Tag: Manhattan

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FI2W Video: The Voices of Immigrant New Yorkers at May Day Rallies for Immigration Reform

Feet In 2 Worlds contributor Sooyeon Kim covered the immigration rallies that took place Friday in Manhattan.

The earlier Madison Square Park rally, which featured a text messaging campaign, was attended by immigrants from many different backgrounds. Kim reports:

Despite the pouring rain, hundreds of immigrant rights supporters started marching at 6 p.m. to City Hall, flaunting flags and chanting, calling for immigration reform.

You can read our story about the Madison Square Park rally here.

Kim later covered the second rally, which met in Union Square. Here’s a slideshow with images from both demonstrations.

You can see another FI2W video from the Union Square rally here.

BrooklynImmigration NewsLatino

High Expectations, Low Turn Out at New York Immigration Rally

By Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes, FI2W contributor
May Day rally at Madison Square Park in Manhattan.

May Day rally at Madison Square Park in Manhattan. (Photos: Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes)

About 500 people, many of them immigrants, rallied today at Madison Square Park in Manhattan to call on the federal government to reform the immigration system and legalize the status of about 12 million undocumented workers currently living in the United States. The march was the first of two to be held this afternoon in New York, with another one starting later in Union Square.

The turnout fell significantly short of the projections of organizers who were expecting to draw at least 1,000 people. The rain and the tough economic situation seem to have affected people’s plans.

“This is the year when we need more people out because we need to remind President Obama that he has to keep the promise and pass immigration reform this year, but the economic situation makes it very difficult for people to miss a day of work,” said Luis Olavarria, 38, an undocumented Mexican worker who took a few minutes during his lunch break from a nearby restaurant to attend the rally.

Make the Road New York, one of the 25 organizations that participated in the demonstration, achieved its own goal of bringing two buses with over 100 of its members from Queens and Brooklyn to the demonstration site.

Ecuadorian ... and Argentinean Javier Cuenca

Ecuadorian Juan Diego Castro and Argentinean Javier Cuenca at the rally.

“I think this is great, there is a lot of hope and energy here today,” said Javier Cuenca, a 33-year-old undocumented Argentinean immigrant. Cuenca had spent the day yesterday preparing for the rally. At the demonstration he joined his friend Juan Diego Castro in clanking a pot and shouting slogans in Spanish, such as “No human being is illegal” and “We are here to stay.”

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