In the spring of 2006, as Gabriel Thompson writes at TheNation.com, "millions of immigrants took to the streets to protest a draconian piece of proposed legislation that would have turned all undocumented immigrants--and those who support them--into felons." The marches, which occurred in both big cities and small towns, caught many progressives by surprise. The groundswell of anger was covered and promoted heavily on Spanish-language radio, while most mainstream and independent/progressive outlets, including The Nation, largely ignored it.
Organizers of this Sunday's immigration reform rally -- the March for America -- in Washington, DC are hoping that lightening strikes twice. The demand this time -- immigration reform and economic justice for all Americans -- is more proactive than in 2006 but the crisis is just as urgent. The organizing coalition's vision of reform including immigrants and native-born US citizens working together to achieve better wages, working conditions, and labor protections, is one to which all progressives should be able to sign on.
Organizer say the stakes are high and the choice is stark:
Today we are at a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. We are faced with a choice. We can do nothing, and watch as our families and communities continue to be torn apart by the broken immigration system; watch as profiteers continue to take advantage of people desperate for work; watch as due process is taken away from our understanding of justice; and watch as our leaders work on economic solutions that simply aren’t bold enough to turn this country around. Or we can stand up for our families and our communities. Join thousands from across the country at the March For America in Washington DC on March 21st. It is up to us.
The crowd on Sunday could top 100,000, according to Thompson who has been following the organizing closely, with unions, churches and community-based groups leading the way. Thompson reported that the prospect of the march caused President Obama to meet with senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham, who have been drafting reform legislation, and to hold a special session with advocates, labor and church representatives. So think what a real big turnout can do on Sunday.
Help spread the word about the March For America by printing this flyer, and checking out the coalition's website for details on getting to the march, helping assist others to do so, and for ways you can help the cause of immigration reform generally.
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