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April 14, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 15
 
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COMMENTARY - At one point, five blocks long, a march that has long been coming begins a new direction for The Left, from the ground up
COMMENTARY - At one point, five blocks long, a march that has long been coming begins a new direction for The Left, from the ground up
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

Once I arrived at last Monday's immigrant rights march, which had been organized only days before by local and national Latino organizers, I knew that something wonderful was happening. That a grassroots movement of working class and lower class people have orchestrated what will undoubtedly be remembered years from now, as the new Civil Rights Movement for the 21st century. And using similar strategies of taking to the streets in huge numbers around the country (several news reports said that protesters numbered well above the predicted tabulations by organizers and city officials), the immigrant rights marches have definitely caused ripples in the White House, in Congress and the House in particular, where a bill that would make it illegal to give services to illegal immigrants and deport others, is being hotly debated by both Democrats and Republicans.

The march last Tuesday, in Seattle, was said by a member of Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party (who had a contingent of marchers in the huge march) to be at one point, five blocks long. Thus making it well over the several hundred numbers estimated before the march took place, by local organizers and imagined by city officials. It included groups from many local activist camps, including The Seattle Church Council, University of Washington's teacher's organization, and El Centro De La Raza, to name a few. And in the crowd one could see that there were many generations of Latino workers represented, including families, who carried signs saying things like 'My Daddy's Not a Criminal', and 'Si Puede' ('We Can'-which was the cry by marchers around the country in every march that took place last week), and 'Bush Step Down', as well as other anti-Bush and anti-Republican slogans.

One of the images I'll not forget were of the huge crowd of mostly young Latinos, dancing in the street, where Seattle Police and Fireman from several brigades looked on, as the young people danced to Latin versions of 'Stand Up' by Bob Marley. And according to Radical Women, who is co-sponsoring a series of workshops called 'Revolution in Latin America' over the next 10 weeks, there will be more marches and actions against the proposed anti-immigration legislation proposed by a representative from Colorado, with another huge march taking place on May 1st, International Worker's Day.

For more information on upcoming events and marches, call Radical Women at 722-6057, or go online to Rwseattle@mindspring.com, or FSPseattle@mindspring.com. Also Radical Women is showing the film 'Walkout' on April 20th, at 7:30 p.m., and there will be a delicious dinner, with vegetarian option before the film.

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