Sunday, April 16, 2006

INB 4/16/06: Protests Sweep Nation

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 14 - April 16, 2006

Special Issue: Protests Sweep Nation

1. Northeast: DC to Maine
2. South: Florida to Texas
3. Midwest: Indiana to Nebraska
4. West: Colorado to California

Immigration News Briefs is a weekly supplement to Weekly News Update on the Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012; tel 212-674-9499; INB is also distributed free via email; contact to subscribe or unsubscribe. You may reprint or distribute items from INB, but please credit us and tell people how to subscribe. Immigration News Briefs is posted at


An estimated two million people took part in coordinated
demonstrations in more than 140 US cities on Apr. 10, a National
Day of Action for Immigrant Justice demanding legalization and
other rights for out-of-status immigrants. Organizers scheduled
the protests for a Monday during congressional recess so elected
officials would be in their home districts to witness them.
Hundreds of thousands more marched on the previous day, Apr. 9.
[Atlanta Journal-Constitution 4/11/06; Los Angeles Times 4/11/06]


In Washington, at least 200,000 people poured onto the National
Mall on Apr. 10, waving US flags and chanting in Spanish, "Si, se
puede" ("yes, we can"). [AJC 4/11/06] Organizers estimated the
crowd size on the Mall at 500,000. The District's Metropolitan
Police Department did not provide crowd estimates. [Miami Herald
4/11/06; Washington Times 4/11/06]

In New York City, Police declined to estimate the size of the
crowds, but organizers said 125,000 people were present at City
Hall on Apr. 10. [AP 4/11/06] "We are inseparable, indivisible
and impossible to take out of America," Chung-Wha Hong, executive
director of the New York Immigration Coalition, told a spirited
crowd. [New York Times 4/11/06] On Apr. 9, some 700 people
rallied at the office of Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in Massapequa,
Long Island. The Long Island Immigrant Alliance organized the
action to protest King's co-sponsorship of anti-immigrant bill HR
4437, passed by the House last December. [NYT 4/10/06]

In New Jersey, several hundred people rallied on Apr. 10 in
Liberty Park, Jersey City, within sight of the Statute of
Liberty. [AP 4/11/06] Some 7,000 people rallied in Philadelphia.
[MH 4/11/06; Washington Post 4/11/06]

In Boston, an Apr. 10 march from Boston Common to Copley Square
drew a crowd Boston police estimated at 5,000 to 7,000 people.
[Boston Globe 4/11/06] The Washington Post gave a higher figure--
10,000--for the Boston demonstration. [WP 4/11/06] According to
police estimates, about 5,000 people marched in Providence, Rhode
Island, on Apr. 10. [AP 4/10/06] About three dozen people, mainly
religious leaders, rallied in front of St. Paul's Episcopal
Church in Concord, New Hampshire.

Some 200 people demonstrated in Portland, Maine--one of the few
sites where violence was reported. An individual described as a
Latino teenager, his face hidden with a bandanna, ran up to one
of three white counter-protesters and hit him with an
unidentified object, bloodying the man's face. "When you promote
violence, you get violence," said Rev. Virginia Maria Rincon, one
of the rally organizers. "Our rally is about promoting a peaceful
dialogue." [Portsmouth Herald (NH) 4/11/06 from AP]


More than 2,500 people, including many farmworkers, rallied at
sunset on Apr. 10 in Homestead, Florida, south of Miami. [AP
4/11/06; MH 4/11/06] Another 4,000 people rallied in Lake Worth,
Florida. [WP 4/11/06] More than 300 people rallied at the federal
courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. [MH 4/11/06] Some 7,000 people
rallied in Miami on Apr. 9. [Amherst Times (NY) 4/10/06]

Police estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 people marched in
Atlanta, Georgia, on Apr. 10; the Washington Post reported
50,000, while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests the
number was probably closer to 60,000. [AJC 4/11/06; WP 4/11/06]
Organizers were forced to improvise a detour to extend the three-
mile march route after the front of the march caught up with the
tail end. Other supporters stood at intersections and cheered the
marchers on. [AJC 4/11/06] Rev. James Orange, from the Georgia
Coalition for the People's Agenda, compared the Atlanta march to
civil rights demonstrations led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
and farmworker leader Cesar Chavez. "People of the world, we have
come to say this is our moment," Orange said. [AP 4/11/06]

The civil rights movement of the 1960s was also evoked at an Apr.
10 rally in Jackson, Mississippi, where some 500 people sang "We
Shall Overcome" in Spanish. [La Jornada (Mexico) 3/11/06] In
Birmingham, Alabama, some 4,000 demonstrators marched on Apr. 9
to a rally at Kelly Ingram Park, where in 1963 police turned
firehoses on black children at civil rights protests. Rev.
Derrill Wilson of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
addressed the crowd. [AP 4/10/06, 4/11/06; Amherst Times 4/10/06]
Hundreds of people also demonstrated on Apr. 10 in Greenville,
South Carolina, and outside the federal courthouse in Lexington,
Kentucky. [AP 4/11/06]

In Dallas, Texas, police estimated that nearly 500,000 people
rallied on Apr. 9, making it the largest demonstration in the
city's history. Another 7,000 people (or up to 30,000, according
to the national radio program "Democracy Now!") marched the same
day in the neighboring city of Fort Worth. [Star-Telegram
4/11/06; AP 4/11/06; DN! 4/11/06] The Apr. 9 events included a
boycott of Dallas businesses, dubbed "Not a Penny Spent."
[MarketWatch 4/10/06; S-T 4/11/06] On Apr. 10, organizers in
Houston estimated 50,000 people rallied at a park before marching
to the spot where the city's founders first arrived. [AP 4/11/06]
Another 10,000 people marched in Austin, the state capital, on
Apr. 10. [WP 4/11/06]

Some 2,000 people converged from three feeder marches into an
Apr. 10 rally in downtown El Paso, Texas, organized by the Border
Network for Human Rights. In one of the feeder marches, some 300
people walked along a border highway from Sunland Park, just over
the state line in New Mexico. Organizers scheduled the march for
4pm and urged students not to skip school. On Mar. 31 some 6,000
people--including many students--marched in El Paso during school
hours to commemorate farmworker leader Cesar Chavez [see INB
4/2/06, which said "hundreds" took part]. [El Paso Times 4/11/06;
AP 4/11/06]


About 20,000 people rallied in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Apr. 10.
[Catholic News Service 4/11/06] Hundreds marched in South Bend,
Indiana and in Champaign, Illinois. Police estimated 30,000
rallied Apr. 9 at the state capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota. [AP
4/10/06, 4/11/06] Some 10,000 people marched on Apr. 10 to the
state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. [WP 4/11/06; NYT 4/11/06] On
Apr. 9, 4,000 marched in Boise, Idaho. [Amherst Times 4/10/06]

In southwestern Kansas, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people
rallied in Garden City, a farming community with a total
population of 30,000. [AP 4/10/06; Hutchinson News 4/11/06] About
50 miles to the east in Dodge City, home to two major meat-
packing plants, another 2,000 people marched to the local office
of Republican senator Pat Roberts. [HN 4/11/06, 4/12/06] The
Dodge City rally resulted in a slowdown at the Excel Corp. beef-
packing plant, according to Mark Klein, spokesperson for Wichita-
based Cargill Meat Solutions, which operates the plant. [Kansas
City Star 4/11/06; HN 4/12/06] A noon rally in Great Bend, about
100 miles northeast of Dodge City in central Kansas, attracted
between 200 and 300 people. And some 60 to 80 people rallied in
Liberal, another meat-packing town about 100 miles south of
Garden City on the Oklahoma border. [HN 4/11/06] An estimated
1,000 people rallied in Tulsa, Oklahoma. [KOTV 4/12/06] About
10,000 people had rallied in Oklahoma City more than a week
earlier, on Apr. 1. [Pioneer Online 4/10/06] Several thousand
people marched in Kansas City, Missouri, on Apr. 10. [KCS

In eastern Nebraska, another meat-packing area, Apr. 10 brought
unprecedented demonstrations. Some 4,000 people rallied outside
the state capitol in Lincoln, while just 50 miles to the east,
police estimated another 8,000 to 10,000 marched through downtown
Omaha, from the Heartland of America Park to the federal
courthouse. [Lincoln Journal Star 4/12/06; 4/10/06]
Several hundred people left school and work to rally in Columbus,
Nebraska, about 60 miles northwest of Lincoln, in what was called
"A Day without Latinos." According to demonstrator Porfirio
Centero, who works for the Tyson Fresh Meats Pork Plant in nearby
Madison, "They closed the plant because a lot of people walked
out." Cargill Meat Solutions spokesperson Mark Klein said
production was slowed at the Cargill plant in Schuyler, another
nearby town. [Columbus Telegram 4/11/06] Some 1,000 people
demonstrated farther north in Norfolk, and 5,000 people marched
from South Sioux City in the northeastern corner of Nebraska
across the state line to Sioux City, Iowa. [LJS 4/12/06;
4/10/06] On Apr. 9, some 5,000 people marched in Des Moines,
Iowa. [Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA) 4/10/06 from AP]


In Colorado, police estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people took
part in an Apr. 10 march around Sloan's Lake in northwest Denver,
honoring migrants who died crossing the border. Organizers said
up to 15,000 people participated. An estimated 5,000 people
marched around the Denver Civic Center earlier in the day,
according to organizers. More than 1,000 people attended a rally
in Colorado Springs, headed by three Latino US soldiers who just
returned from a year-long combat tour in Iraq with the 3rd
Armored Cavalry Regiment based in nearby Fort Carson. "Today,
over 10,000 undocumented persons are serving in our armed
forces," said Albert Gonzales, president of the local chapter of
the American G.I. Forum. Rallies or vigils were also held in
Telluride, Boulder and Grand Junction. [Rocky Mountain News

In Salt Lake City, Utah, some 50,000 people marched on Apr. 9.
[Diario Hoy 4/11/06, some from AP]

About 200 people, many of them high school students, demonstrated
on Apr. 10 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. [Albuquerque Tribune
4/11/06] Hundreds of students missed classes in Santa Fe, Deming
and Hatch on Apr. 10, and at least 300 people marched past City
Hall in Las Cruces. [AP 4/11/06]

More than 100,000 people marched through Phoenix, Arizona from
the state fairgrounds to the capitol on Apr. 10, backing up
freeway traffic for miles. Organizers believe the crowd may have
numbered 200,000 or more. [Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) 4/11/06;
AP 4/11/06] More than 11,500 people demonstrated in Tucson, while
an anti-immigrant counter-protest at the same site drew fewer
than a dozen people. A scuffle broke out when counter-
demonstrators burned a Mexican flag; Tucson police detained four
or five people. Nearly 15,000 students--about a fifth of the
total--and more than 500 teachers were absent from Tucson schools
on Apr. 10. [ADS 4/10/06, 4/11/06]

In San Diego, California about 50,000 demonstrators marched
through the streets on Apr. 9. [AP 4/11/06] In Los Angeles on
Apr. 10, thousands held a candlelight vigil outside La Placita
church before beginning an evening march. Police estimated the
crowd at 7,000. Several thousand protesters marched outside the
state capitol in Sacramento, and hundreds rallied in San
Francisco. [AP 4/11/06; LAT 4/11/06] An estimated 5,000 people
marched in Oakland, according to the Washington Post; Arnoldo
Garcia of the Oakland-based National Network for Immigrant and
Refugee Rights (NNIRR) estimated the crowd at close to 20,000.
[WP 4/11/06] According to the Los Angeles Times, California's
largest demonstration on Apr. 10 was in Fresno, where about
10,000 people marched in what a police spokesperson called "by
far the largest event we have ever had in the city." [LAT

Thousands demonstrated in Salem, Oregon, on Apr. 9. [Amherst
Times 4/10/06] In Seattle, Washington, about 15,000 demonstrators
marched on Apr. 10. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer 4/12/06]


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