"Chanting slogans in Spanish and English, some carrying bilingual signs, about two dozen demonstrators showed up outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office downtown on Monday. They were protesting last week's raid in which 361 alleged illegal immigrants were rounded up at a New Bedford factory that supplies backpacks and other gear for the military.
No mainstream immigration activist groups showed up for the 5 p.m rally and picket line. Most of the participants were Brown University students or members of small social justice or labor groups. Brian Chidester of the International Socialist Organization [Communists], one of the leaders of the demonstration, railed against what he called a military-style raid on the workers at Michael Bianco Inc. a week ago today.... "This was a total crime - terrorism on the part of the U.S. government is what you would have to call it." ....
Not all went smoothly, however, at least two speakers were shouted down and had the microphone wrested from them when their speeches deviated from the accepted line, criticizing the Democratic Party and illegal immigration.
Fred Bergen, representing a group called Working Class Emancipation, declared, "the only thing that can stop these attacks on immigrant workers is the power of the labor movement." But, he said, that power was "hijacked by people who wanted to turn this into a movement for the Democratic Party. The party that is against immigrant workers, the party that is for building a wall on the border, the party that is for more so-called enforcement. We need a party that represents the working class. "This is not going to come from Congress, it's not going to come from the Green Party or Ralph Nader who campaigned on a platform of anti-immigrant racism."
"Go away!" said Chidester, ripping the microphone from Bergen's hand, "if you are going to attack people, go away."
Paul Tarullo, executive director of US Citizens Rights, got only a few words into a speech against illegal immigration when people started calling him a "racist" and shouting "Get out of here. We don't need racists around here." He too lost the microphone, and as he was walking away, the protesters started chanting "Racist go home!"
No free speech for conservatives there! And Leftists have to toe just the right line! Stalin would have understood.
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