Activists in Michigan seem to be dead serious about achieving immigration reform this year, and Justice Launch 2013 (or Lanzamos Justicia 2013, in Spanish) is the most recent effort towards achieving this goal.
Justice Launch 2013 is a Re-founding Convention that will take place at the UAW Local 600 in Dearborn on Saturday, March 23th, beginning at 9:30 am. Members of AIR (the Alliance for Immigrants Rights) and MOP (the Michigan Organizing Project) are launching a campaign for civil rights and economic justice to announce their new statewide organization.
This new “…national campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform is for everyone”, says the Justice Launch 2013 website.
MOP/AIR includes community members and means to confirm that fighting for dignity and potential is a universal right for everyone in the United States. MOP/AIR are committed to a participatory democracy – at every level – and most importantly, to a society that “dismantles racism while uplifting our common humanity”.
Where did MOP/AIR originate?
MOP is a faith-centered community established 20 years ago in West Michigan (operating mostly in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and other smaller towns in the area). Its main purpose has been to increase access to health and dental care for low-income families.
AIR is also a coalition of labor, faith, social services, civil rights, and business groups aiming to help low income Latino and Arab American families across Metro Detroit. AIR fights in favor of DACA, the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals Program, and to secure enough votes to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. One of AIR’s biggest accomplishments was its fight against the implementation in Michigan of the unpopular E-Verify program.
MOP and AIR joined efforts in 2012 seeking to restore fundamental dignity to working families, immigrant workers, and students, and to achieve an “economically and racially just society…”.
In March 2013, MOP/AIR took still another step, and formed MICHIGAN UNITED, an organization that aims to ensure that democracy is truly for everyone in Michigan.
Justice Launch 2013 will include workshops and training on how to effectively organize a community. It will also include alternative economic models, advice on how to confront racial discrimination, and how to increase solidarity and further build popular power.
Later, on April 10th, there are already plans for further action. Hundreds of Michiganders will participate in the March for Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C., together with large groups of activists from all over the United States to demand a fair and just immigration reform.
Buses will leave from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Grand Rapids on April 9th, and will return on April 11th to Michigan.