Oakland HR4437 Protest
Posted Apr 14 2006
I'll keep my comments brief as I hope the images speak for themselves. On Monday, April 10 between 8,000 and 10,000 people marched in Oakland, CA to protest a bill that makes it a felony to be an immigrant without proper documenation and a criminal to help someone without documentation. Many walked more than 7 miles throughout the city, ending at a rally at city hall. Across the United States millions of people have been protesting this possible legislation.
There are some hot debates going on and perhaps I'll join the fray view the website if time permits. In the meantime, a few things that stood out include the family feel of this march, as opposed to many of the demonstrations I've observed, particularly the anti-war ones which seem dominated by the "activist" crowd. Today's march had grandmothers, mechanics, little kids, and entire families. At a very basic level, people were asking to be respected as human beings. Another thing that stood out was the heavy dominance of Latina/os. Where was everyone else? This is a serious discussion that needs to continue; not to point fingers, but to see why we're still divided along racial and ethnic lines on so many issues when we're all so much more complex than that. This is not merely a Mexican or Latino issue. Society, regardless or borders, really needs to figure out how to address everyone with dignity and humanity. The devil's in the details, but do we really have a choice?