For Immediate Release: Sunday January 29, 2012
Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, 206.650.2106 or 206.850.0497, email@example.com.
El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social clarifies misinformation about events in Seattle for May 1st, 2012.
Despite claims to the contrary, neither we nor any major labor international have called for a general srtike on May 1st.
SEATTLE – El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social would like to clarify openly that contrary to the writings of fringe groups within Occupy Seattle, neither we, nor any any of the national leadership organizing May 1st actions throughout the U.S. has called for a general strike on May 1st 2012. There may be some groups calling for a general strike but they and their agents do not represent El Comité or are authorized to make any statements on our behalf and or misrepresent us in any capacity. We ask these participants to cease and desist immediately and respect our democratic organizational structure. As a community organization, we elect our board every year, including the spokespersons. Any claim that we support or call for actions, that are not made from our spokespersons, are completely false.
To be clear, we acknowledge the fact that these subgroups and fringe entities are not representative of Occupy Seattle as a whole and we do not intend to conflate their activities with Occupy Seattle’s work in vocalizing the excesses and abusive nature of our deregulated financial system that has led to mass unemployment, home foreclosures, economic speculation, attacks on workers’ right to organize, and left many of us mired in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. As an organization that prides itself on being overtly pro-worker, especially with regard to many of our immigrant brothers and sisters who are socially and economically marginalized, we laud Occupy Seattle’s great work in helping bring these concerns into mainstream parlance.
We look forward to future collaboration with OS and welcome the energy they bring into this dialogue. However, given recent altercations between the OS fringe and long shore workers with regard to the December 12, 2011 “West Coast Port Shutdown,” we feel it necessary to, as the workers along the coast has already done, make it abundantly clear that no one speaks on our behalf but ourselves. And that we insist that any attempt to utilize our name without consent is in direct violation of our principles.
For more on the port action see the following links:
As a community-based organization, we take our work very seriously as we directly experience the result of our organizational efforts. The program for the annual May 1st march, in existence since 2000, is the result of various open forums and immigrant worker assemblies organized by El Comité, which take place in Seattle, Tacoma, South MLK County, and other areas throughout the Puget Sound region. The theme of our March and organizational priorities for the entire year are decided in these community forums. In effect, it is our community that dictates what approach to take and what sequence of actions serve best as a whole. As of yet, there have not been any public meetings convened, and as such, we cannot claim to support, much less call for a general strike.
In closing, we wish to reiterate our point that we ask any individual or entity to immediately cease using our name and attempt to subvert and dismantle the work that we have undertaken for over 12 years. We welcome any and all who wish to work with us and offer support in solidarity. Likewise, we echo the long shore worker’s point that we as immigrant workers and community members are the only ones who can directly address the matters that afflict our communities. We respect the work that many other social justice organizations undertake. As such, we expect this same mutual respect in regard to our own internal workings and democratic structure. There is no need for petty tactics, misinformation, and infiltration of our communications infrastructure. Let us all join as one to ensure we all coexist in a dignified way as workers, community members, students, as human beings.
EDUCATE, ORGANIZE, MOBILIZE!
For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social, 206.650.2106 or 206.850.0497, firstname.lastname@example.org.