasts for decades, said accusations in the lawsuit are “far from factual” and slammed what it called “scurrilous narratives.”
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#LiftTheCaps rally in memory of Claudia Lopez

claudia-svpA churro vendor, community activist, and fixture in Corona Queens, Claudia Lopez spent her life fighting for justice and respect for immigrant vendors. She sold for more than ten years without a permit and was a leader in the ongoing campaign to #LiftTheCaps on food vending permits, which have been frozen since 1983.

Tuesday, February 21 at 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Junction Blvd, Corona

She died of cancer on February 21, 2016, still waiting for a permit. Now, one year later, we will remember Claudia and other vendors who have died waiting for permits, due to the city’s lack of action.

Many others are still waiting. Before another month or year goes by, we will call upon the City Council and Mayor to hold a vote on the Street Vendor Modernization Act. This bill will gradually double the number of vending permits available, creating an opportunity for thousands of vendors like Claudia to legalize their small businesses and work in peace.

NYTWA in Solidarity with Uber Drivers on Strike in Qatar and India

Over 700 Uber drivers on strike in Doha, Qatar reached out to NYTWA for solidarity after they saw the strength of our strike against the Muslim Ban and the #DeleteUber campaign that rose up in support of our strike.
The 19,000-member strong New York Taxi Workers Alliance stands in solidarity with you as more than 700 of you complete your fifth day on strike against Uber’s poverty pay in Qatar.  We salute your courage, your determination, your loyalty to each other, and your passion for a world that is just to workers.  We understand your strike is over Uber’s low wages and that this poverty for you brings the dire risks of deportation, as you risk losing your work visas when you cannot keep up with your car leases due to low pay.  
Your courage and fortitude, driver brothers and sisters, as migrant workers with no labor protections and little money striking against a Wall Street multi-national are beyond measure to us.  We heed your call for support and pledge our full solidarity as you demand that Uber Technologies respect your strike and end poverty pay now! 
In New Delhi, India thousands of Uber drivers are on strike over the same issues of rate cuts and Uber’s global monopoly tactic of flooding streets with vehicles making it harder for each driver to make a living. Our brothers in India mobilized after a fellow Uber driver committed suicide from the persistent poverty and pressure to make lease payments.  Uber’s only response has been to file an injunction against the drivers’ organizations for striking.  

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Immigrant worker members of LWC and USW didn’t go to work in solidarity with #adaywithoutimmigrants

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Today, Immigrant workers members of LWC and USW have united in not going to work today, in solidarity with #adaywithoutimmigrants. Our communities have come together to stand against the Muslim ban, against ICE, against the violence on communities of color and the working class, that has been going on for a very long time. Now is the moment we demonstrate who we are and what we are made of, now is the moment we demonstrate all the power our community holds. Staying home today, together, outside, and in public spaces, we are present, we are aware, and we are against what this administration is doing. It is important to keep gathering, to keep building and to keep organizing beyond today. The struggle continues!

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Rally to #FreeDaniel and Stop ICE Raids

rapfeb16The Trump administration has continuously attacked immigrant communities. This past week there have been hundreds of arrests by ICE, spreading fear and panic throughout our communities all over the country. Most recently, Daniel Ramirez Medina was taken into custody despite being a DACA recipient. This Thursday at 5pm, we rally in front of the Department of Homeland Security Building to demand that ICE#FreeDaniel and stop #ICERaids operations and arrests that are targeting everyone and tearing families falling apart

When: Thursday, February 16th, 2017 at 5 PM

Where: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Varick Street Federal Building)
201 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014