Chicago’s deportation blockade. (Credit: Sarah Jane Rhee)
1. On Deportation Day, Youth Blockade the Bus
On November 19, twelve undocumented immigrants and allies temporarily stopped a bus that was headed toward O’Hare Airport to drop off a group of people set to be deported that day. Six of the participants, including myself, stopped the bus by attaching ourselves to one another and to the vehicle with lock-boxes. Inside the bus was Octavio Nava-Cabrera, who several participants in the action had gotten to know through the work and support they had provided for his anti-deportation campaign. Also on the bus was Brigido Acosta, who has a decades-old removal order. After an hour, the participants were detached and the bus made its way to O’Hare. Octavio and Brigido, along with the others on the bus, were deported. We will continue to support our families and continue to demand deportations stop.
2. As UC Stalls, Grad Students Strike
On November 20, graduate students in the UAW Local 2865 Academic Workers union at the University of California held a statewide strike in solidarity with striking service workers. AFSCME 3299 represents custodial staff, shuttle drivers, nurses’ aids and other workers throughout the UC system, and has been in contract bargaining with the UC for more than a year. Last Spring, AFSCME 3299 patient care workers at UC medical facilities held a two-day strike to draw attention to dangerous short-staffing. According to workers, UC managers engaged in a number of unfair labor practices in the run up to that action, including threats and intimidation; the November 20 strike was a response to those tactics. The tutors, teaching assistants and instructors of the UAW 2865 stood on the picket lines to denounce management’s actions. After UAW members announced our intent to walk out in solidarity, management began to harass us as well. In such moments, the truth of that old slogan really shines: an injury to one is an injury to all.