Immigrant rights march

Immigrant rights march

A coalition of immigrant groups marched yesterday through the Pico Union area of L.A. to MacArthur Park for a rally. We at ANSWER helped out by setting up the stage and sound.

Immigrants get hurt by the war and the assault on rights far more than the public at large. When cutbacks come in hospitals and services, it hits them first. Ditto for education. And of course, when the economy gets bad, they are the among the first to get laid off.

And if they be Arab or Muslim, then it’s even worse. Illegal roundups and detentions. Deportations.

A speaker from Homies Unidos, said in the country he was from (El Salvador I’m guessing) finding dead and mutilated bodies in the yard was routine, that America has no experience with war up close, and once you’ve seen it, you never want war again. A Iraqi women said she talked with her parents in Baghdad the day before, and they want to know why America hated them so much.

When we go to war, the money comes from somewhere. Major public hospitals and clinics are closing in L.A. Education budgets, especially at junior colleges are being gutted. These cuts affect immigrants first. Of course, one industry is booming in California. Prisons. Guess who goes there first?

This was the first rally by these coalitions, and it went well. One organizer told me many stayed away because they were afraid of Immigration, so it was a real act of courage for those immigrants who did come.

At dusk, when it was over, the police advised people to leave in groups and said they’d escort people to their cars, if asked. Why? Well, MacArthur Park has ponds,trees, and children playing during the day. However, come nightfall it becomes one of the most dangerous parts of Los Angeles.

I got to drive away, back to my peaceful suburban enclave. For many of those present, Pico Union is their home.

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