BLO Statement on Immigrant Rights
The BLO prioritizes supporting the immigrants' rights movement because:
- We live, work and perform in the Bay Area, which has drawn immigrants from all over the world for generations. Immigrants have always shaped our community's history, culture and politics. The Bay is also a hub for immigrant-led organizations; many of these groups have been fighting on the front lines of immigrant rights, labor, anti-gentrification and other social justice movements for years. We participate in their actions to honor and support their leadership.
- In recent years, immigrants in the Bay Area and across the country have faced devastating attacks from the federal government, the media, and parts of the U.S.-born population. People in our neighborhoods have been arrested, separated from their children, denied civil rights, and "disappeared" simply for trying to support their families. Meanwhile, employers take advantage of immigrant workers' vulnerability to keep wages low and crush unions. Police-state tactics and union-busting hurt all of us, and we believe that immigrants and U.S.-born people must stand together to resist these attacks.
- Many of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Our own families have lived through the same experiences as today's migrant groups: they were driven from their home countries by poverty and oppression, and then faced exploitation and racism in the United States. Past generations of immigrants fought for civil rights, decent jobs and cultural survival - and won important victories both for themselves and for U.S.-born workers - just as new immigrants are doing today. We are proud to be part of that tradition of struggle.
- We play music from all over the world. As musicians, we owe a huge debt to the immigrant groups who bring their musical traditions to the U.S. and share them with us. By playing music from diverse traditions, and supporting the communities that created it, we hope to build fair and respectful relationship between different social groups.
- We believe in a world without borders!