Sunday, March 26, 2006

I'm glad I went to the rally against HR 4437-Sensenbrenner Bill, in downtown Santa Rosa. The Latino community came out in droves - families, babies, young children, grandparents, high school and college youth. The positive energy was palpable. I was teary-eyed a couple of times even if I didn't understand the speeches in Spanish (I sort of got the gist though). The shouts of Si, se puede!, flag-waving, hands raised in protest, noise barrage from cars, the dances from an indigenous group (Aztlan) and drum-and-dance corps of 4-H created this energy that rippled through the growing crowd.

The authorities probably didn't think a lot of people will show up because they didn't even close the main drag. But as crowds kept coming, the police finally decided to close the main street to make room.

However, I was looking for faces like mine and didn't see many. I saw Greg Sarris and we joked about the missing contingents. We noticed a group of Native Americans holding up their huge banner: Who is illegal, pilgrim?

One of the placards had a remedy for illegal immigration: End illigal immigration, return California to Mexico!. There weren't many Gringos at the rally (where are the anti-war, peace activists?) and one who made eye contact with my husband, acknowledged him: "Oh, glad to see another Gringo!"

But here is another strange encounter today(see previous post): In the midst of the sea of brown faces, a young white pony-tailed male was trawling the crowds asking for spare change. When he came close to us, we looked at him and didn't give him any. A few seconds later, I realized that what I should have told him is: Go and pick lettuce!...

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