Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reform immigration for America march and rally

Last Sunday, I attended the reform immigration for America march and rally in Washington, D.C.

I was too young to attend the 1963 March on Washington, so I didn't want to miss this one. I was glad to be able to be with a group from Wichita's Sunflower Community Action.

There was a huge crowd, estimates ranged from 200,000 to 500,000,
Reports in the days leading up the march said 50,000 to 100,000 were expected. Another report said that Obama adminsitration would not move on immigration reform if there were not more than 100,000 people.

There appeared to me be a considerable labor presence--from unions with large numbers of immigrant workers. SEIU had a large tent on the mall. A SEIU member told me that Chicago SEIU brought 5 buses. Overall, SEIU says it brought 5,000 members to the rally. There was also big contingents from UFCW, Unite Here, and a few other unions. Arlene Holt Baker, executive VP of the AFL-CIO spoke. She said good things, but she is not the dynamic speaker that Richard Trumka is.

NAACP leader Benjamin Jealous gave one of the first speeches and he was excellent, as was the leader of the Urban League. I was struck by the large number of African Americans on the grounds of the mall.

The involvement of churches and workers centers did a lot to secure a great turnout.

Here's a slide show of the photos I took.

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