The L.A. Times has excellent coverage this morning. They’d seemed somewhat opposed to the marches during the buildup, however today they have comprehensive reporting. There were two marches in L.A., police estimates for the combined marches was 550,000-650,000, so it’s fair to say one million marched just in L.A.
At the nation’s largest seaport complex, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as few as 10% of the truckers showed up to haul freight.
Overall, it was apparently the biggest agricultural work stoppage on record in the state.
This is an unusual protest movement. There’s little precedent in American history for a simultaneous combination of consumer boycotts, demonstrations and work stoppages. And there’s none for a labor rights struggle that is cheered on by many employers.
“I don’t remember hearing a single major business group complaining about today’s actions,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
Employers haven’t suddenly grown more compassionate. In this era of low unemployment, they are eager to have sources of cheap labor. And they fear the sanctions that would accompany a serious crackdown on illegal hiring.
That’s a crucial point. Employers understand how important immigrants are to them. That’s why immigration reform needs to be just and fair, and not just a guest worker program that makes immigrants into indentured servants with few if any rights.
Chicago – 400,000 rally for immigrant rights.
Wow, the March 10 march in Chicago is what started the wave of huge marches too. Organizers were expecting 30,000 and hundreds of thousands came. Now they’ve done it again.
There’s been lots of yap-yap from the Right about how they can not countenance anything illegal (I guess they forgot about Abramoff and the cesspool of corruption that infects both parties in D.C.) When Rosa Parks refused to get out of her seat in Montgomery, she did something “illegal” by opposing the racist laws of those days. When Martin Luther King performed nonviolent civil disobedience, that was “illegal” too. Yet the civil rights movement eventually prevailed. Sometimes the law is an ass. Sometimes the law is nasty, vicious, and must be changed. MLK also said, “never forget everything Hitler did was legal.”
Also, 99.99% of those participating are not movement people. Sure, we’re there. However the marchers are mom, dad, and the kids – working-class people. This movement is coming straight out of the grassroots. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. One of the main organizers, Jessie Diaz, spoke the press conference before the historic March 25 march, saying, I’m a servant of the people, I’m following you. Precisely. The people are leading this movement.