Los Angeles, CA - Thousands of protesters took to the streets here on May 1, International Workers Day, to demand legalization for all. The protest, organized by Southern California Immigration Coalition, was the largest Los Angeles May Day event. The mostly Chicano/Latino crowd was made up of students, teachers, vendors, garment workers, parents and activists from all the progressive movements, including the Occupy movement. Participants and supporters of the demonstration included the United Teachers Los Angeles, International Action Center, Union Del Barrio, Bayan USA, FMLN, FSLN, L.A. Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Mecha and others.
The march began on Olympic and Broadway. It demanded full legalization for all, stop the ICE/police deportations, no guest worker program and drivers licenses for all.
The Southern California Immigration Coalition (SCIC) is an independent grassroots coalition that receives no funding from government, political parties or foundations. The SCIC also raised the controversial slogan “Legalization or No Reelection.” SCIC organized this march to unite the community to denounce President Obama’s ongoing policy of deporting hundreds of thousands of people, most who are from Mexico.
Most local non-profit immigration groups, some unions and others held a separate march earlier in the day, complete with U.S. flags, because they were afraid of SCIC’s slogans. SCIC denounced U.S. imperialism as the cause of mass migration, war, racism and the misery of millions of Latinos, Blacks and Asian immigrants.
The rally included a variety of Latino American solidarity activists, rank-and-file union members, street vendors, youth and women’s groups. Carlos Montes denounced the current FBI and police attack on him and urged participants to attend his upcoming trial on May 15. A contingent of students and street vendors carried a banner reading, “Stop the repression against Carlso Montes.”
There was a heavy police presence along the the entire mile-long march and at the rally.
For the last two years SCIC has led a campaign to stop authorities from confiscating the cars from immigrant workers, mostly Mexican, who drive to work and cannot obtain drivers licenses. This has led to some minor improvements. The SCIC is fighting for a new law that would allow licenses for all.
For more information on SCIC see: www.immigrationcoalition.org