For those of you who don’t know us. El Kilombo is a community organization that brings
together migrants, students and low-income communities of color in downtown Durham
dedicated to strengthening our collective political struggle. We opened our doors on May
On that very day, in the biggest single day protest in American history, hundreds of
thousands of migrants took to the streets to raise our voices against a government that
would invite us to do its work, but would try to deny us our dignity. Since that day,
we have seen our jobs become increasingly unstable and deportation rates double. We
have seen our rights eliminated and our licenses taken away. We have seen increased
checkpoints and surveillance in our neighborhoods, resulting in the mass incarceration of
Black and Latino people. We have seen exploitative banks create record levels of debt on
the backs of students and poor people of color, who disproportionately suffer the effects
of what has become the worst economic crisis of our time. We have seen predatory real
estate developers fragment and displace our communities from the city center in the name
of “urban revitalization.” And we have seen the goals of migrant movement divided and
diverted by those who try to tell us that there are good immigrants and bad immigrants,
potential citizens and inherent criminals.
On this May Day 2012, El Kilombo Intergalactico once again raises our voices against
the global system of exploitation and subordination, uniting with all undocumented
migrants, workers, communities of color, students and all others who have suffered
the effects of this system of exploitation. With this march we come together to say “ya
basta” “enough is enough”.
We demand total amnesty for all the undocumented, an end to the mass incarceration
of Black and Latino people, and abolition of debt. We also understand that a solution
to what is a truly global situation must go deeper. No amount of protest will change a
society that is structured so that the rich can live like parasites off of the rest of us. We
cannot expect the politicians to do what we will not do for ourselves. We cannot simply
be opposed to the project of domination, we must build something else.
This starts by recognizing that while our communities may have problems, they are not
THE problem. We must take back our neighborhoods, our universities, and our public
spaces and rebuild them through organization – organization that is based in forms of
cooperation that are already in motion within the communities that have been most
affected by this crisis. In these organizations we must enact the self-determination that we
demand. We must collectively decide to exercise our rights, take our rights in our hand,
and build a life around them.
Total Amnesty! They can take our papers, but they can’t take our dignity.