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Sunday, March 26, 2006

500,000 immigrants say we're people too

This was in a Kos Diary and you need to see this

HALF A MILLION PROTESTERS in LA! (w/photos!)
by occams hatchet [Subscribe]

Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 06:03:34 PM PDT

The LA Times reports that 500,000 people filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles today to protest the passage of proposed immigration reform bill HR 4437:


The crowd, estimated by police at more than 500,000, represented one of the largest protest marches in Los Angeles history, surpassing Vietnam War demonstrations and the 70,000 who rallied downtown against Proposition 187, a 1994 state initiative that denied public benefits to undocumented migrants.

That 500,000 is a POLICE estimate, remember.


Spirited crowds representing labor, religious groups, civil-rights advocates and ordinary immigrants stretched over 26 blocks of downtown Los Angeles from Adams Blvd. along Spring Street and Broadway to City Hall, tooting kazoos, waving American flags and chanting "Si se puede!" (Yes we can!).


"There has never been this kind of mobilization in the immigrant community ever," said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. "They have kicked the sleeping giant. It's the beginning of a massive immigrant civil rights struggle."


Many of the marchers were immigrants themselves -- both legal and illegal -- from Mexico and Central America. Some had just crossed the border, while others had been here for decades. There were construction workers and business owners; families with young children and people in wheelchairs.

So while I was out planting in my garden, running to OSH for potting soil, a lot of other people were out changing the world.

Amazing. Inspiring. Humbling.

Si se puede!, indeed!

As we call this: the GOP's race problem.

On one hand, they want to keep the fundies happy, on the other, they have to deal with reality, which is that our economy thrives on low cost labor from Mexico and Asia. This idea that we can turn millions of people into felons and build a wall to keep the brown people out is insane.

But, we're watching the GOP become the minority party in the US. Blacks are outraged after Katrina. Now, Latinos will be enraged over this.

What we learned this week and will learn over the next couple of weeks, is that the GOP base is crippling their ablity to grow, and cultural issues will not trump economic issues for minorities. I feel for Ken Mehlman. He's trying to save the GOP and Congress is killing his efforts. You can't say vote for us because we protect babies, but we want to jail your cousin Sergio for trying to make a living.

But what drives me nuts is that the assumption by the anti-immigrant caucus that Mexico and our southern neighbors are powerless.

All Mexico has to do to fuck us is refuse to accept arrested felon immigrants. What was Pete King do then, demand an invasion?

Mexico can hurt us simply by allowing the drug gangs to replace the Army and hunt down the Minutemen. What could we do? Go to war? Nope.

I'm a New Yorker, so I see this differently. The best thing we could do is provide a road to citizenship for the people here and arrest businessmen who hire future illegals.

posted by Steve @ 12:18:00 AM

12:18:00 AM

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