Demonstration, boycott … to support immigrants- the idea gathers many supporters on the internet.

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The debate on national identity or national security is gaining ground. And once more, through a combination of events, immigrants find themselves in the foreground. While undocumented workers keep on being on strike to ask for identity papers and no longer want to pay taxes without being heard, trade unions that are said to support immigrants, the ministry that threatens the firms using undocumented workers; French citizens might understand that such a current event and notions such as ‘immigrants’, ‘national security’, ‘undocumented workers’ may be used as political tools for the future elections.

Raising public awareness of the importance of undocumented workers- an idea coming from the USA

Far from this agitation and from the fight of thousands of men who have been living and working in France for years and who pay taxes without benefitting from rights; an idea was born on the internet- an economic boycott against the immigration policy. This idea comes from the USA, where Latinoamerican workers launched a similar campaign in 2006, in order to see how their refusal to work would affect the US economy. Immigrants’ supporters call for a whole day of strike in March 1st 2010 to show their opposition to the immigration policy and their support of those French citizens whose parents are immigrants. Five years ago, the concept of immigration under chosen criteria was born; it gave the conditions for immigration or asylum status.

Immigrants are not scapegoats

Nadia Lamarkbi (French and Moroccan), the president of the movement “A Day of Strike to support immigrants”, thinks that this initiative aims at raising public awareness of the political game whose

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targets are immigrant populations. During a period of economic crisis and coming elections, immigrants might have been turned into scapegoats or judged responsible for the economic crisis. Journalist, Nadia Lamarkbi,

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created a website; a facebook account and a blog to make her idea (On Strike to support immigrants) known, and many websurfers seem interested in her proposal. While her proposal was first meant to happen in Paris, this is spreading to other French cities. The initiative has caught the attention of associations such as RESF (whose aim is to improve and broaden the access to education). A day dedicated to immigrants through strike movements and boycotts, is an opportunity to raise people awareness of immigrant workers’ contribution to the French economy.

By Annie Kakou