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Tuesday, March 28, 2006 

Houston, We Have A Problem!

Inspired by the multiple school walkouts happening around the nation that was brought on by the Nation's immigrant tormenter, Houston's teens also choose to send a clear message to the Nation and especially Texas' very own immigrant tormenter. Even though the numbers were not into the thousands, the rally did surprise Houston's politicos as students from more than four high schools in and around the Houston area marched against HR4437, the bill that planned to turn 12 million undocumented residents into felons and build a Chinese-like "Great Wall" of isolation and exclusion only between the United States and Mexico.

Their message to Houston and the Nation was clear. Summing up the sentiments many are feeling, High School for Law Enforcement student Joe Mendoza was quoted on Houston's Indy Media saying:
"Latinos unidos, jamas seran vencidos," as students chanted in unison as they showed their pride. "Look around at all these buildings around us (in downtown) these buildings are kept they way they are because of us immigrants, this city knows that we are needed here for things to work and we are not afraid of these laws. We are not going anywhere. We are not criminals."
The question remains, where are the local leaders of Houston to counter the hate that has been spewed from anti-immigration foes. Sadly, not one Houston politicos has stepped up and taken any type of leadership role. The rallies that occured in two of the country's largest cities was organizied in a colaboration, yet the leaders have refused to step up and organize any mass protest. Sure the embattled Council Member Carol Alvarado came out and gave her sad "I endorse you" good job rhetoric, but the truth is, she had too, to fix her reputation or she really would look as if she is out of touch with her community. But the other question is where was Council Member Adrian Garcia has he abandoned his constituents as he fail to support the students. And now Houston's first Hispanic HISD Superintendent, Dr. Abelardo Saavedra just following the company political line and has decided to enact some draconian measure on those student who excersied their right to protest.

More below the fold

Considering CM Alvarado's Mayor Pro-Tem Office of Coruption has been making head lines recently, one would think she would really show support and fight her the students who are about to get into trouble. Instead, CM Alvarado has down played this rally and robbed them of their voice as she told the students that the city didn't have authority over federal immigration policy.
Alvarado, whose district includes Austin High, explained to the students that the city doesn't have authority over federal immigration policy.
But she is not the only one who stated the same thing, Mayor Bill White also gave the students "what can the city do" BS line.
The [Mayor White] said he appreciates all the work the students are doing to get their message out, but he admitted it is a federal issue.
It is obvious that both Alvardo and White have failed to see that the immigration fight isn't over yet and demanding support from their government. But instead just placated to the students figured if the student leaders could meet the Mayor things would be alright.

Mayor White, CM Alvarado, Gracia, and the rest of the state and local party should for have taken lessons from their counter-parts in Los Angeles and Chicago in leadership during a time that xenophobia is on the rise. Neither Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor Richard Daley went out and said the city didn't have authority over federal immigration. In fact, both Mayors pledged to protect those who were undocumented.

Mayor Richard M. Daley said:
"This is a fight that includes every American. Those who are here undocumented, we're not going to make criminals out of them. That is not what America has ever stood for and will not stand for."
Mayor Villaraigosa, a son of Mexican immigrants, former labor activist, and LA's first Hispanic Mayor told the protestors in front of City Hall:
"We cannot criminalise people who are working, people who are contributing to our economy and contributing to the nation."

No, Houston's leadership truely receives an F on the day students where looking for their government's leader to take a stand. Many adults feel that these students don't really know what really is going and used this as an excuse to ditch. But as Adrian Mora, student at LA's Avalon High School, elloquently put it:
"They may look at us [students] and think we're dumb, but we're just here to help the people we love."
Currently there are talks that these students will now face punishment from their schools for having participated in the protest and yet, nobody has spoken out against this. Given that the Senate is still debating there is still a chance the laws can still change their lives by making them criminals out of them and their families. According Arminius, immigration lawyer and activist, the recent vote still doesn't mean all immigrants are safe.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is brought to us by Richard Mellon Scaife, the same asshole who bankrolled the Clinton investigations and impeachment. They have HUGE resources. They get HUGE play on the coopted national media. Their frontline current spokesman is Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, who is just the next in line after guys like Lamar Smith of Texas. They've been building this incredibly punitive anti-foreigner law for a long time.....these hearings today, and the debates the rest of the week, are a FUCKING SHAM! We went through a similar process, at a lower temperature, in 1996, and we got the IIRAIRA bill, to date the most punitive ant-immigrant law in history. That was written by FAIR lawyers in the conference. The final bill, which became LAW after Clinton signed it, didn't look anything at all like what passed the houses of Congress.

Congress this time will be restrained a little bit by the huge demonstrations. But the final bill may be a lot worse than what is reported today.
So is this how the HISD pays them back for excersing their right to protest. But then again this is the same school disctrict that purchased Neil Bush's Ignite Learning program which 40 being used in the Houston area.

Neil's product "The COW," a built-in projector, curriculum content, and script for teachers does come pre-loaded with all of Ignite!'s Science or Social Studies courses. And here is a clip from the outline of the Social Studies Curriculum.
Understanding Our Democracy - The Rights and Responsibilities of the Citizen 1787-Present
Three Branches
States' Rights
The Influences of Factions
The Electoral Process
Constitutional Amendments
How a Bill Becomes a Law
The Individual vs the State
Limited Freedom of Speech
Sacrificing for the Greater Good
Voting
The Media
Protest and Civil Disobedience
It may just look like the part informing them of their right to protest has gone down the memory hole just like the rest of the Constitution.

Many Texas Democrats complained that the a large portion of the Hispanic community voted for Dudya, and now is their chance to win them back. But of course not, it is not their issue to fight because its the belief of the Democratic Party to let the Republican's fight themselves over it. That is some way to win back the Party's lost votes.

It's time for the Houston leadership to take a stand!


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