Established in 2002, Action LA was a Los Angeles-based, self-described “people’s movement for justice” whose member activists sought to “help labor, immigrant, youth, environment and economic justice movements across the city and California.”
Working closely with World Can’t Wait, an organization founded by C. Clark Kissinger of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Action LA supported anti-war rallies and anti-George W. Bush demonstrations throughout California. Prominently featured at these events were placards that read, “Bush Step Down” and “Impeach Bush.” Among the anti-war icons whom Action LA most revered was Cindy Sheehan, the founder of Gold Star Families for Peace.
Action LA’s website was replete with allegations of U.S.-perpetrated war crimes and atrocities against the Iraqi people: “Massacres in Iraq,” read one boldfaced, representative headline in July 2004. The website also featured photographs showing scenes of the U.S. military’s alleged torture of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. In Action LA’s presentation, evil was exclusively the domain of the U.S. military and its commander-in-chief. Further, the Action LA website featured an “Iraq Body Count” display, showing the ever-escalating number of deaths caused by the war. The underlying premise was that every war-related death in Iraq was a moral tragedy resulting from an unnecessary and unjustifiable American invasion.
As a manifestation of its belief that the United States was to blame for most of the world’s international conflicts, Action LA endorsed a Peace Action-initiated program called Campaign for a New Foreign Policy, which exhorted America to finally “support human rights and democracy,” “reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction,” and “cooperate with the world community.” Also endorsing this campaign were: the American Friends Service Committee; Code Pink; the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; the Feminist Majority Foundation; Friends for a Non-Violent World; Iraq Action Coalition; the League of United Latin American Citizens; Military Families Speak Out, the NACCP; the National Organization for Women; the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Pax Christi USA; Physicians for Social Responsibility; the Service Employees International Union; United for Peace and Justice; Veterans for Peace; Witness for Peace; Women Against Military Madness; Women Against War; Women’s Action for New Directions; and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Aggressively supporting open borders and expanded rights for illegal aliens, Action LA characterized all efforts to apprehend such lawbreakers as evidence of American racism and xenophobia; it candidly advocated amnesty for all illegal aliens, whom it generically called “immigrants”; and it endorsed “immigration reform leading towards a path of permanent status for immigrants here now and wider legal channels for those coming in the future.”
In 2002 Action LA endorsed the Market Workers Justice Campaign of the activist coalition Communities in Solidarity with Immigrant Workers. This initiative called for higher wages and better benefits for Korean and Latino immigrant workers, including those living illegally in the United States.
On June 15, 2004, Action LA posted an article condemning the Border Patrol for having “created a frightening environment for Latinos, by conducting arrests of suspected undocumented people, which always means brown people, regardless of status or country of birth.” The same piece advised readers who may have been “arrested recently by the U.S. Border Patrol,” to contact the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which was “launching an investigation into the conduct of the Border Patrol during recent raids in Southern California.”
Amplifying its pro-open borders ideals, the Action LA website provided a link to a December 15, 2005 Pasadena Weekly editorial which said that America was a nation “formally created by a bunch of aging, rich white guys who owned slaves.” In particular, the piece excoriated Georgia Congressman Nathan Deal, who had recently authored House Resolution 698, which sought to terminate the practice of conferring automatic citizenship on the American-born children of illegal aliens. Characterizing Deal and his Republican allies as “America’s real enemies,” “xenophobes,” and “well-fed racists,” the editorial advised Deal: “Rather than change the Constitution for your own racist motives, start your own party and call it what it really is, the Nazi Party, or the Klan Party …”
In January 2006, Action LA presented to the Los Angeles City Council a petition opposing a House of Representatives bill endorsing the felony prosecution of illegal aliens and the authorization of local police to enforce immigration laws. Predicting that such measures would create “unsafe conditions for all Angelinos,” Action LA instead sought to prohibit police officers from “questioning, detaining, or interrogating persons solely because of suspected undocumented immigration status.”
Action LA is no longer an active organization.