Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Immigrants rise up from California's Central Valley to the Central Coast; CA Assemblyman Leland Yee supports the movement

At the California State Building in San Francisco at noon today California Speaker Pro Tem Leland Yee [a former SF Board of Education commissioner] stood with dozens of Asian and Pacific Islander and Chicano/Latino organizations to call for unity among Chinese, Asian and Latino immigrant commuities. Assemblymember Yee is introducing a bill in the state legislature that will support human rights for all immigrants. Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition director Sheila Chung was there with me and Chinese Progressive Association Chairman Leon Chow and dozens of seniors from the Community Tenants Association to call on our communities to continue to demand dignity and justice for all immigrants. Yesterday SF Immgrant Rights hunger strikers ended their weeklong fast with a demonstration at Senator Diane Feinstein's downtown office. They also united with the Latino Peace activists that finished their 241 mile march for peace also in the City.

Protests have been strong in the Fresno and the Central Valley and are spreading to the Central Coast as well -

The Independent Media Center is reporting many other walkouts and examples of immigrant community organizing and resistance from California’s Central Valley to the Central Coast. http://www.indybay.org/immigrant/

Fresno High School walkouts
Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Monterey immigrant communities and supporters stand up to the racist anti-immigrant attacks.

Thousands of Fresno High School students walked out and protested for immigrant rights on Monday. [great photos from Mike Rhodes]

Immigrant Rights - The Protests and Walkouts are Growing Larger in Fresno
by Mike Rhodes Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2006 at 1:43 PM
Mike Rhodes 559 978-4502
In Fresno, the immigrant rights marches and walkouts by high school students are growing in strength and numbers. On Monday there were over 500 students at the march and rally. Today the estimates were as high as 6,000.
Immigrant Rights - The Protests and Walkouts are Growing Larger in Fresno By Mike Rhodes Estimates of the number of students at the immigrant rights marches and rally in downtown Fresno ranged wildly today. The Fresno Police Department captain on the scene estimated 2,000. The Reverend Floyd Harris, president of the California chapter of the National Action Network, estimated 6,000. What was certain is that thousands of students made their way downtown today, in the pouring rain, to protest against the anti-immigrant HR 4437 that is being discussed in Congress. The march and rally was significantly larger than the spontaneous walkout and march, led by student activists yesterday. See http://www.indybay.org/news/2006/03/1811395.php for the story and pictures from that event. Today the students came from almost, if not all, local high schools. The students gathered at City Hall, held a rally, and marched to the Fulton Mall and back to City Hall. Shortly before Noon there were several splinter marches heading in various directions and you could hear chanting and the yelling of these massive marches all over the downtown area. Perhaps the largest contingent, once again, came from Fresno High. There arrival created an uproar from students who had already arrived that could be heard for blocks. One of the last groups to arrive was a group from Hoover High, which is at least 5 miles North of downtown. While there was a massive police presence, there was no evidence of arrests taking place at this peaceful rally and march.

Marches In Watsonville and Salinas for Peace and Immigrant Rights!
On March 25th, over 2,500 latino immigrants joined Gold Star Families for Peace member Fernando Suarez del Solar, and Iraq War resister Pablo Paredes for the 5 mile Watsonville leg of their 241 mile march for peace from Tijuana to the Mission District in San Francisco. Along with chants for peace, many on the march were also moved to take a stand against the draconian anti-immigrant bill HR4437. photos: 1 2 3 4 5 6audio: Short Interviews After the march, the Watsonville Police Department targeted one organizer (a Brown Beret) and wrote him a citation with 8-10 counts against him, including criminal charges. Read more Shortly after the march in Watsonville, a thousand latino immigrants joined Fernando Suarez del Solar and Pablo Paredes for the 5 mile Salinas leg of their 241 mile trek.
Read more about the march for peace from Tijuana to San Francisco

500+ March for Immigrant Rights in Santa Cruz
More than five hundred people joined rallies and marches against HR 4437 in Santa Cruz on March 17th. The rally started at the Santa Cruz County Building and then marched to Beach Flats Park, with the community running out of their homes and into the streets throughout the night. People then left the Beach Flats, headed up Pacific Avenue, and back to the County Building for a final rally of the night. HR 4437 would make it a felony offense to be in the U.S. without proper documentation. This would push undocumented immigrants further underground, and increase the potential for exploitation by employers. This bill would also criminalize nurses, teachers, clergy, social workers, and anyone else who aids, assists, or otherwise has regular contact with undocumented immigrants. (protest announcement). reportbacks: Por que somos emigrantes, Por que somos ilegales, si señor. Report from Friday's Marches and Rallies in Santa Cruzphotos: 1 2 3 4audio: Speakers from Santa Cruz Rally Against HR 4437observations: Sentinel has no online coverage of Friday's March for Immigrant Rights in Santa Cruz undercover cops at immigrant rights march?

100+ Take to the Streets in Monterey in Oposition to HR 4437
On Wednesday March 15th, over one hundred activists congregated at Dennis the Menace Park in Monterey to voice their opinion on the new HR4437 bill that had just passed in the House of Representatives and is now on its way to the Senate. The activists included students, community members, Brown Berets, veterans, and children. After a rally at the park, the demonstrators marched to Downtown Monterey (Alvarado Street) to tell the general public how they felt. As the protest moved towards downtown the number of demonstrators increased as they found more supporters to their cause. At one point the demonstration blocked one lane of the road as the demonstrators took to the street.
Read more

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