by Sonia Peña
In a bold move to support immigrants across the world, the Providence, Rhode Island City Council voted unanimously last week to endorse a boycott of Western Union . The boycott, organized by the Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action (TIGRA), is seeking to lower fees for remittances and increase the investment of large corporations into the very communities that they exploit, here and abroad.
The City Council’s action—spearheaded by lone Dominican Council Member, Miguel Luna—made it the target of racist, personal attacks by right-wing bloggers. On WPRO, a right-wing radio station, Luna was called “stupid” and “idiot”.
This is a good example of how anti-immigrant forces are threatened by the potential of immigrants and communities of color exerting their economic power. Personal attacks and calls for “free markets” mask the underlying racism and exploitation of companies like Western Union.
In 2006, Western Union made more than $1.6 Billion in profits, primarily from low-wage workers and communities lacking banking services.
Find out more about the boycott at www.boycottwesternunion.net.