Student Protest For Immigrant Rights Mounts
Los Angeles—For two straight days, tens of thousands of high school students from California and Texas walked out of their classes in support of immigrant rights and protest the oppressive and racist HR 4437.
On Monday, March 27, more than 100, 000 students walked out of more than 40 high schools in California. In Los Angeles, more than 40,000 students from 26 high schools walked out. Students from Belmont, Los Angeles, Marshall, Fairfax and other high schools marched to City Hall.
On Tuesday, March 28, despite heavy rains, in South Bay --students from Carson and Long Beach High Schools with substantial number of Filipino American students marched despite police intervention. More than thirty students were arrested and were peppered sprayed by the police. More than 4,000 students also marched in Dallas, Texas.
In Anaheim and Santa Ana, Orange County, police tried to disperse students from the steps of the City Hall and the Federal building but the students held their lines and continued with their protests. School, city and police authorities have warned students and threatened them with sanctions if they would continue with the walkouts.
Meanwhile some school authorities have locked down their schools in an effort to stem the tide of popular protests. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who met with the students during the first day of protests last March 27 now calls for sobriety and asked the students to stay in their classes.
Observers noted that these are the most significant mass actions since the 150,000 people’s march against Proposition 187 in 1994 and the freeway sit-down strike during the Vietnam War during the early 1970’s.
This is clearly people’s reaction against what political observers called “ the most oppressive piece of legislation during the last 70 years.” Despite the senate judiciary committee hearings that assured that the most racist and repressive features of the HR 4437 were removed, more protests kept on the pressure on the U.S Congress to pass a more humane and reasonable earned legalization legislation for immigrants in the United States.