The Immigration Rights March in DC

A couple of observations about the marches today in DC, and then, some bad pictures courtesy of my phone.  It was young, with lots of 20 somethings and 30 somethings.  There were lots of children with families.  The march was pushed heavily by Spanish language media, the internet, word of mouth, AM radio, and churches.  There as almost no 'free mumia' presence, it was mostly normal.  Heavy union presence, and quite multicultural.

There was no Democratic Party presence within the march, little data capture about who was there, and little voter registration going on.  I'm told this is because voter registration happens elsewhere.  I saw no counterprotesters.  All in all, it was a very patriotic march for people who are apparently breaking the law. (Ok, I stole that line from an unnamed union organizer...)

Tags: Culture, immigration, Labor, Unions (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

Re: The Immigration Rights March in DC

It is a shame.  Some ar ethough.  I heard Kennedy and a D rep from Virginia were in DC, HR Clinton in NYC, and Kerry in LA

In Texas what needs to happen is Latino Governor candidate Chris Bell NEEDS NEEDS NEEDS to appear at these things and lead some marches.

If Dems want a face and voice to lead on this, I ask where is Richardson?  He seems the most qualified to me.

by Trowaman 2006-04-10 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigration Rights March in DC

It also needs to be pointed out more that the immigration issue is not solely Latino.  However, almost all of the coverage, as well as the majority of the speakers at the DC rally, seem to be aiming only at the Latino crowd.

There are undocumented immigrants hailing from all over the world: from Central and South America, from Europe, from Asia, even from our neighbors to the north.  But the whole issue seems to be spun Latino.

To my eyes, it's not the most effective tack.  Sure, it's all strategy going into the elections, but it doesn't seem like the most all-encompassing path.

Just my $0.02.

by DCFD Rudi 2006-04-10 03:38PM | 0 recs
APIAs in the Immigration Rights March in DC

Good point. I was part of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) contingent in the march [Thanks for the pix, Matt]. I've worked on immigration reform and immigrant rights since 1995. The press and the politicians will spin it as a "Latino" issue which seems natural because the majority of undocumented immigrants are from South of the border. Its encumbent upon APA's, Africans and Europeans immigrant activist and communities to widen the view and move the press/pols to be more inclusive. IMHO, its much more important to spend time on educating and mobilizing the "Other" communities, which would help change the perspective. It was wonderful to see speakers from different ethnicities on stage in solidarity. Deepa Iyer of South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT) had a great speech in which she expressed that the myriad number of Asian ethnicities demand the same as our Latino brothers and sisters.

In regard to Dems present, Walter Tejada was also onstage. He's a County Board member in Arlington, VA.

by joe8track 2006-04-10 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigration Rights March in DC

Yes -- these people are the future of the Democratic party IF Dems manage to stand up for fairness now. Even marginal fairness!

About the youth -- this population simply has a median age 10-15 years younger than the Anglo population. One really feels it, being in these crowds.

About voter registration -- tricky to do in circumstances where asking someone whether they are a citizen can be awkward, even threatening. Ought to be offered as an option though. At the local immigrant event I attended today there were a couple of enterprising signature gatherers, so some organizing is going on. Not by the usual suspects though, so we are likely to feel "nothing is happening." So mistaken...

by janinsanfran 2006-04-10 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: 12,000,000 Reasons

As with most complex political issues, little more than rhetoric is available for the average citizen to evaluate in order to fully understand the consequences of the numerous proposals being discussed. Immigration brings together a never before seen constellation that stands to change much of what Americans have come to understand about our economy, our political affiliations, corporate interests, globalization, trade agreements, the influence of unions, and many other ramifications yet to be identified or calculated.

Characteristically, the issue is polarized by intense passion on both extremes. This passionate posturing makes it increasingly difficult to carve out a compromise. Many politicians have taken positions based on their perceived constituency sentiment that allows them little room for flexibility. Regional economic considerations coupled with the potential impact to certain corporate and business segments create an incoherent patchwork of conflicting considerations. Navigating this difficult terrain is likely to foster more political stalemate than innovative compromise.

While Washington plays politics, Americans cannot ignore the fact that there are currently an estimated 12,000,000 reasons to resolve this issue. It's time for politicians to set aside the rhetoric and complete the daunting task of a thorough evaluation that will provide the necessary, albeit frightening, calculations and considerations. Despite voices to the contrary, these 12,000,000 people are here to stay. Unless we get about the business of accepting this reality and moving forward with a coherent and tangible policy, we will soon find ourselves with an additional 12,000,000 reasons to solve this problem.

read more here:

www.thoughttheater.com

by Daniel DiRito 2006-04-10 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigration Rights March in DC

There were a few counter-protestors but nothing major.  

There was a huge Salvadorian presence.

by howardpark 2006-04-10 04:19PM | 0 recs
Yeah, whatever
Corporatists/Illegals/Dems: 1
Native/Legal Working-class: 0
by fafnir 2006-04-10 04:24PM | 0 recs
Just got back from the March in DC

It was amazing, Senator Kennedy and Congressman Moran (VA) made speaches.  The Washington DC Cardinal, a Methodist Bishop who was speaking for all Methodist Bishops, Muslim leaders, Jewish leaders, and more importantly labor leaders.  That's right, John Sweeny as well as the president of the SEIU speaking for The Change to Win coalition.

EVERY single progressive should be proud of what happened today.

Thanks for posting this Matt.

by Pitin 2006-04-10 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigration Rights March in DC

Many of these immigrants are ready to be there for Democrats. I just came back from the San Francisco version of a march.

Tried to keep up with a bevy of teenagers who jumped up and down for a mile on Mission Street chanting:
"el que no salte, es Republicano!" That is, anyone who is not jumping is a Republican. As I say, these folks are our future. They know who just might stand for the workers.

by janinsanfran 2006-04-10 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The Immigration Rights March in DC

I have very mixed feelings about the immigration issue.  I agree that all the rhetoric from both sides doesn't help.  I've lived in L.A., taught mostly latino kids and have nothing but respect for the struggles and triumphs that these hard working people go through and achieve.

However, as many experts have pointed out, illegals do create a downward pull on wages, especially for lower skilled workers.  Shouldn't we as Democrats at least acknowledge this dynamic?  After all part of our constituency is hardworking low skilled workers, especially African Americans.  Shouldn't we be sticking up for them too?

IMHO, the socialization process has started to break down.  The sheer number of recent arrivals has overwhelmed our society's ability to absorb them.  This has led to a million anectdotal stories for most born in the USAers.

I believe it is this failure to socialize that has so many Americans alarmed.  Who hasn't seen poor illegals at an emergency room seeking free medical care while we pony up with our costly HMO cards?

Who hasn't winced at rising property taxes that are needed to pay for extra classrooms and programs for the offspring of these illegals?

Who hasn't seen the complete disregard for the environment exhibited by many immigrants who dump and litter on a whim?

So, at the risk of being politically incorrect, this is one lefty who firmly believes that something must be done.  I don't endorse anything close to the House bill, but something must be done.  We need to find a way to fairly treat the folks who are already here while simultaneously finding a way to get a breather from this influx of undocumented and unsocialized immigrants.

by Fitzy2 2006-04-10 06:59PM | 0 recs
Labor backs immigrants

That is what is most amazing about all this, that both AFL-CIO President John Sweeny and a representative of the Win To Change coalition stepped on the stage of this rally in support of immigrant workers rights.

You get undocumented workers legalized, they get rights, protection, learn english, get invested in the country knowing they'll be here for the long haul, etc..

Any pro-immigration bill, is also a pro-worker bill.

by Pitin 2006-04-11 07:19AM | 0 recs

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