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Dallas Police Estimate 350,000 to 500,000 Marching

By Jim Lane

The Dallas Immigrants Rights march, part of a nationwide series of more than 100 events responding to congressional anti-worker proposals, drew a crowd that doubled the highest previous estimate. Although the commercial media made sure to publicize the views of counter-demonstrators, there weren't more than a dozen of them. Through the long march and rally, the hundreds of police found no reason to arrest anybody. The town was shut down.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) made a historical change in its long-standing attitude toward undocumented immigrants and headed the event with full cooperation from the city government. Their message to the thousands of high school students who had previously ditched classes to protest was, "Stay in school and we'll provide a march on Sunday."

Students turned out for that Sunday march, and they brought their whole families. One especially noteworthy development was a press conference held by popular State Senator Royce Williams and other African-American political figures. They called for African Americans to join the march. Jobs with Justice, a labor-associated coalition, asked union activists to join also.

Music and puppet theater enlivened the march

 

 

LULAC was sensitive to efforts being made to alienate the Latino activists from other progressives. They asked all marchers

to leave their Mexican flags at home and bring only American flags. Additionally, they purchased 14,000 American flags for the march. It worked. In their chanting, singing, sign making, and statements to the commercial media, march participants made it very clear that no one was opposing the United States. President George Bush, on the other hand, was targeted by some of the signs and chants.

The mixed-culture, mixed-language, and mixed-message of the great Dallas Mega-March was epitomized in one sign carried through the streets, "No Somos Terrorists Like You, George Bush!"

 

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