by Lauren Ray
Over the past three years, a whirlwind of reports have circulated in newspapers and the hums of disgruntled conservative news pundits have filled airwaves. This latest cause of controversy, the latest so-called â€œthreatâ€ to American civilization is the uproar of an incipient, Latina/o-led immigrant rights movement that has organized in schools, neighborhoods and workplaces across the country. Policy analysts and rightwing forces complain that this movement represents the â€œHispanic challengeâ€ and signals the â€œclash of civilizations.â€ Some others discuss the immigrant rights movement as â€œawakening a sleeping giant,â€ bringing to the surface repressed memories of immigrant radicalism that have defined workplace struggles in this country for centuries. As participants in the 8-hour workday movement in the late 19th century, members of the early Industrial Workers of the World, rabble rousing miners, striking railroad workers, and insurgent laundry and garment workers in the 19th and 20th centuries; immigrants of all colors have organized and fought both the U.S. state and employers, long ago disproving the stereotype of immigrant workers as helpless, frightened victims of American capital.