Yesterday, on May Day, thousands of people gathered in downtown Los Angeles to march and demand comprehensive immigration reform– reform that would would create a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people now living in the Untied States. With legislation headed to the floor of the US Senate, marchers wore T-shirts reading, the “TIME IS NOW.” We talked about family unification and the role of organized labor on Which Way, LA?
The people who gathered represented immigration and civil rights groups, as well as unions, such as the SEIU And UNITE. But lots of ordinary people came out as well, men and women who are living illegally in the United States now or have families members who are. They say its time for them to come out of the shadows, arguing it will be good for them and good for America.
There was a big dash of street theater in the march, from dancers dressed up as Aztec warriors to Asian drumming groups to this woman wearing 19th Century fashion and carrying both a U.S. and Mexican flag.
Although thousands turned out for the May Day march, it wasn’t nearly as big as a historic pro-immigration reform march held in downtown L.A. in 2006.
Marchers walked from Olympic and Broadway to Olvera Street. That route brought them by such Los Angeles landmarks as City Hall and the Los Angeles Times building.
Many marchers wore shirts and carried signs with the number 11 million printed on them. That refers to the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.
American flags, both big and small, were on full display. Immigrant rights marchers have been criticized in the past for carrying the flags of Mexico and Central American countries in these kinds of demonstrations. Protesters have learned from the criticism and embraced the red, white and blue.