Saturday, 3 December 2016

Marcel Paret and Guadalupe Aguilera on Migrant Protests in California in 1990-2010

Marcel Paret and Guadalupe Aguilera (2016) Golden State Uprising: Migrant Protest in California, 1990-2010Citizenship Studies 20(3-4): 359-378.
Abstract: Dominant narratives of migrant resistance focus on the massive protests of 2006, but migrant protest was significant well before this landmark event. Drawing on an original database of 222 migrant protest events, this paper traces the development of migrant resistance in California between 1990 and 2010. We argue that migrant protest may be understood as political ‘acts of citizenship’, which vary as they respond to specific vulnerabilities and political attachments. While a non-trivial minority of protests exhibited a global politics, oriented towards migrants’ home countries or other places outside of the USA, the overwhelming majority of protests may be understood as inclusion politics, which sought to counter migrant precarity by promoting the integration and fair treatment of migrants within the USA. Within this broad emphasis on inclusion, however, migrant protest in California alternated between a work politics focused on issues such as wages and unionization, a protection politics focused on public services and goods, and an immigration politics centered on issues of legalization and law enforcement. The latter became increasingly prevalent over time, and would come to define the contemporary immigrant rights movement. Taken as a whole, the evidence affirms that migrants have significant capacity for developing collective agency and resistance.