Tensions

More events from yesterday, and a brief comment. First, in Dallas the authorities have become irritated and derisive:

“I’m very proud of the issues that have been raised,” [DISD superintendent] Dr. [Michael] Hinojosa said. “But leaving school without permission is a defiance of authority. Learning takes place in the classroom.”

[…]

Tension ran high at times at City Hall as police edged the crowd back with cruisers, motorcycles and a barricade of uniformed officers. School administrators snapped at one another over the roaring cheers, questioning how soon buses would arrive to take students back to their campuses. Some tried to persuade key students to help them calm the crowd.

[…]

While some local school districts gave protesting students a free pass Monday, they took a firmer stand Tuesday. Many questioned whether the students knew what they were protesting.

“Basically, we’re just baby-sitting a bunch of kids who have found another excuse to get out of school,” said Detective John Brimmer, a Grand Prairie police spokesman.

Grand Prairie school district spokesman Sam Buchmeyer said students who left campuses would not be allowed back in class Tuesday and must bring a parent to be readmitted today.

Mesquite officials said some of the students probably follow the immigration issue closely. But, said Ian Halperin, a district spokesman, “we suspect that most of the kids who walked out are just going along with the pack and taking a day off from school.”

By the end of the day, even Hispanic leaders were telling students enough was enough.

“We’re telling them to stay in school,” said Jesse Diaz, president of the Dallas United Latin American Citizens Council 4496. “It’s very emotional, and their emotions are taking over. The kids are doing this on their own. There is no adult leadership.”

This story is from the Dallas Morning News, which entitled it “Student protestors invade City Hall.” Indeed.

What strikes me about these protests is that even though the students invariably talk in the language of human rights and hard work, they are ultimately refusing to be reduced to juridicial and economic subjects. Aside from its sheer punitiveness, HR 4437’s criminalization of illegal status would simultaneously create a new frontier in criminal justice and attempt to block migrants from having a political existence. At the same time, the resolution leaves undisturbed the desires of capital and its need for worker bodies, so that migrants who stay and risk capture exist purely in the capital-labor relationship.

The marchers and students, however, are insisting on politics.

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