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Monday, June 13, 2005

March for Unity wrap up

I'm working on the video from the event and will post it online later but for now, let me share my views on the march as I was there for the event from the beginning to the end (I'm sure people in the future will try to comment on the event who were not there and those in live in Danbury know who they are).

I first arrived at the rally on Kennedy Street around 1:00 and to my dissapointment, there were under 100 people at the site but by the start of the march, the number of people grew to about 500 and took up all of Kennedy Street. While the people marched down Main Street and people saw that their was nothing to fear, what was once a modest crowd of 500 quickly doubled in size (news reports have the crowd estimated at 1,200) and took up a good portion of Main Street (if anyone knows Danbury, the size of the march at it's largest streched from the corner of Main and White to the library on West Street.

Overall, the march made it's case but except for a couple of politicians, most democrats were noticably absent from the event which does not surprise anyone who lives in the Danbury area. Most democrats have been silent on the issue of immigration and few have criticized the mayor in public. One would think that more democrats would stand up an go after the mayor and his policies and until liberals take a stance against the conservative mindset in Danbury, they will continue to lose elections.

You can click here to check out my pictures from the march and rally. I also took video of the event and will post it online soon.

From The Hartford Courant:
Up to 1,200 people marched down Main Street, many waving the Stars and Stripes and the flags of their native countries. They demanded their contributions to the city be recognized and sought reforms to immigration law that would allow them to work legally.

When the march started at 2 p.m., police and organizers estimated there were about 500 people in Kennedy Park, where undocumented workers wait weekday mornings for jobs as day laborers.

As the group marched past businesses run by Ecuadoreans, Brazilians and Mexicans, they were joined by those whom organizers say had feared they could be arrested and deported. By the time the march reached the Danbury Public Library, several blocks from the park, police said the crowd had doubled.

"At the last moment, people started noticing that there was nothing to be afraid of," said Wilson Hernandez, a leader in the newly minted Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants, which sponsored the march.
From The Danbury News Times:
At 2:36 p.m., the silent march on Main Street was anything but silent.
It happened as the crowd of 1,200 marchers went past Elmwood Park, just south of the police station on Main Street.
About 30 people, mostly Latinos, were in the park watching the procession pass. Suddenly, the marchers broke into a chant.
“Latinos! Unidos! Jamas seran unidos!”
It means “Latinos united will never be defeated.”
The marchers flailed their arms wildly, urging the people in the park to join.
They did.
A man with a smiling toddler on his shoulders joined in. A few laborers got off a bench and joined in. They were smiling as well.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Danbury for a march to raise support for immigrants. The group wore T-shirts and carried signs to support the cause. Organizers say they want city officials to stop creating anti-immigrant policies.

"They are not a threat to anybody. I believe that they should stay and they should be left alone," says Angel Arce, protester.