Luis Gutierrez ready to launch massive civil disobedience campaign if DREAM Act fails

The DREAM Act, Gutiérrez says, is for now his final legislative maneuver. He’s finished waiting for the mythical 60th vote to materialize in the Senate. No, when the lame duck ends, Gutiérrez and his movement allies will ask for a divorce—from the Democratic Party, from the entire lawmaking process. To hear Gutiérrez tell it, Hispanic leaders are about to stage a full-tilt campaign of direct action, like the African-American civil rights movement of the 1960s. There will be protests, marches, sit-ins—what César Chávez might have called going rogue. The movement will operate autonomously, no longer beholden to wavering Democrats, filibustering Republicans, and—perhaps most tantalizingly—no longer beholden to Barack Obama…

“When black people in this country decided they were going to fight for civil rights and for voting rights, they didn’t ask if the majority leader was with them and when they were going to tee up the bill. They said, ‘We’re sitting where we need to sit on the bus! We’re integrating this counter! We’re going to march!”

Gutiérrez is pacing around the room and his voice is rising. “Their actions propelled the nation. It’s the way changes are made. Look at John F. Kennedy—he was president. Martin Luther King, I don’t think he was real concerned whether he was going to re-elected in 1964.”