Friday, April 27, 2012

Chicana writer credits immigrant women with crucial leadership Raised in a barrio of Phoenix, author Christina López learned about racial bigotry when strangers would tell at her to go back to Mexico -- despite the fact her family has roots in the Southwest that predate U.S. borders. Her mother encouraged her to stand up, be proud of her heritage and always fight for what's right. Taking these words to heart, López began a lifetime of community organizing. As part of MEChA, a Chicana/o student group, she campaigned against the passage of a racist English-only law in Arizona. In 2005, López became the president of Seattle Radical Women, a socialist feminist organization, where she helped lead the chapter in defense of immigrant rights, union campaigns, and reproductive justice, and in opposition to police brutality, U.S. wars, and budget cuts targeting the most vulnerable. López is currently the U.S. vice-presidential candidate on the Freedom Socialist Party slate. She is also the author of a newly published work on the struggles of immigrant women. Pairing careful research with personal passion, Estamos en la Lucha: Immigrant Women Light the Fires of Resistance examines the fighting spirit that immigrant women bring to social movements despite formidable barriers. The 40-page, highly readable pamphlet offers a poignant look at the specific conditions faced by both documented and undocumented immigrant women. It explores the role of xenophobia, economic reliance on immigrants, the military-industrial-prison-border complex, and how female militancy impacts the labor movement. Estamos en la Lucha also addresses roadblocks to an effective defense of immigrant rights, including what López calls a "go slow, aim low…recipe for limited gains," "dead-end" reliance on the Democratic or Republican parties, and sexism. López offers concrete examples of women "actively creating dynamic strategies of resistance and solidarity" between Latina/o immigrants, newcomers from other regions of the world, and U.S. residents of all races. According to López, "Immigrant women have the power and need to form a united multi-issue movement to confront xenophobia, violence, labor abuses and free trade." "Ultimately," says the author, "the issue of immigrant rights is a problem of ethnic, racial and gender justice for the world's most oppressed workers. Foreign-born and native-born workers share a common class interest." Estamos en la Lucha: Immigrant Women Light the Fires of Resistance can be purchased from RadicalWomen.org or from Amazon.com. # # # Estamos en la Lucha: Immigrant Women Light the Fires of Resistance By Christina López Publication date: March 30, 2012 * Radical Women Publications * www.RadicalWomen.org $5.00 * 40 pages ISBN: 978-0-9725403-9-1 For a review copy or to arrange an interview with Christina López call 206-722-6057 or email RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com. From: Radical Women, 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118 206-722-6057 * RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com * www.RadicalWomen.org

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