Massive protests by Latino immigrants have rocked more than a dozen major U.S. cities during the past few weeks in opposition to tough new immigration bills before Congress.What else?
Not since the civil rights movement of the 1960s have street demonstrations spread so rapidly to so many cities - and never have Latinos turned out in such astonishing numbers.
"The sleeping Latino giant has finally awakened," said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn), who participated in several of the protests last week.
And New York City, which has been fairly quiet so far, could be next with Latino religious and immigrant leaders planning a protest march over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday.
The largest rally until now has been in Los Angeles, where the new mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, spoke Saturday to a crowd estimated by police at more than a half-million [people].
"These are your neighbors and co-workers," said Ellen Stutzman, a 23-year-old researcher for the Writers Guild. "I hate it when people say they are illegal. They're just undocumented. We've made them to be the enemy, and they're not."And of course:
LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2006 - LA school district is reporting 24,680 students have walked out of classes today to protest anti-immigrant law H.R. 4437. An official from LAUSD said that students from 52 separate middle schools and high schools throughout the district have walked out. Many students have joined a rally now taking place at city hall numbering in the 1000’s. There are also reports of walkouts in other school districts. The district is expecting more walkouts tomorrow.
[Minuteman] Gilchrist and a handful of supporters arrived on two previous Fridays in front of El Chinaco restaurant to protest its owner, city council candidate Mirna Burciaga, for opposing local police as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and to retaliate for weekly protests occurring in front of City Council member Gary Monahan's beer bar, a popular Minuteman outpost.
Gilchrist fired off an email accusing Burciaga of being a “racial supremacist” and a member of “racist groups.” No proof of that was offered, but in a flyer Gilchrist cast his own racist net over all undocumented immigrants:
“Does MIRNA BURCIAGA envision Costa Mesa as a criminal haven sanctuary city, infested with drug dealers, murderers, child molesters, robbers, and rapists wandering freely without any interference from law enforcement?”
(The Minutemen were forced off the streets due to consistent anti-racist protests)
It's better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees...La Lucha Continua!