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Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride
September 20-October 4, 2003

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HAW brigade at Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride concluding rally, Flushing Meadows, NYC, October 4, 2003.


In its September 4 Telephone Conference Call, the Historians Against the War Steering Committee voted enthusiastically to endorse the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride (September 20-October 4, 2003); to notify our supporters about components of this event across the country; and to organize a HAW CONTINGENT TO THE CULMINATING RALLY at Flushing Meadows, New York City on October 4.

Details about IWFR and its component events (including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Mineapolis, Chicago, Baltimore) may be found at <http://www.iwfr.org.> It seeks, among other things, to legalize immigrants' status and to protect their civil rights and civil liberties. There are numerous obvious connections with HAW's goals, in particular our critique of repression. IWFR comes out of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE) and is jointly sponsored and endorsed by numerous organizations including United for Peace and Justice, with which HAW is affiliated, as well as the Center for Constitutional Rights, NAACP, the Yale Graduate Employees and Students Organization (GESO), and many immigrant and labor organizations. Some of the many endorsers include Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn.

HAW brigade at Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride concluding rally, Flushing Meadows, NYC, October 4, 2003.

The Freedom Ride will culminate in a huge rally on October 4 (organizers estimate 250,000) at the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows, which older HAWsters will remember as the Worlds Fair Grounds (some will even remember the 1939 Worlds Fair there, where buried and perhaps lost is an item of enormous historical interest -- the 1939 Time Capsule.) The October 4 event is an all-day affair (with lots of music and food!), located in the midst of the heavily immigrant areas along the famous #7 subway line. Thirty-six percent of people in Queens were born outside the US, and 44% speak a language other than English at home. The rally is scheduled for 11-3. Here are the logistics of our participation (for a map and further details, see http://www.iwfr.org/ny.asp):

Assemble between 10 and 10:15 am Saturday October 4 at Times Square Subway Station. Follow signs to # 7 train, "Main St., Flushing, Queens," which is on the lowest level of the station, gather at front (east) end of # 7 platform. We will leave PROMPTLY at 10:15. The scheduled running time to the Willets Point/Shea Stadium stop is 29 minutes. From there we will engage in a five-minute mini-march under our banner to the rally itself.

We hope as many as possible will join us at Times Square. If you arrive at Flushing Meadows independently and can't locate us, call me (ONLY 11-3) on my cell phone ## or ?? WHO ELSE WILL DEFINITELY BE THERE AND IS WILLING TO GIVE OUT CELL PHONE #? I WILL FILL IN THIS INFORMATION IN A REMINDER MAILING TO BE SENT OUT CLOSER TO THE EVENT.

Speakers stand at Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible October 4.

It will give us a better idea of what to expect if people will press reply (utopia1@attglobal.net) and indicate whether they are coming or not on October 4 and whether they are bringing others. And please note the above query re cell phones. Comments on this protest and HAW's participation are welcome.

Jesse Lemisch
for the Steering Committee
Historians against the War