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Saturday, May. 19, 2007 at 8:39 PM
Cdir_usa@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
More than 25,000 immigrants and their advocates marched Thursday to take back Macarthur Park after more than two weeks of meetings, hearings, plannings and filing of class action suits against the LAPD.
But the supposed to be an indignation rally against the ALPD was turned into a call for legalization for the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants. This came at the heels at the US Senate coming into a compromise for a supposed to be a “comprehensive immigration reform bill that will provide for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
CDIR Update No. 5
May 18, 2007
Thousands Marched and Rallied to Take Back Macarthur Park
Los Angeles— More than 25,000 immigrants and their advocates marched Thursday to take back Macarthur Park after more than two weeks of meetings, hearings, plannings and filing of class action suits against the LAPD.
But the supposed to be an indignation rally against the LAPD was turned into a call for legalization for the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants. This came at the heels at the US Senate coming into a compromise for a supposed to be a “comprehensive immigration reform bill that will provide for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Many of the marchers filled the sidewalks of Wishire and joined the march as it march past Vermont Ave. Among the politicians in attendance and who spoke art the rally in Wilshire were Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles), Assemblyman Kevin De Leon, City Council members Eric Garcetti, Ed Reyes and Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' San Gabriel Region.
The march and rally organizers gave them prominent positions at the van of the rally where they held the banner streamer in the march to Macarthur park. The police also piggy backed at the march/rally providing “ public relations.”.
Festive But Still Angry
The march started late, around 7:00 PM after ecumenical prayers and protest songs led by the New Sanctuary Movement. Some rally organizers in their speeches stressed support for “ free speech”, the “right for peaceful assembly” and most of all, the harmless “ declaration of support for legalization for Latino immigrants.“
Rev. Eric Lee, an African American pastor blasted the LAPD and called for African American and Latino unity. As the closing speaker at the pre-march rally, he roused the marchers into action chanting SI SE PUEDE!
The marchers occupied both sides of the whole stretch of Wilshire Blvd. Prominent among the marchers were the CHIRLA, MIWON, IDEPSCA, the March 25 Coalition and the RCP with red banners. A part of the march conducted sit –ins at intervals to give space for the thousands of marchers.
The Filipino contingent at the march led by the AJLPP and the Pilipino Workers Center and attended by scores of youth activists was very prominent in the march waving Filipino flags and charting MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT! .
The mood was festive and musical. With blowing horns and a lot of noise makers, the rallyist vented their protest into sounds of chants and noise. There were Mariachi marching and also a lot of drums.
Meanwhile, another march/rally, this time for real condemnation of the police brutality and attack against May 1 marchers and for full rights for all immigrants on June 24, 2007 .
The march/rally will be led by the April 7 Coalition and the anti-war coalition International ANSWER-Los Angeles with the Hermanidad Mexicana Nacional and Latino Movement –USA on June 24 at Hollywood and Vine.
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