Student rally reportback

Dave from Australia noted in a comment that I forgot to report on the rally, so here it is! (We of ANSWER L.A. have organized or participated in major demos 4 weekends in a row, and are getting frazzled.)

Somber note to an upbeat protest rally

Several thousand peopleâ┚¬â€many of them studentsâ┚¬â€marched through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to protest federal legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration.

Organizers of the march dedicated the event to Anthony Soltero, the Ontario teenager whose mother says he killed himself after a school vice principal allegedly told him that he would be sent to jail for missing class to take part in an immigration rights march.

Several speakers at the post-parade rally urged support for a planned May 1 boycott of stores, workplaces and schools to show immigrant power and solidarity. Organizers also passed out leaflets advertising the boycott.

The police estimate was 3,000, organizers said 5,000. It was a fun, militant, noisy march and rally, and was organized by students.

The momentum for the May 1 boycott continues to grow. State Senator Gloria Romero endorsed it at the rally. The buzz on it is huge. Everyone knows about it, not just movement people, not just immigrants, but everyone. A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t sure, however now I’m confident the boycott will be nationwide and large. There will probably be a march and rally in L.A. on May 1, details when I know them.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was, as usual, missing in action, making bland comments elsewhere about how students should not do walkouts, even though he did precisely that in the 60’s. His support of the immigrant right movement has been underwhelming at best and nonexistent at worst. He’s become just another politician talking out both sides of his mouth, the progressive views and actions of the union organizer of twenty years ago are long gone.

Note to the organizers. This was is was the first rally you organized and you did great. One logistical detail, next time don’t forget to rent porta-potties!

One comment

  1. Bob,

    The students did a wonderful job of organizing this rally, but, like you said, rent some port-potties next time.

    It was great to finally meet you. In my latest entry at the Blue Voice I posted our picture. It turned out great; and the rally was wonderful. I’ll be calling you soon, my friend.


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