Apr 28, 2006

Protests Aim to "Shut Cities Down"

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Left: Aerial view of April 10 rally in LA

(Los Angeles, CA, Washington, DC) Pro-immigration activists have called for a national boycott and marches on Monday, May 1, and they claim millions of Latinos will take to the nation's streets to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and influence immigration reform.

"For this day the purpose is clear: we will force a national boycott. On May 1, we're asking working men and women of immigrant origin and all its supporters to not go to work, not go to school, not to shop and not to sell anything," said Juan Jose Gutierrez, who is the national coordinator for the Latino Movement USA.

Hispanic leaders across the country are divided over Monday's boycott. Some call it a nonviolent protest in the mold of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., while others believe that too much protesting could hurt the cause of immigration reform.

Thousands of truck drivers working out of the Port of Los Angeles and cab drivers who serve Los Angeles International Airport are expected to strike for the day or possibly the week.

"If truckers aren’t trucking, the port isn’t working," said Los Angeles organizer Jim DeMaegt. "If cab drivers don’t drive, LAX will be shut down. Nobody knows precisely what will happen, but there is a lot of support."

Predicting the effects of the rallies depends largely on the turnouts.

"There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles alone. We're going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno," said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize earlier rallies.

Among the most vocal in opposition to the rallies has been Jim Glichrist, founder of the Minutemen Project.

"It's intimidation," said Gilchrist. "It's intimidation when a million people march down main streets in our major cities under the Mexican flag. It angers the people you are trying to impress. This will backfire just like the Mexican flag parades backfired."

Of course, one might make the same argument of "intimidation" for stationing paramilitary forces like the Minutemen on the border.

Now that the boycott (or paro in Spanish) has been called, the organizers need to deliver on their plans, or face the prospect of appearing ineffective.

If nothing else, Monday appears to be gearing up to be a day to remember.

13 comments:

liberal_dem said...

I wish that these millions of demonstrators would carry, "Impeach Bush and Cheney" signs as well.

Anonymous said...

Viva la revolution!

M A F said...

Lacking the economic clout of the politically connected, public protests are the best way to draw the attention of politicians.

Of course, there is a effort afoot pushed by redundance radio to have whites attempt to negate the effects of Monday's planned walk out/protest by spending their money.

Republican party is over a barrel in my estimation. If they respond negatively to the protests the Latino population will have the opportunity to affect this mid-term election to the detriment to the Republicans.

Personally, I only hope that the event organizers reach their lofty goal.

Michael said...

If anyone stays away from work without taking a valid vacation day, he/she should be fired, or reprimanded. Pretty much like anyone else.

Those who are legally in the U.S. should have no fear. They did it the right way.

The illegal immigrants are just that: here illegally. Yes, it's tough to arrest and/or send home millions of people. But, Maybe we just stop here, and toughen up immigration.

Maybe, anyone who stays home Monday should open a blog and start blogging!
-- Mike

Kurt said...

I'm staying home monday, mostly because I have nothing on my calendar other than studying, but I also support this movement. For too long Americans have ignored cycles of immigration and have discriminated against immigrants. I compare this to the most recent Irish boom in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The KKK burned crosses in Irish Catholics front yards, but now the Irish are celebrated on St. Patrick's day by the same ancestry that used to burn these crosses. America needs to stop fearing the spanish speaking folk and embrace them as citizens. Again another example of people not remembering history. I think I'm going to be sick.

liberal_dem said...

I'll be out on the streets, Monday, with my placard, "Donnez-moi la liberté ou donnez-moi la mort!"

-Sepp said...

First off, the Irish came here LEGAL. They arrived in boats and went through the process and medical examination to become legal citizens. Comparing them to mexicans swarming over the border is apples and oranges. My question for all these protestors is "what the hell is wrong with comming here legally?" I say screw em'. If we all believe in equal treatment for everyone why are you demanding special treatment for people who are breaking our laws and leaching off the system? Enter legally and, I'd be the first to shake hands and welcome them.

Stephanie said...

Kurt,

"America needs to stop fearing the spanish speaking folk and embrace them as citizens."

If most of the Hispanic immigrants were embracing America--her laws, her culture, her language--then I'd agree with you. If the illegal immigrants had COME here legally or left when they were supposed, then I'd also agree with you.

Since that isn't the case...here's to repeating history! We defeated them once. We can do it again. And, if Mexico keeps up their hypocritical behavior, we're going to have to.

Stephanie said...

Sepp,

"If we all believe in equal treatment for everyone..."

The problem is "we all" don't. The ultra-liberal left frequently campaigns for special rights for "special" people. That's what Affirmative Actions is all about.

Dariush said...

Stephanie: "here's to repeating history! We defeated them once. We can do it again. And, if Mexico keeps up their hypocritical behavior, we're going to have to."

Steph,

Are you actually calling for another Mexican-American War? I realize that the immigration debate is making a lot of people slightly unhinged, and feeding on every single strand of fear and paranoia in the collective psyche of white America.

But don't you think that an actual "lock and load" call to arms against a country that has never militarily threatened the United States is a bit too much?

To essays that I always point people to on this topic are Michael Lind's "To Have and to Have Not" and Israel Shamir's "On The Move".

Shamir's essay is not dated but, if memory serves, it was composed in September or October of 2001.

Lind's essay is not strictly about immigration, although immigration is an important facet of what he discusses within the text. It's also quite long, but well worth the read.

Both essays will go you a much better insight into the role of immigration and the way the world works than any amount of hogswill that you might ingest from the likes of Michelle Malkin.

Dariush said...

So much for my proofreading skills.

That should be "two essays", not "to essays".

-Sepp said...

"America needs to stop fearing the spanish speaking folk and embrace them as citizens."

Those spanish speaking folk should be learning OUR common language and not vice-versa. Asians, Africans, Europeans and many other ethnicities come to our country every year LEGALLY and still manage to learn our language, assimilate AND, become productive members of their community. All completed without sneaking over a fence, demanding welfare or, demanding everything to be bilingual to suit them. I'm not seeing spanish on my local ATM because of the people who came here legally or I'd be seeing about 60 other languages too. These advocacy groups out marching under the mantra "when in Rome, force the Romans to pander to your demands" should cross into Mexico and demand welfare and free medical and English translations of everything and see how far they get.

Hooda Thunkit said...

I predict that in two weeks, the question will be, "What protest?"

It could be mildly entertaining on Monday, but it will still be Yesterday's news on Tuesday.

Sorry about that, we're a short attention span nation.