Sunday, March 26, 2006

More Than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights - Los Angeles Times


If the Democrats don't recruit these working class Latinos they are truely lost.

More Than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights - Los Angeles Times: "More Than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights
By Teresa Watanabe and Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
2:51 PM PST, March 25, 2006

Joining what some are calling the nation's largest mobilization of immigrants ever, hundreds of thousands of people boisterously marched in downtown Los Angeles Saturday to protest federal legislation that would crack down on undocumented immigrants, penalize those who help them and build a security wall on the U.S. southern border. Spirited crowds representing labor, religious groups, civil-rights advocates and ordinary immigrants stretched over 26 blocks of downtown Los Angeles from Adams Blvd. along Spring Street and Broadway to City Hall, tooting kazoos, waving American flags and chanting 'Si se puede!' (Yes we can!). The crowd, estimated by police at more than 500.000, represented one of the largest protest marches in Los Angeles history, surpassing Vietnam War demonstrations and the 70,000 who rallied downtown against Proposition 187, a 1994 state initiative that denied public benefits to undocumented migrants.

The marchers included both longtime residents and the newly arrived, bound by a desire for a better life and a love for this county.

Arbelica Lazo, 40, illegally immigrated from El Salvador two decades ago but said she now owns two business and pays $7,000 in taxes annually.

Jose Alberto Salvador, 33, came here illegally just four months ago to find work to support the wife and five children he left behind; in his native Guatemala, he said, what little work he could find paid only $10 a day. 'As much as we need this country, we love this country,' Salvador said, waving a stick with both the American and Guatemalan flag. 'This country gives us opportunities we don't get at home.'"


If only the antiwar movement could pull off a demonstration that big from out of the blue, we'd kick ass.

As Nick Miroff points out the Latin American left are doing by far the best job countering the influence of the Bushistas. Bush has truely united them. He is doing a better job of uniting them than Che ever dreamed of.

Has Latin America ever had such a unifying figure?

At political rallies, his visage is held aloft as a beacon to regional independence and self-determination. He's helped forge new trade partnerships to spur economic growth and alleviate poverty. And his leadership has fanned a gale-force electoral trend that's sweeping the hemisphere to topple one pro-Washington government after the next.

Who is this grand inductor of Latin American leftism? Venezuelan fireball Hugo Chavez? Blue-collar Brazilian Lula Ignacio da Silva? Bolivia's coca-farmer-cum-president, Evo Morales?

¡Epa! It's George W. Bush, the accidental revolutionary............


The macroeconomic proposals of the Washington consensus have not been working," says Guillermo Delgado, professor of Latin American Studies at UC Santa Cruz. "That model was supposed to create prosperity and, after so many years, such prosperity has not been seen and class polarization has grown deeper."

Sensing an opportunity, new social and political movements in the region began marshalling their forces. Then George W. Bush came along, combining Yankee hubris with a Che-worthy radicalizing touch.

Bush has since presided over one of the most significant political re-alignments in the history of the Western Hemisphere. By this summer, every major Latin American nation but Colombia is likely to be run by elected leaders with stronger backgrounds in Marx than free markets. If Cold War-era "domino theory" has been a bust in the Middle East, it's working with textbook precision in Latin America.


Of coarse the modern dlc democrats are perpetually antiworking class. Remember how they reacted to the transit strike? They will probably ignore this just as they willfully ignore the peace protesters, and marginalize antiwar candidates.

Those of us in the antiwar movement could throw a monkey wrench into the system by courting this energetic and vital immigrant group. I doubt Cegelis could have lost if we did that. What potential might Ned Lamont have if he appeals to this group.

1 comment:

glenda said...

Really well-written. nice commentary!