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More than 10,000 people rally for immigrant rights in downtown Santa Ana

by Duane J. Roberts Tuesday, May. 02, 2006 at 5:37 PM
duaneroberts92804@yahoo.com

A crowd of more than 10,000 people jammed the streets of downtown Santa Ana earlier this afternoon to demand full amnesty for undocumented workers and protest pending legislation going through Congress that would criminalize their presence within the United States.

More than 10,000 peo...
img0082.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

Monday, May 1, 2006

MORE THAN 10,000 PEOPLE RALLY FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

IN DOWNTOWN SANTA ANA

Thousands flood into the streets surrounding

major government office buildings

By DUANE J. ROBERTS

duaneroberts92804@yahoo.com

SANTA ANA, CA -- A crowd of more than 10,000 people

jammed the streets of downtown Santa Ana earlier this

afternoon to demand full amnesty for undocumented

workers and protest pending legislation going through

Congress that would criminalize their presence within

the United States.

Santa Ana police were badly outnumbered as thousands

of working class Mexicans, El Salvadorans,

Guatemalans, and persons of other nationalities took

to the streets and marched around a complex of

buildings that housed federal, state, county, and city

government offices.

One marcher proudly held up a sign saying, "If being a

hard worker makes me a criminal, I guess I'm guilty."

Others simply read: "Aiding my kids is not a crime";

"Naturalize the working immigrant"; "Working is not a

crime"; and "In 1620, the Mayflower brought the first

immigrants."

Although some carried the brightly colored flags of

Mexico, El Salvador, and other countries, many flew

U.S. flags of all shapes and sizes. One group of

marchers brought a U.S. flag so huge that it required

the assistance of about a dozen people to carry it

from one place to another.

In a business district located not far away from the

Ronald Reagan Federal courthouse, dozens of small

merchants closed up shop for the entire day. Many had

signs posted on their windows supporting the

nationwide boycott. "We support the rights of

immigrants," read one sign in Spanish.

Despite the presence of dozens of Santa Ana police

officers, there were no reported arrests or incidents

of abuse. This writer did witness an incredibly tense

moment when officers riding on horseback refused to

let a handful of people join the marchers. The situation

was quickly diffused, however.

The overwhelming majority of persons participating in

this march behaved in a peaceful and nonviolent

manner. Many were moms and dads that came to the

demonstration with young children; some pushed

babystrollers. A large number of high school and

college students were also present.

###

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