by Dutch Hillstrom

Today, 12/18/11, I went to a march for immigrant rights in the City of Bellaire. The Bellaire Police Department has decided to adopt a new law which legalizes racial profiling by allowing the cops to ask anyone for identification who might appear to be an immigrant. There are many immigrant workers in Bellaire who already struggle each day just to provide enough food for their family and pay the monthly rent. This new law will create another burden for the immigrant community, for it will make them more afraid of cops and less likely to call the police when there is a real emergency. If, for example, there is a robbery in an immigrant household, it is unlikely that the family will report it given the dangers of doing so. For a cop only has to ask for papers and he can immediately deport anyone who does not have legal identification.

The working people in the immigrant community of Bellaire will not have it! Today, Occupy Houston and Houston United organized a large demonstration in Bellaire. There were about 200 people, all who were very upset about this new law. The march assembled at Bellaire and Chimney Rock; from there we marched to Bellaire Police Department. The march was very visible, as we had a loudspeaker and a PA system. Then we assembled at the Bellaire Police Department and rallied for about an hour; there were many speeches as well as labor songs.

The Houston Communist Party stands in solidarity with the immigrant workers of the City of Bellaire who are struggling against this new Draconian legislation. There will be many more protests and marches in the near future, as the local Houston government is also trying to pass this law. Protests and demonstrations are very important; however, we must also wage class war at the electoral level. The only way that these new laws will really be defeated is if progressives get elected to office who have the power to vote against such legislation. Protesting in the streets is good, but it will not change the minds of those in power; therefore, progressives themselves must get into power, for it is there that the struggle can truly be won. If progressive candidates rally around such protests movements, they are likely to win an election and reject every new racist law that the reactionary conservatives propose. Hence, the Progressive Left in Houston must unite with protests like those today and try to get into public office to smash racism at the legislative level.