Make A Movement: Community Actions and Political Organizing Meeting


On Friday June 29th, 2012 Immigrant Movement International held its second community organizing meeting or re-initiation of “Make a Movement” alongside the collective Ghana Think Tank, to continue discussing actions which would further uphold the  principles of the migrant manifesto and promote immigrant respect.

As Part of Make a Movement, IM International presented the first artistic action envisioned by the community at our last meeting: a stamp that credits the substantial fiscal contribution made by undocumented immigration. The design is modeled after the official government stamp that is used by customs for admitting individuals into the country.  The stamp includes information from a May 2011 report titled, “Building A 21st Century Immigration System”. To read the entire report click here

Alternative possibilities for the text on the stamp:

•          “Immigrants are entrepreneurial and create jobs in the United States. Immigrants started 25percent of the highest – growth companies between 1990 and 2005, and these companies directly employ an estimated 220,000 people inside the U.S.”

•          “ Immigrant business owners generate $67 billion of the $577 billion in U.S business income”

•         “Immigrants help address other fiscal challenges by paying their fair share of taxes, contributing more in tax revenue then they use in services. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that undocumented immigrants paid almost $50 billion in federal taxes between 1996 2003″

The meeting began with an interactive activity that made community members reflect on their own personal experiences with migration and share them in small groups.

Following the activity, a presentation was given on how art has been used as a tool for political activism and social change, citing examples from the Yes Men, Pedro Reyes, Judi Werthein, Constanza Camelo and Mel Chin, among others. One of the most powerful examples, having the most impact in the group was a performance by Regina Jose Galindo, a Guatemalan artist, who in the 2003 walked from congress to the National Palace with her feet dipped in blood protesting the presidential candidacy of Rios Montt, responsible for the genocide that occurred in the 1980’s against the countries indigenous population.

The evening concluded with a presentation from Ghana Think Tank. Ghana Think Tank is a global network of think tanks working towards solving the problems of the developed world with wisdom from “developing” countries.  Ghana Think Tank discussed political actions that they have participated in in the past as well as their current initiative involving the collection of “illegal laws”, or laws that are enforced by the police that are actually questionably legal or unconstitutional such as anti-loitering laws. They asked that everyone email their ideas on illegal laws and their experiences, whether in the form of harassment of something that seemed “just not quite right”, to



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