Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mujeres unida, jamas sera vencida

March for Immmigrant WomenLos Angeles Sep 2, 2006 -- Around 3,500 people marched through downtown demanding amnesty for all immigrants. In keeping with the march theme of solidarity with immigrant mother Elvira Arellano the march was led by women, particularly immigrant women, to the chant of "Mujeres unida, jamas sera vencida" while bearing a large banner calling for equality and justice for all.

Marchers came from a broad range of groups and surrounding cites and were all in excellent spirits. One woman said she had come because she heard of the event on TV the night before. Expecting a May Day 2006 sized crowd she was going to go home until she learned the march was in support of Elvira Arellano and was shown Elvira's story in "Socialist Worker." Visibly moved by the story she said "We all take the risk she has, we all live in fear." A member of the Los Angeles Port Truck drivers said of Elvira "it is important for all workers to support her because she is a worker."

Several key activists of the Los Angeles immigrant rights groups were in attendance. President of the Mexican American Political Association Nativo Lopez took some time to talk with "Socialist Worker." Most important was his view on how to re-vitalize the movement. "I feel the remaining principled members of the March 25th coalition must work directly with the National Alliance for Immigrant Rights (NAIR). The only way to sustain the movement is to build local, grass roots leadership on the ground. That means we need to be building within organized labor, within the churches, within the communities. Reaching out to create leadership and organization as a local branch of NAIR is the next step."

The march ended in front of Los Angeles City Hall. There an all women panel of speakers spoke to the gathered activists. Many people were searching for ways to be more involved and many were eager to share their stories. One immigrant named Jerry told of how he had been across the border five times and that he had been beaten on one occasion by immigration authorities.


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