Opening Day at the Peoples Global Action
By Rubén Solis
Southwest Workers Union
Nov. 2, 2010
Yesterday was ‘dia de l@s Muert@s’ and the opening of the Peoples Global Action (PGA) took a \ minute of silence to remember all of the souls of migrants that have died.
The opening of the 5th Gathering of PGA took place in the historic center of Mexico DF in the ‘Convento Hipólito’. Several of the organizing leadership spoke in the opening including the main opening words by Colin Rajah of the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR) from the United States.
The opening program included a panel of six representatives of different regions in various continents including a sister from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the United States. The speakers framed the issues of migrant rights both in terms of the violation of Human Rights and the resistance and organizing work taking place against all risks. Migrants risk their lives in their transit from their country to the country of destination but organizers of migrant rights also risk their lives in the work of defending migrant human rights.
The opening of the PGA also heard from the organizing committee in Mexico DF and the Mexico City government under-secretary to the Mayor of this millennium city, welcoming the delegates and wishing the best in the work for the days ahead. The Mayor’s representative highlighted that Mexico DF is a city of transit for millions of migrants and thus the City government is aware of the issues related to migrant rights.
The opening night ended with fabulous music by the youth band from Michoacan. A ‘jarocho’ group also presented music from the Veracruz region. The hosts of the opening night served great traditional Mexican food, drinks like orchata and Jamaica, wine and Mezqual for the brave.
The opening night could not be absent of beautiful ‘altares’ commemorating the dead as it is celebrated widely in Mexico. Thousands of people were out in the street of Mexico celebrating the day of the dead.
The opening day of the PGA was very welcoming to the delegates coming from some 70 countries representing Asia, Africa, Central America, North America and South America and the Caribbean. The delegation from the United States, organized under the banner of National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (NNIRR), has close to 75 delegates with representatives from across the United States. Southwest Workers Union, a member organization of NNIRR is represented by Ruben Solis who will be participating in two workshop presentations on Migrant & Labor and Migrants and Free Trade.
Editor's Note: Rubén Solis is a co-founder of the Southwest Workers Union, absed in San Antonio, Texas.