byUtica IWW/Press Release

There will be a panel discussion at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY in ACC 116 on Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm titled We Are Many, They Are Few: A Panel Discussion on Immigrant, Refugee and Worker Justice.

Immigrant, refugee and Muslim communities are under attack by the rise of the alt right, fascist and white supremacist movements and face a new wave of repression from the current administration. The Muslim travel ban, the threat to overturn DACA, the increase in ICE raids, and the ever-expanding power the government has to surveil, criminalize, incarcerate and deport vulnerable communities all create a sense of powerlessness from people who believe in justice, equality, dignity and freedom. However, a multitude of organizations and social movements are fighting back against these injustices. Immigrant activists are leading these struggles in the form of protests, grassroots organizing, rapid-response networks, strikes, labor organizing and nonviolent direct action. This resistance is also growing in Syracuse, Utica, Albany and in rural communities in Upstate NY as activists organize rapid-response networks to accompany those in our community who are facing deportation, organize labor actions in the dairy industry and elsewhere and increasing awareness and action around this growing repression.

Come join us in dialogue to discuss what we are up against both nationally and locally and how we can create an effective resistance in our own backyard for immigrant, refugee and worker justice. This panel discussion will include immigrant, worker and refugee justice activists in the area who are on the front lines in the fight for migrant and worker justice. This event will take place at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, in the Alumni College Center (ACC) 116. This event is part of the college’s Cultural Series and is a Diversity and Global Views (DGV) event. TheIndustrial Workers of the World (IWW) helped organize the event.

Speakers will Include:

Rebecca Fuentes is the lead organizer for the Workers Center of Central New York which is a grassroots organization focused upon workplace and economic justice in and around Syracuse. Through community organizing, leadership development, popular education and policy advocacy, the Workers’ Center empowers low-wage workers to combat workplace abuses and improve wages and working conditions throughout the community. The Workers’ Center facilitates worker empowerment and leadership development through trainings related to workers’ rights and occupational health and safety, orchestrates campaigns to combat wage theft and to promote employer compliance with the law, and engages in organizing and coalition-building to push for policies that will increase wages and workplace standards and promote human rights. Among other things, Rebecca has helped lead many campaigns including the Dairy Farmworker Organizing Campaign which has organized migrant dairy farmworkers to fight back against unsafe working conditions, discrimination and wage theft.

Aly Wane is an established community organizer in Syracuse. He originally came to the U.S. as the son of a diplomat that worked at the United Nations. He eventually traded his diplomat visa for a student visa and completed his studies with a BA in Political Science from Le Monye College in Syracuse. He missed the age cut-off for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and is filing affirmatively for Deferred Action consideration. He is an undocumented Peace Activist who has worked with many groups, including the Syracuse Peace Council, the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse, the Workers’ Center of CNY, and the American Friends Service Committee. His work focuses on migrants’ rights, racial justice, and economic justice.

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