Now that primary season has wrapped up, what’s next for all the new, young, socialist-friendly voters? There’s Jill Stein, there’s “bust,” and there are calculations to make about Clinton, Trump, down-ballot candidates, and their parties and party factions. In the 2016-that-never-ends, there’s also the ongoing spotlight on anything election-related—making for a one-of-a-kind platform to amplify the issues that have turned people out in the first place.
That’s the backdrop for all the hell that’s about to be raised at the party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. In this post, organizers from four different groups talk about why they’re making the trips. This post is the latest edition of the Nation’s student- and youth-organizing feature, edited by James Cersonsky (@cersonsky). For more, check out May 9 and June 20.
Building a New Wall
By Tania Unzueta
When Donald Trump becomes the nominee of the Republican Party in Cleveland this week, Mexicanxs, Latinxs, Chicanxs, and people of conscience will be there to give him the wall he campaigned for. It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be the best wall you’ve ever seen. Except, the wall won’t be on the border but surrounding the convention itself.
Parents, workers, veterans, artists, students, and community organizers brought together by Mijente, the Ruckus Society, and the Other 98% will form a symbolic line of defense against the hatred and racism of a Trump takeover and a line of offense in support of migrant and racial justice.
Mijente formed in 2015 to be a new political home for pro-black, pro-women, pro-queer, pro-poor Latinxs and Chicanxs. Across the country, we’re working to bring the movement to fruition. We stood with students to shut Trump down in Chicago and supported local groups to close the roads to his rally in Phoenix. Standing up to Trump’s hate is just one part of redefining civic engagement as more than a vote that’s suppressed by the right and taken for granted by the Democratic Party. It’s to say that Latinxs will not stand on the sidelines of history in this moment or go quietly as his campaign seeks to push us back across the border, back into the closet, and to the back of the bus.
Immediately after Cleveland, members of the #Not1More campaign will head to Philadelphia to raise the standards for what it means to be a “champion” for migrant rights. We’ll march with the local group, Juntos, to demand that the current administration shut down family detention and dismantle the deportation machine President Obama built up and will pass to whichever candidate is his successor. The fact that immigration authorities already jail mothers and children, deport Muslim detainees en masse, and each day refine the raids with which they terrorize our communities is clear evidence that Trump can’t be our only focus. Nor should he be an excuse for those who claim to be our “friends” to lower the expectations of what being an ally on our issues means.