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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.