Tag: May Day demonstrations for immigration reform

Immigration NewsVideos

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.

Immigration NewsVideos

FI2W Video: New York March for Worker and Immigrant Rights in Union Square

A second pro-immigration reform rally took place in New York in Union Square on Friday. While attendance was sparse in the early afternoon, more activist groups had arrived by the time speeches and performances begun at 4 pm, amid chants of “Sí, se puede” (“Yes, we can”.)

Rain came soon and forced protesters to duck under blue tarps or even their own banners and picket signs. Many did not leave. “Although the rally filled the plaza on the south end of the park, the attendance was nowhere near the numbers we saw in 2006 or even last year,” reports Feet in 2 Worlds senior producer Jocelyn Gonzales, who created the video below.

Read about the other march for immigration reform that took place in New York on Friday.

BostonImmigration News

On May Day Immigrant Families Come Out in Support of Immigration Reform in New England

May Day rally in East Boston - Photo: Eduardo A. de Oliveira/EthnicNEWz.org.

May Day rally in East Boston. (Photos: Eduardo A. de Oliveira/EthnicNEWz.org)

With unexpectedly low turnout, peaceful protests took place across the country today, with rallies in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New Jersey, New York and other cities. Although two factors –rain and the possible spread of swine flu– represented a setback in some cities, advocates feel this is the right moment to push for immigration reform. Police in East Boston, Massachusetts estimated there were 1,000 protesters at a local rally. Across from City Hall in Manchester, N.H., demonstrators numbered only 60, according to organizers.

Fausto da Rocha, a Brazilian activist in Massachusetts was not disappointed with the low attendance. “I’m satisfied to see several religious leaders here today, people who can influence many in their communities,” he said . “Everyone knows the time for legalization is now.”

What the rallies lacked in numbers they compensated for with the participation of entire families.

At least three immigrant families whose members were separated by recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids attended the rally in Manchester. At one point, Aaron Silvestre, 6, an American citizen whose father was detained for a few weeks, told the crowd: “We need to keep families together. The police should not take fathers away like they took my father.”

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Immigration NewsLos Angeles

Los Angeles: Many Small Marches for Immigration Reform on May Day

The first of the marches in Downtown Los Angeles today - Photo: j.r.mchale.

The first of the marches in Downtown Los Angeles today - Photo: j.r.mchale.

In Los Angeles, there were at least five major organized marches pushing for immigration reform on May Day, three of which started from the same point in the heart of downtown: Broadway and Olympic.

Different groups and local organizations had different routes in mind: the first one started with about 1,500 people and followed a route similar to the mega-march of March 25, 2006.

Another demonstration started later, towards Temple and Alameda, somewhat to the east of the first one. Approximately 1,000 people participated. A third march in the same area during the afternoon gathered only a few hundred people.

Two other groups were marching in the afternoon in Downtown and Echo Park, a neighborhood just west of Dodger Stadium.

Groups of students were to march separately in the southeast area of Los Angeles County in support of the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students to regularize their immigration status and gain access to higher education.

The fragmentation of groups dissappointed a local activist, who had hoped for a unified contingent. “It’s too bad, the groups look very small by themselves. I participated in the first one and now I’m in the second one. They don’t take more than a block and a little more each”, said Ricardo Moreno, an immigrant rights activist in Los Angeles. “The groups are divided and to me, ’cause I know all the organizers, it’s about egos.”

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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