Organizing one by one for DREAMers and system change, with Alfredo Pacheco

Coming down to the end of the year, the DREAM Act that Democrats and even some Republicans have claimed to want to pass for years has still not been passed, despite renewed urgency due to Trump’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program implemented by Obama. Organizers around the country are demanding action, including Alfredo Pacheco of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, who took a group to Washington, D.C. to join a massive protest December 6th. But fighting for the DREAM Act is only part of the work that Pacheco does, and he explains how it all connects, as well as what he’s looking forward to fighting for in 2018.

Whenever people say “power” you imagine a lot of things, like, “Only people with money have power.” That is my first thought. But, when you learn that, you have a group of people, you have you, that is power. If you tell them what their rights are, that is power. Now, if you get collective power of people and you start teaching them how to create power with money, community, you put all of those things together, you have more power. And it doesn’t take just one person. Everybody can move together and change that, and do that. That was the big thing… I was confused about that at first, but then over the year of practicing more and more and more, you start to understand that. That power can be used in a good way and a bad way. We have to learn how to use it in a good way and for our own benefit.
[People] should know that no matter how difficult the fight looks, it is not impossible. That is the truth. I lived like that for twenty-seven years thinking that it was impossible to make a change. But, now you’re seeing it more often. Look at what happened in Alabama. Collective power by organizing people.

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Interviews for Resistance is a syndicated series of interviews with organizers, agitators and troublemakers, available twice weekly as text and podcast. You can now subscribe on iTunes! Previous interviews here.

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