21 May Day March - LA Downtown
On May Day immigrants and their supporters filled the streets of Los Angeles twice in one day -- a huge march downtown, and another through the Wilshire district's Miracle Mile. There were so many people that those participating said they were sin numero -- uncountable. Marchers of all races and nationalities protested the bills in Congress that would criminalize 12 million undocumented people, build a wall between the US and Mexico, set up guest worker programs, allow indefinite detention and drive from their jobs those without papers. They called for amnesty -- permanent residence visas which would give the undocumented immediate legal status and rights -- and equality -- opposing second-class status as temporary or guest workers. They carried thousands of American flags, chanting Aqui Estamos y No Nos Vamos! -- We're Here, and We're not Leaving! Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had taken off work or school to come to the marches, and refrained from buying anything, to show their economic importance. Even the LA Metro let marchers on for free. March organizer Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Association and the Hermandad Nacional Mexicana, said "on May 1st immigrant workers demonstrated their power in the national immigration debate. Their absence from workplaces, schools and stores sent a powerful message that that they will not be shut out of this discussion. They are rescuing from anonymity the struggle for the 8-hour day, begun in Chicago over a century ago by the immigrants of yesteryear. They are recovering the traditions of all working people."
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