The group that organized an anti-undocumented immigrant rally a few weeks ago at New York’s Mexican Consulate are planning another protest for Friday evening. This time, however, they won’t target the immigrants themselves, or a country (like Mexico) from which lots of them come. Instead, they’re going after “the supporters of illegal aliens … bringing them ‘out of the shadows’.” And those supporters, of course, are socialists.
At least, says New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement (NYICE), that’s how the people who counter-demonstrated at the consulate identified themselves:
the counterprotestors at the previous rally reported to the press that they belong to Socialist groups . . . Furthermore, these counterprotestors also demonstrated their affinity for intimidation tactics when, AFTER THE RALLY, they stalked and surrounded at least one member of NY I.C.E., screaming repeatedly “racist.” . . . NY I.C.E. officially denounces racism. One of our key leaders herself is Hispanic and the granddaughter of legal immigrants.
So where do you find socialists in New York at 6 p.m. on a Friday? Why, Revolution Books, of course!
The store on West 19th Street is the designated New York headquarters for the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization that believes there’ll be no true democracy in a class-divided society and contends that, “Of all the tyrants and oppressors in the world, there is none that has caused more untold misery and committed more screaming injustices against the people of the world than the rulers of the U.S.” NY I.C.E. describes the store as a “Socialist hotspot.” Last night, behind the window display of Chomsky works and copies of the biography of RCP leader Bob Avakian, the guy who picked up the phone at Revolution Books said the Voice‘s questions about the planned protest were the first he’d heard of it.
Leave aside the fact that the throngs of mostly brown-skinned folk who rallied around City Hall on April 10, or linked hands along Atlantic Avenue and Fordham Road on May 1, or gathered by the hundreds of thousands in other cities over recent months, didn’t look like communists, that some of them had fled collectivist tyranny, and that by almost all seemed enthusiastic believers in the American capitalist dream. The funny thing is that NY I.C.E. and the RCP sound quite a bit alike in some of their critiques of the current immigration system.
NY I.C.E. blames big business for abetting illegal immigration, depressing U.S. workers’ wages, and supporting politicians who allow it to happen. The newly updated RCP manifesto similarly wags a finger at the elites: “The bourgeoisie brags about its ‘great melting pot’ as it lures immigrants into its cheap labor pools.”
Where the groups part ways is when the RCP states: “In the communist future, the idea of borders that divide and rank people will be as absurd as the idea of ‘racial divisions,’ and the word ‘immigrant’ itself will lose its meaning.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 20, 2006