Immigrants Take to U.S. Streets in Show of Strength
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
Published: May 2, 2006
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[...] Originally billed as a nationwide economic boycott under the banner "Day Without an Immigrant," the day evolved into a sweeping round of protests intended to influence the debate in Congress over granting legal status to all or most of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
The protesters, a mix of illegal immigrants and legal residents and citizens, were mostly Latino, but in contrast to similar demonstrations in the past two months, large numbers of people of other ethnicities joined or endorsed many of the events. In some cases, the rallies took on a broader tone of social action, as gay rights advocates, opponents of the war in Iraq and others without a direct stake in the immigration debate took to the streets.
"I think it's only fair that I speak up for those who can't speak for themselves," said Aimee Hernandez, 28, one of an estimated 400,000 people who turned out in Chicago, the site of one of the largest demonstrations. "I think we're just too many that you can't just send them back. How are you going to ignore these people?"
But among those who favor stricter controls on illegal immigration, the protests hardly impressed.
"When the rule of law is dictated by a mob of illegal aliens taking to the streets, especially under a foreign flag, then that means the nation is not governed by a rule of law — it is a mobocracy," Jim Gilchrist, a founder of the Minutemen Project, a volunteer group that patrols the United States-Mexico border, said in an interview.
While the boycott, an idea born several months ago among a small group of grass-roots immigration advocates here, may not have shut down the country, it was strongly felt in a variety of places, particularly those with large Latino populations. [read on...]
Thousands Turn Out, but Support Is Mixed Among New York's Immigrants
By MICHELLE O'DONNELL
Published: May 2, 2006
[...] Across the New York region, thousands of people took part in demonstrations and an economic boycott called for by some immigration leaders and labor unions, culminating in a demonstration last evening by tens of thousands of people in Union Square in Manhattan. But despite the large turnout of Hispanics, there was far from uniform support for the rallies among all immigrant groups.
The divide was visible in New York City, where immigrants from different countries live side by side. In Ditmas Park, the door to La Nueva Union, a Mexican bakery, was locked, while a nearby film developing shop, owned by a Pakistani man, remained open.
Denise Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant who works as a maid, said she stayed home from work and kept her two young sons home from school on Monday to attend a rally. Education officials said attendance in city schools on Monday was down about 6 percent.
In the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is home to large numbers of Hispanics and Asians, about 3,000 people, mostly Hispanic, turned out for a midday rally, although Asian-owned businesses largely remained open. That was to be expected, said Artemio Guerra, a rally organizer, who said legislation pending before Congress that would overhaul immigration law was a "racial attack on Hispanics." [read on...]
In the meantime, rightwing fear-monger Michelle Malkin seems to have a problem with these photos.
...and an entry in Wikipedia:
2006 U.S. immigration reform protests
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from 2006 U.S. immigrant rights protests)
In 2006, millions of people were involved in protests over a proposed reform to existing United States immigration laws. The protests began in response to proposed legislation known as H.R. 4437, which would raise penalties for illegal immigration and classify illegal aliens and anyone who helped them enter or remain in the US as felons. As part of the wider immigration debate, most protests not only seek an overhaul of this bill, but also a path to legalization and fewer Immigration Services delays.
The largest national turnout of protests occurred on April 10, 2006, in 102 cities, and were the largest demonstrations in many years in cities such as Dallas, Texas, (estimated crowd 500,000), Atlanta, Georgia, (estimated 60,000), Salt Lake City, Utah, (estimated 40,000), Seattle, Washington, (estimated 30,000) and Madison, Wisconsin, (estimate 25,000). All of the protests were peaceful and attracted considerable media attention, although there was also controversy over what some people considered anti-American symbolism at some of the protests. The protests took place on May Day and many of the protesters carried portraits of Communist leader Che Guevara.