Momentum for the May 1st Boycott is building and while we don’t necessarily agree with some aspects of the boycott, in particular the call for students to skip school and for additional protesting, which we see as counter productive in light of the recent success of the protest marches two weeks ago. We support the idea and effort to speak out and have a say on the immigration issue.
There are many ways to have our voices heard. A boycott and staying away from work can be an effective, symbolic, way of interjecting the migrant workers voice as well as all immigrant voices into the debate.
We support the effort and intent of those who support and plan on participating with this boycott and work stoppage, but we do so with words of caution.
First, all students need to go to school. This is particularly important in that May 1st is a day set aside for California schools offering the test called the California Standards Test (CST) as well as Advanced Placement (AP) Exams for college/university academic credit. The Standards test will be given to all students including the Primary grades. These tests not only impact on the students but on the schools and districts as well and could have a profound impact on all concerned.
Students wishing to participate and support the boycott can do so after school at several events throughout the County. Most notable is the “May 1st National Day of Civic Engagement” with a candlelight vigil starting at 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Balboa Park, corner of 6th & Laurel and the North County Grape Day Park event, Monday, May 1st at 5:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Grape Day Park, Escondido, 321 North Broadway.
Workers who are contemplating not showing up for work check and make sure that it is within your rights to take a day off, such as a personal day, don’t just assume you can not show up for work and everything will be okay. If you are not sure of the impact of not showing up to work, check with you employer. Do not jeopardize you job. You can support the boycott by attending one of the aforementioned events and by not making any purchases that day.
Other ways you can support the boycott and participate in civic engagement, as mentioned do not make any purchases. If eligible to vote but not registered Register to Vote. Talk with the family about the issue of immigration and what it means to you and your family. Students and teachers can use this as a teaching and learning moment. Make a commitment to become an active civic participant not only on May 1st but throughout the year, attend a city council meeting, join politically active groups, support candidates who support your positions, support Hispanic businesses, and most importantly VOTE.
One thing to remember, to have our voices effectively heard and have a say on issues such as immigration, education, health, and employment to name a few, it is not a quick fix but takes commitment and time.