The rally began at Sam Hicks Memorial Park and marched through downtown Temecula to the the bewildered looks of the gringo community. The marchers arrived at the Temecula Duck Pond, where chants and cheers were uplifted.
The mood was festive, despite a latent anger about the bill legalizing discrimination in our neighboring state and the constant harassment of immigrants by local police. The security team, though inexperienced, were very professional.
Although most of the protesters were themselves immigrants, they did count on the solidarity of some concerned native-born folks, including a local high school teacher.
Only one counterprotester attempted to disrupt the action, demanding to know if the protesters had read the text of SB 1070. "Sir, as a activist, I assure you that I read every controversial law!" a young man reassured him. "Well let's sit down and read it," said the man. Once the activists realized his ploy, they, in the words of one witness, "enthusiastically ignored" him and frustrated his attempt to disrupt the manifestation.
For many of the march participants, it was the first time participating in a protest. A sense of empowerment was felt as they realized that they do not have to tolerate the abuses they suffer daily, and that there is a means to fight back.