The Mix

Flooding the streets for immigrant rights

As big as everyone expected these protests to be, they turned out to be even bigger.
Here's a quick roundup of what happened across the country today during the National Day of Action for immigrant rights. Most sites haven't updated since this morning, but the news that is trickling out this early is that the protests were huge.

On DailyKos, georgia10 attended the Chicago rally, and this was the scene where 300,000 or more protesters gathered:
For over three hours or so, the protesters chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" Non-stop. Their chants were broken only by a thunderous roar of cheers as the trains on the Loop passed by.

I saw streaming in front of me a sea of people, carrying for the most part huge American flags. (I saw a couple of Greek flags too, which brought a smile to my face). A small boy, about 10 years old I would guess, marched with a handwritten sign that said "I am not a terrorist." A mother with a child had taped a sign reading "Deportation= Broken Families" to her baby's stroller. "We work hard for this country," read another bright orange sign. Many signs read "No Human Being Is Illegal." I'm sure there were counter-protesters, but I didn't see any from my viewpoint.

It's difficult to describe the energy that radiated from the mass of humanity before me. Their chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" caused this section of the city to pulsate. Whether you believe protests are effective or not, whether you agree with those protesting or not, it's hard to deny that these people, with their mere presence, have proved that the art of protest is still alive in the streets of America.
As the expected epicenter of the nationwide protest, Los Angeles this morning was eerily quiet. The picture above, taken by Will Campbell on the indispensible, tells the story as well as the massive protest pictures from Reuters, AP and countless Flickr users can.


The Los Angeles Times has been live-blogging the marches all day, and over at the Nation's blog, Jon Weiner posted his observations of this afternoon's march:
Matthew Wheeland is AlterNet's managing editor.
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