May 5, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 18
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Sunday, Feb 16, 2020



Immigration: March draws foes of legislation, activists
Immigration: March draws foes of legislation, activists
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

It was strange walking (or rather limping-a little overzealous leaping, caused my already 'trick knee' to act up even more) through downtown Seattle last Monday evening. Signs that had been carried earlier by marchers from numerous activist groups, were discarded, only the wood sticks poking out of garbage cans around the route the march had taken. Proof of the number of people who had come together for this historical, Mayday event.

Organized by the Latino Liberation Committee, and co-sponsored by the International Socialist Workers Party, Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party, the march started at St. Mary's Church at 20th and Jackson (the same place the last march on April 10th had begun), and wove its way down Jackson, to Fourth Avenue, and eventually to Second Avenue and to the Federal Building. But, unlike the last march, in which an estimated 1,500 people marched, last Monday's march in protest of current legislation which would make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant had a crowd one person on the scene estimated at somewhere near 50,000. This crowd of young and old Latinos, union members from the AFL-CIO, SEIU, El Centro de La Raza, several youth activist groups and one union that appeared to be connected with Starbucks Coffee was so large at one point that many gathered on side streets.

Cries of 'Si Se Puede' (We Can Do It!), and 'The People, United, Will Never Be Divided', (said in Spanish by many in the overflow crowd) billowed forward occasionally from those who did not want to be silent as organizers had asked. The silence, one organizer had said on an earlier news story, was to give memorial to the millions of illegal aliens who had died trying to cross the border or after they'd crossed illegally. At one point a group of young musicians rang bells, shouted and clanged a small cymbal, and two left the crowd, banging on signposts, and whatever else was at hand, until a Seattle policeman, on a bike, made them stop.

Also in last Monday's crowd were a few Canadians, some members of African, Jamaican, and - possibly - Haitian groups, and as the crowd snaked along Fourth Avenue, under the 4th and Jefferson Bridge, a large number of people on the bridge and in the park nearby, cheered and some joined the already large crowd.

Organizers and activists working for immigrant rights say the marches and rallies will continue throughout the summer and they will continue to work for fair legislation and better conditions for immigrants. And if you missed last Monday's march, you can join Radical Women and Freedom Socialist Party at New Freeway Hall for a program and dinner which will feature both local and national speakers. For more information on this event, call: 722-6057.

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