LOS ANGELES, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of African American community
here Saturday voiced their support for the upcoming nation-wide boycott of job,
school and shopping by illegal immigrants and their supporters.
Speakers at a press conference in a Los Angeles church likened Great
American Boycott, scheduled for Monday on the occasion of the International
Labor Day, to the black civil rights movement.
"Rosa Parks steered a new course for history against racism and for workers
rights," said John Parker, West Coast coordinator of the International Action
Center. "This right here is today's Montgomery bus boycott."
He was referring to the black woman whose refusal to give up her seat to a white
passenger in a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955 triggered the Martin Luther
King-led civil rights movement.
Lasting from midnight Sunday to midnight Monday, the boycott is designed to
underscore the economic importance of immigrants at a time when U.S. lawmakers
are crafting immigration reform.
Mass marches will punctuate the demonstration across the Southern
California and other major populated areas across the United States.
Tony Muhammad, a Nation of Islam minister, said the immigrants rights movement
is a global one that concerns oppressed peoples of color, black and
brown, and the world would be looking to Los Angeles as a model in the pursuit
of "freedom, justice and equality."
Immigrants rights activist Gloria Saucedo urged people not to buy, sell, work
or attend school in observance of the boycott, and compared the plight of
illegal immigrants to slavery.
Referring to the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United
States, she said the immigrants today "share the same history of slavery."
Jesse Diaz, a member of the March 25 coalition that helped organize the
mass demonstration one month ago and Monday's event, predicted the boycott would
mark a historic day in the nation's history.
"That day opened a new chapter in our history," he said. " Hopefully May 1
will open a big chapter in our history."
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to skip work and school Monday
to attend rallies throughout Los Angeles and other U.S. cities demanding that
millions of illegal immigrants be granted citizenship or at least a path to
Although people opposed to illegal immigration said they do not expect the
boycott to change anyone's mind on the controversial issue, there are worries
that businesses will be in chaos Monday because of the boycott. Enditem