Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride September 20-October 4th, 2003 - will arrive in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 29-30by Rick Wilhelm, Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio What it is, and what the goals that are hoped to be achieved:

In 1961, the Freedom Rides were organized by activists to challenge segregation on interstate buses and bus termi nals. Riding from Washington, D.C. to Montgomery, Alabama, the rides met violent opposition in the Deep South, garnering extensive media attention and eventually forcing federal intervention from the Kennedy administration.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) first started Freedom Rides in 1947. CORE concentrated on busing segregation in that campaign and mainly in the border southern states. What they conceived was called the Journey of Reconciliation, which is considered a precursor to the Freedom Rides and the civil rights movement of the 60’s.

The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride is in support of the right to legalize their status and to have a clear path to citizenship; the right to re-unite with loved ones, the same rights on the job as other workers, and civil rights and civil liberties. The riders will arrive on the evening of Monday, September 29th at the St. Stephens Community House, 1500 East 17th Avenue.

The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride has a website with a wealth of information. A lot of myths that are commonly held about immigration are dealt with on a factual basis at the web location, showing that immigrants more than hold their own in such things as taxes paid and are valuable assets to the workforce and the communities in which they live. The site location is:

This event is endorsed by an overwhelming number of Labor organizations and locals, civil rights, churches, and community groups and various other associations. Contact DSCO Co-Chairs Simone Morgen: and Reg Dyck: for up-to-date information. Reg Dyck is acting as local coordinator for the event, and Simone is working to outreach to community organizations and to help with media.

The Democratic Socialists have pledged funds to this cause, as well as the Catholic Diocese. Joe Biser, of Jobs with Justice and IBEW local 683, has worked to secure lodging.” SEIU/J4J agreed to cover printing and mailing costs for the invitations and program as well as the cost of COTA buses to take people from the breakfast to the action downtown. Chief AFL-CIO field organizer in Central Ohio Jim Lowe is working on arrangements.

There will be a breakfast the next morning, and community leaders and speakers will address the participants at the breakfast on the 30th. The breakfast is going to be located at the Columbus Health Department, 240 Parsons Avenue. Speakers will include ministers and representatives from the community and hopefully elected officials. There will be an action downtown after breakfast, at a location close to the Statehouse, but as of this writing yet to be formally established. Contact the DSCO representatives listed above, the national website of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, the Catholic Diocese, or labor organizations as to place. The action is scheduled to take place around 10:00 AM.

Please support this cause.

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