Mass Movements March on
The following cartoon and excerpt from a news story appeared in tAhe April 10, 2006, issue of GI Special. For the entire issue, go to: www.williambowles.info/gispecial/2006/0406/100406/gi_4d10_100406.html
[Thanks to PB, who sent this in.]
Hundreds of thousands of people, many waving American flags, marched through downtown Dallas today to protest tougher immigration restrictions proposed in Congress and to support legalizing undocumented workers.
The sea of people, who
chanted “Si se puede” (yes,
we can) and “
“We never anticipated it getting this big,” said Lt. Rick Watson, a spokesman for the Dallas Police Department. “The estimates were anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000, but all of a sudden they started coming, and they kept coming and kept coming.
“We estimate that we have 350,000 to 500,000 people down here today.”
They were young and old; some pushing strollers, some in wheelchairs or walking with canes. Many made their own placards that read “Fair legislation for all immigrants,” “If I am illegal so are my taxes,” “Latinos Unidos” and “Today we march. Tomorrow we vote.”
“It’s a good feeling that we are finally standing up for ourselves,” said Robert Martinez, who is now an American citizen but said he crossed the Rio Grande illegally 22 years ago. “For years we never say nothing, we just work hard, follow the rules and pay taxes. And they try to make these laws. It’s time people knew how we felt.”
The police said there were only a handful of counterprotesters at today’s march.
“My grandparents came
His mother, Francisca
Trevino, also emigrated from
“I crossed the river and everything when I was 8 years old,” said the 58-year-old kindergarten teacher. “My father was a farm laborer. I’ve come a long way in this country. I want to show support for immigrants.”
Johnny Carillo, 35, wearing his military combat cap and an
American flag draped over his shoulder, came to support the immigrant soldiers
he fought alongside in
“We’ve got soldiers in
Some immigrants from other countries and some African-Americans also marched in support.
“I’m here for my employees,” he said. “I told them to come to. This is a cause for humanity. You can’t say ‘go back.’ They are here, part of the society. Their children are citizens. They are very valuable to us.”
An hour and a half after the parade started, people at the back of the line were still marching and people were still arriving by train to join the crowd.
There were 774 officers working the route of the march and the police reported that it was a peaceful, family crowd and that they had made only one arrest so far, for public intoxication.