Labor Leaders Join Civil Rights Groups to Fight Alabama's Draconian Immigration Law
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This is very personal to me. In Alabama, i could be stopped by police officer just because of my brown hair and my Spanish accent.
She noted that the shareholder meeting fell on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and framed the Alabama law as a civil rights struggle that cannot be ignored:
You might argue that you do not want to become involved in a local political fight. But Alabama drew you and all of us into this fight when it passed this law. As one of the largest employers in the state, as the flagship company that revitalized the Alabama economy when the Confederate flag came down, Daimler is one of the few actors in the state that has the power to stop this law. You have the power to make the state Legislature listen.
An AFL-CIO backgrounder adds:
Mercedes-Benz built their Alabama plant after securing lucrative tax benefits from the government of Alabama and following the state government’s decision to remove the confederate flag from the state Capitol, a symbol that the state was ready to move beyond its bloody past of racial intolerance and violence. Mercedes and other manufacturers have located in Alabama because it has some of the worst labor protections in America. Alabama is a small state most famous for bloody protests in the 1960s over civil and human rights – a past that it is shamefully returning to.
Kari Lydersen, an In These Times contributing editor, is a Chicago-based journalist whose works has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Reader and The Progressive, among other publications. Her most recent book is Revolt on Goose Island. In 2011, she was awarded a Studs Terkel Community Media Award for her work. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.