I recently came across this article titled "The 13 Best Organizing Moments of 2013” compiled by the New Organizing Institute which was shared by friends of mine in (for lack of better wording) “progressive” circles citing it as a good roundup of this year’s best organizing moments. 2013 was certainly a year to remember for organizing, do not get me wrong. The moments highlighted in this article were definitely worth remembering and two of them were related to the push for Immigration Reform (United We Dream’s “Operation Butterfly” and the ongoing “Fast For Families”) and rightly so--the struggle for fair and comprehensive immigration reform is ongoing as the bill currently sits in the House.
|Member of DreamActivist Ohio welcoming 2 of the #Dream30 back to Columbus|
What I found revealing, however, was what this article chose not to include. In the same year, two waves of fearless undocumented immigrants--first the “Dream 9” followed by the “Dream 30”-- crossed the border in an effort to reunite families and publicize the gravity of record high deportations under the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, undocumented immigrants and allies have held numerous acts of civil disobedience, literally stopping ICE trucks by blocking access roads and putting their own lives on the line.
|Members of Undocumented Illinois blocking an ICE truck in Chicago|
It seems odd that we celebrate a years worth of organizing while ignoring these acts of bravery. It feels like many are still stuck in this paradigm that we can do certain things to highlight an unjust system (such as fasting) but when it comes to directly defying the system, suddenly there seems to be a lack of coverage. History has showed us that it take these brave acts of defiance to make change, it's simply unfortunate that the mainstream media and seemingly "progressive" non-profit organizations choose to ignore them.