DREAM Act Protest

Posted Oct 17 2007

On October 4, 2007 young people from all over California converged on the capitol building in Sacramento in an effort to persuade Governor Schwarzenneger to sign the DREAM Act into affect. Among other things, the federal version of this act would allow undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to earn permanent residency through military service or attending college. Many students from my school, Oakland Unity High, attended and I had them send me reflections on the experience.

I would consider it a very good march. A lot of people liked it. I honestly think that this will help us a lot. This will show Schwarzenegger that Californians all need an opportunity to go to college. If the governor doesn't sign the Dream Act, a lot of them will notice that he is just a racist guy and that he doesn't really care for Californians. That is why I am optimistic about this. I am pretty sure that he will sign it. Just in case he doesn't, next year we will try again and this time it will really look so bad if he doesn't.

This will be the second time that this kind of law is proposed to the governor and if he veto this bill it will be bad for him because he and the Republican Party will be looking like some racist party. A funny irony that I find is that the Republicans were the ones that freed the slaves back in the days. They were also the ones that gave legalization to a lot of Cubans refugees. Yet I am so sure that this time he wont veto this bill because we got some news covering this. Last year when it was on Schwarzenegger's desk almost no one heard about it. When he vetoed this no one said anything until it was too late. But this time it was different. The students of California know and I think if he doesn't sign it I think that a lot of students will be mad at him. Who knows? We might do something to show that we do care.

BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) is very confident that he will sign it. We have been working very hard to get this to work well. We have been doing a lot of things that will help us to achieve this march. I was up very late calling people, looking for busses, and I was part of the money management. I was also part of the fund raising. It was a lot of hard work

I believe that this march was great. A lot of people went, statewide. This is something that will affect everyone and if we don't do anything about this, the Dream Act will be nothing but just a dream. But as I see it right now, I think that this will no longer be a dream, it will be a reality. This can be a true dream that will make this state a better place, because as you, Mr. Zarazua say, if people don't get an education people will just go back to the streets and make more crimes. This is why I think it is important to get an education.

The day of the march was great. Everyone that said that they were going to go went. A lot of the media was there and everyone was talking about it. When we got there everyone know about what we were doing over there. Everyone there noticed us, which I think it was great. Everyone in BAMN was telling me that they saw that Unity was well behaved. They also told me that most of the Unity students knew about what was going out, and one of them told me that she feel very happy that not just Latino students came but also black students. I honestly feel very proud about Unity. I finally felt proud enough to say I am from that school. Other schools came; Fremont High, Oakland Tech, and Berkeley High, but only a very few from each. Most of us were from Oakland Unity. UC Berkeley and some other organizations that were from outside of the Bay and some school from Sacramento also came. Thank god there were no accidents and that no one got arrested. I really wish that Dream Act gets sign. But if not, we will continue to fight until we get our dream to become a reality.-JM Z.


Today I attended a march in Sacramento . What the march wanted to do was go up to the state capitol and protest for the governor to sign the Dream Act. The Dream Act gives immigrants the opportunity to get financial aid for college. There were maybe 200 people or less. We walked all the way up to the state capitol and stayed in front. I don't remember the words we were saying, but of course it demanded Arnold to sign the Dream Act. There weren't any problems. There were police all around the protesting people though; too many for a small march. No one came out of the building even though almost everyone chanted what they believe should happen.-Tayler D.

When I first arrived at the park there were about 35 other people there, not including the students from Unity. The lady leading the march was chanting all kind of stuff in Spanish. I had no idea what she was saying so I began to tone out. It didn't occur to me how serious this protest was until police men started surrounding us. For a second I thought they were going to attack us with night sticks, but they didn't. After awhile there were about a hundred and fifty people in the march. About 25% of us were paying attention. Kids began to sneak off to the store and others were texting the whole time. I remember J.M. He seemed to be one of the few kids actually protesting. He was yelling at the top of his lungs "si se puede!" I asked a women what it meant, and she said it means "yes I can!" The whole thing got extremely boring.

All they ever did was shout for no reason at all. I didn't see any point in this march. We were so harmless the police started texting people themselves. However, I did meet a pretty cool person from Detroit. He was one of the few black people there. We talked for a while, but I could tell that he really wasn't that serious about the march. The whole time he was just trying to flirt with Deisy. I don't want to say I think it was a waste of time because it wasn't, but I know I could have found something much better to do with my time.-Jestin R.

Today we went to a march to help persuade Arnold S. to pass "The Dream Act" which is the bill that needs to be passed so immigrants can get financial aid when they apply for college. This wasn't the average type of march that I expected, to be honest. I thought it would be one of them out of control rallies that be having thousands of crazy people with them signs goin' wild while police have their pepper spray and tasers and things like that. This march was a calm and organized march where the goal of trying to protest against the governer's decision to not pass the Dream Act. First, they made sure all the participants had signs and they made sure we knew exactly what we were marching for. Then we headed to the capitol state building and once we arrived there they had us chanting things like "si se puede" which means "yes I can." Then after we protested for like two hours or so we packed up and left with out causing any problems. It was a good experience.-Shatika S.

Well, the day came and we were all on the bus. I was hearing people talking about White people, Asians, and Mexicans. I was sorta scared because I never in my life had been on a march like this "away from home." It was funny because when we got down from the bus we all meet at a park in the middle of nowhere. There was a cop and he did not expect a march I guess so he called back up. In just minutes, within a couple of seconds, there were eight cops behind us. They were telling us to walk on the sidewalk but no one listened to them so they started to scare us by accelerating the engine. No one cared about that so they just let us go.

We finally made a right turn and there was a big fake white house like the one from Washington D.C. It was funny because lots of white people were just walking, staring at us and they were all confused; not knowing what was going on. On the other hand there were African Americans that were just honking saying "YEAH!" I guess that they supported us. The bad thing is that we were walking. We were not starting anything when people in their cars were just passing, screaming out "Go back to Mexico." All those type of things. People did not care.

We were all standing on the sidewalk when a white lady came up to us and told us "why are you blocking my F****** way." That's when all the drama started. People were saying "c****, c*****" meaning b******. I was sorta scared because in the back of my head I was thinking to myself there is going to be a big fight wit the cops because I was seeing lots of motorcycles, cop cars, and even horses behind us.

I wonder if there are racist cops here in this state. I think there shouldn't be any because there are lots of races here in the U.S and they should protect us, not harm us.-Juan Cer.


1. Mariana Torres said at June 11, 2008 9:20 pm:

I definetly agree with you about Schwarzenegger.Hopefully nest year we will have a better chance to change this and have immigrant students go to college. I personally feel that its really messed up for them because they really try to do well and succeed here in the US, and those who are actually from the US dont really do anything to better their society. They actualy want to make a difference but due to their immigration status they arnt able to do so. thats why it really bothers me to see many students not being able to afford school, when the gov is wasting that money on students who arnt really taking school serious.

2. Alejandra Ruiz said at June 13, 2008 4:30 am:

I was at this protest and honestly i thought it didn't make much of a difference. The number of people who came out to protest was small and some didn't even stay for the protest they left. Another thing tat i noticed was that some people who went could not behave themselves, for instance there was an incident were a lady yelled at a student ad it was kind of the students fault but she insisted it wasn't and yelled back at the lady saying really stupid things that had nothing to do with the situation. i think that if your going to go out there and miss a day of school and protest to try to act in a way that the people watching you protest will want to support your cause.

3. Tania said at June 13, 2008 8:00 pm:

I was this protest at first i was like that nothing was goinbg to change Schwarzenegger to sign the dream act. But they I realized that we should of give it a try that we dont loose anything for just trying. I'm a student that was brought from Mexico because my parents wanted to give me a better life. I think tha same as ale but with dont loos e the chance and dream that one day he will sign the dream so that we as imigrants have more opportunities to go to coole. Because it's not are fault that our parents decided tobrings us as immigrants. Our only problem of us is that we want to study and keep on going to college but it becomes more difficutl because are ommigrants. But like as many teachers and people say that we should never give up and keeop trying to accomplish our dreams. So I think that it will be great if we keep on going and try to accomplish the goal that the governor signs the dream act for all those students that want to realized their dream. That are not responsible for the acts their parents did on bringing them to the united states.

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