We are here to stay – Immigrants, communities of color, muslim, LGBTQ

Hundreds of people from across Southeast Michigan gathered at UAW Local 600 Saturday afternoon to honor Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr., in a show of unity across lines of color, gender, ethnicity, religion and immigration status. Michigan United joined the United Auto Workers and community-based groups in a mass call to action to defend the rights of immigrants, refugees, communities of color and the members of the LGBTQ community. In addition to the King holiday, groups cited the well-documented rise in hate crimes in Michigan since the presidential election as inspiration for the event.

“We have no doubt that Reverend King would be pushing us to stand with people who are under attack because of their immigration status, the color of their skin or who they love,” said Michigan United member, Reverend Samuel Johnson of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church. “Mobilizations like this are crucial to show that the majority of people will not tolerate hate crimes and attacks. The fight to keep immigrant families together is connected to the fight to keep all families safe.”

The Congress of Communities, Chadsey Condon Community Association, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights worked with members of the LGBTQ community to host the event. The intersection of struggles and resistance was at the heart of the gathering.

“Some victories such as marriage equality or the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which protects immigrants brought here as children are recent,” said Seydi Sarr, General Secretary of the Senegalese Association. “Some, such as the 1960s civil rights legislation are decades old. We stand to defend them all. We fight to keep immigrant families together here in the US, for refugee families fleeing violence to be safe here. We must defend human and civil rights won for the LGBTQ community and people of color. We can win if we see that all these struggles are connected.”

“No event, not even a presidential election will stop us from standing up and fighting for human and civil rights,” said Sergio Martinez, Michigan United board member. “As a gay man who has benefited from DACA and advances in LGBTQ rights, I refuse to go backward just as Dr. King and those who fought with him resisted the backlash against civil rights laws. Those of us fighting for justice are the majority. Making that clear with gatherings like this will push us toward victory.”

Cientos de personas de todo el sureste de Michigan se reunieron en UAW Local 600 el pasado mes de Enero para honrar el Reverendo Dr. Martin L. King Jr., en una muestra de unidad a través de líneas de color, género, etnia, religión y estatus migratorio. Michigan United se unió a los Trabajadores de United Auto y a los grupos comunitarios en un llamamiento masivo a la acción para defender los derechos de los inmigrantes, los refugiados, las comunidades de color y los miembros de la comunidad LGBTQ. Además de las fiestas de King, los grupos citaron el bien documentado aumento de los crímenes de odio en Michigan desde las elecciones presidenciales como inspiración para el evento.

El Congreso de Comunidades, la Asociación Comunitaria Chadsey Condon, el Consejo Regional de Carpinteros de Michigan y la Coalición Interdependiente Washtenaw para Derechos de Inmigrantes trabajaron con miembros de la comunidad LGBTQ para llevar a cabo el evento. La intersección de las luchas y la resistencia estaba en el corazón de la reunión.

“Algunas victorias como la igualdad matrimonial o la Acción Diferida sobre las Llegadas de la Niñez (DACA) que protege a los inmigrantes traídos aquí como niños son recientes”, dijo Seydi Sarr, Secretario General de la Asociación Senegalesa. “Algunos, como la legislación sobre derechos civiles de los años 60, tienen décadas de antigüedad. Estamos a favor de defenderlos a todos. Luchamos para mantener a las familias inmigrantes unidas aquí en los Estados Unidos, para que las familias de refugiados que huyen de la violencia sean seguras aquí. Debemos defender los derechos humanos y civiles ganados por la comunidad LGBTQ y la gente de color. Podemos ganar si vemos que todas estas luchas están conectadas “.

“Ningún evento, ni siquiera una elección presidencial nos impedirá ponernos de pie y luchar por los derechos humanos y civiles”, dijo Sergio Martínez, miembro del directorio de Michigan United. “Como hombre gay que se ha beneficiado de DACA y avances en los derechos de los LGBTQ, me niego a retroceder justo cuando el Dr. King y los que lucharon con él resistieron la reacción contra las leyes de derechos civiles. Los que luchamos por la justicia somos la mayoría. Hacer esto claro con reuniones como esta nos empujará hacia la victoria “.

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Ray Andrews aka Ray Andres is the content manager for the website Lavoz web. Ray helps support the uploading and management of the monthly content uploaded to the website from the monthly magazine and blog post from subscribers and journalist. Ray currently lives in Denmark and Lithuania and works as activities leader for Future Kulture and project manager for "InCubator" a new initiative from Lithuania. Ray administers the tourist websites for Welcome 2 Europe; www.welcome2vilnius.com www.welcome2cph.com, www.welcome2brd.com. "I think and breath better when I tilt my head." Ray Andres

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