‘Day Without Immigrants’ Strike Planned for Feb 16, also in Philly
What happens if one day immigrants don't show at work? Very simple: the country stops working.
In order to highlight the role immigrants play in the US economy in the face of Donald Trump’s increasingly harsh crackdown, thousands of workers plan a strike on Thursday Feb 16 as part of ‘Day Without Immigrants’ protest.
In cities like Washington DC and Philadelphia, immigrants —particularly those from Latino communities—have been urged to stay home from work, even school workers. The grassroots protest has seemingly been organized by word of mouth and across Latino social media channels, as reported in the Washingtonian.
“One of our delivery men who’s Latino told our kitchen about it, and then it started spreading from there,” Rose Previte, owner of DC’s Compass Rose restaurant, told Washingtonian.
The boycott calls for immigrants not to attend work, open their businesses, spend money or even send their children to school.
In Philadelphia-area, some businesses and restaurants that employ foreign-born staff are expected to take part Thursday in a “Day Without Immigrants” protest.
Participating businesses include restaurants, Mexican specialty stores, beauty salons, a roofing company, and a caterer, said Carmen Guererro, an organizer with Coalicion Fortaleza Latina, as reported in The Inquirer. Coalicion Fortaleza Latina, a Norristown advocacy group, said about 20 businesses -- in the Montgomery County borough, in Philadelphia, Allentown, and King of Prussia -- have pledged to join in and post signs on their doors to explain why they are closed.
“We wonder how teachers will feel when in some classrooms most of their students will be gone, or how people who frequent our bodegas or corner stores will feel when they are closed,” Miguel Andrade, of the South Philadelphia immigrant support group Juntos, said in a statement.
Thursday’s planned work stoppage comes shortly after Milwaukee, WI, hosted a massive “Day without Latinos” rally on Monday. There, thousands of protesters marched through the city, calling for an end to Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, and local sheriff David Clarke’s efforts to support the president, as reported in Fusion.
In Washington DC, celebrity chef José Andrés, an immigrant from Spain, who is in the middle of a legal battle with Trump, announced on Twitter that he will be closing some of his restaurants in the region because of the boycott — three Jaleo restaurants, Zaytinya and Oyamel. According to The Washington Post, Andrés backed out of a contract in 2015 with Trump to open a restaurant inside D.C.’s Trump International Hotel after the then-presidential candidate called undocumented Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists.”