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More than 10,000 people rally for immigrant rights in downtown Santa Ana

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  • Duane Roberts
    ... Monday, May 1, 2006 MORE THAN 10,000 PEOPLE RALLY FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS IN DOWNTOWN SANTA ANA Thousands flood into the streets surrounding major government
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2006
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      Monday, May 1, 2006

      MORE THAN 10,000 PEOPLE RALLY FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS
      IN DOWNTOWN SANTA ANA

      Thousands flood into the streets surrounding
      major government office buildings

      By DUANE J. ROBERTS
      duaneroberts92804@...

      SANTA ANA, CA -- A crowd of more than 10,000 people
      jammed the streets of downtown Santa Ana earlier this
      afternoon to demand full amnesty for undocumented
      workers and protest pending legislation going through
      Congress that would criminalize their presence within
      the United States.

      Santa Ana police were badly outnumbered as thousands
      of working class Mexicans, El Salvadorans,
      Guatemalans, and persons of other nationalities took
      to the streets and marched around a complex of
      buildings that housed federal, state, county, and city
      government offices.

      One marcher proudly held up a sign saying, "If being a
      hard worker makes me a criminal, I guess I'm guilty."
      Others simply read: "Aiding my kids is not a crime";
      "Naturalize the working immigrant"; "Working is not a
      crime"; and "In 1620, the Mayflower brought the first
      immigrants."

      Although some carried the brightly colored flags of
      Mexico, El Salvador, and other countries, many flew
      U.S. flags of all shapes and sizes. One group of
      marchers brought a U.S. flag so huge that it required
      the assistance of about a dozen people to carry it
      from one place to another.

      In a business district located not far away from the
      Ronald Reagan Federal courthouse, dozens of small
      merchants closed up shop for the entire day. Many had
      signs posted on their windows supporting the
      nationwide boycott. "We support the rights of
      immigrants," read one sign in Spanish.

      Despite the presence of dozens of Santa Ana police
      officers, there were no reported arrests or incidents
      of abuse. This writer did witness an incredibly tense
      moment when officers riding on horseback refused to
      let a handful of people join the marchers. The
      situation was quickly diffused, however.

      The overwhelming majority of persons participating in
      this march behaved in a peaceful and nonviolent
      manner. Many were moms and dads that came to the
      demonstration with young children; some pushed
      baby strollers. A large number of high school and
      college students were also present.

      ###


      For photos, please see the following link:

      http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/05/155648.php

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