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Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008 at 6:24 PM
LOS ANGELES - October 12, 2008
Amidst a celebration of Día de la Raza, about 75 protesters gathered to demand justice and an end to the raids and deportations.
At la Placita Olvera, there was a Día de la Raza celebration with a mole fair, dancers, and other expressions of joy. Better known as "Columbus Day" in the US, or "The Day of Indigenous Resistance" in Venezuela, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the "birth" of the mestizo race. Some of those gathered, however, were in less a spirit of jubilation due to all the recent reports of ICE raids, deportations, and other forms of discrimination against migrants.
They arrived with their signs and bullhorns, a conglomeration of various organizations and individuals, to raise their voices. They subsequently marched down the street to the federal building, where ICE has an office. There a manifestation took place, and several of the people present spoke.
And then suddenly, a block away, a line of Aztec dancers danced across the street drumming opposition to the concept of Columbus having "discovered" a land they had known and occupied for centuries., This, a colorful and noisy addition to the atmosphere introducing the idea of "the other"....all those people made invisible by the powerful conquerors; people who now, 500 years later, are deemed illegal and hunted down in their own lands.
An organizer from the International Socialist Organization let speakers make use of his bullhorn. One woman's statement sent chills down my spine: "We have to figure out what they are injecting people with when they deport them. It must be some sort of bacteria, because people are dying from it. One lady right when they gave it to her, and then a guy a few days after he got it."
A group of students from Mt SAC invited us to a forum to be held at their school on November 14, where presenters will inform people of their rights and of what to do in case of an encounter with La Migra.
Soon thereafter, the protestors decided to return to the Placita Olvera, where they proceeded to circumambulate the bandstand. A ploice officer tried to harass them and stop the action, but the activists had already decided to call it a day, and the cop was left with no one to harass.
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