Immigration march gathers thousands in downtown Los Angeles
Two days after a nationwide Day Without Immigrants protest, followed Free the People, Immigrants March, Saturday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thousands gathered in Los Angeles Pershing Square Park marching down Broadway making their way into City Hall Park Center. Holding signs chanting demands such as an immediate stop of immigration (I.C.E) raids throughout the city. Pleading to Mayor Eric Garcetti, protestors chanted that Los Angeles should be a sanctuary city for immigrants, refugees and the homeless.
The body of the march was diverse in age, nationality and sexuality. Sons and daughters of immigrants marched in support of parents. Nadia Martinez, 20, held up a sign that read, “Proud Daughter of Immigrants,” while Ibrahim Yusuf, 9, held another that said, “Marching for my mom and dad!”
“I am here, standing for my friends who I see struggling with fear of deportation and loosing their jobs,” said protestor Daniel Garcia, 32. “I am of Mexican parents and a citizen of this country [and] it is not right how honest people, hard working people get treated and the situations they are going through.”
Hazma Hoshmand, 53, an Iraqi-Native American and humanities high school teacher, held a Donald Trump piñata with a sign reading “Trump-We will love and protect each other!”
“I don’t want to see my students showing up in fear, or not showing up at all,” she said. “I have been teaching for over 25 years, and this shit has to end.”
Members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Resistance for Immigrant Workers Coalition, LGBT awareness and rights movements and street vendors also attended in solidarity. Street vendors provided most of the food sold at the event to support small businesses.
Among the march was also Trump supporters exercising their civil rights against the march, which did not result into any dangerous altercations. There were two known arrests outside the Trump supporters whose names are not known, one Trump supporter aggravated the peaceful protestors and another tried to fend the trump supporter away, resulting in a scuffle between authorities and the two individuals.
Within the march was the organization coalition made up of over 90 organizations representing rights demanded for groups including civil rights, immigrant rights, refugee rights, working rights, homeless rights, LGBT rights and street vendor rights. Among the organizations which formed the event were the Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC), National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (BLM LA), Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (JFPROR), Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The protests have aimed to keep the momentum going and to educate people about the current epidemic constructed by the Trump administration. Following the immigration ban and refugee denial that have been presented through executive decision.