No, I wasn’t protesting HR 4437, and don’t spam me just because I wasn’t part of the protest. I was actually trying to get to the Fashion District to pick up the bridesmaid dresses that had finally become available. It was actually my second failed attempt to go pick up the dresses, so I’ll have to try again either tomorrow or Monday, when I’m off.
It was an experience, that’s for sure, and I’m pissed at myself for not having my camera with me. I’ve reported on rallies and marches and protests before, but today’s protest was by far the largest I have ever witnessed. I take the 110 into Chinatown when I am going to downtown, and usually make my way via Spring Street and 8th Street to the Fashion/Flower District (the route my mom always took when I was a teenager on jaunts to the flower market). But no – I got a hint of the number of people involved at 1st Street, when I saw it was closed off as I drove by on Hill. Then, I began driving past 2nd and 3rd and the L.A. Times building…..the sheer number of people that I saw boggled my mind. As I drove by, I could see people packed into Spring Street from the Federal Building all the way to the Jewelry District. That, of course, did not include all the people streaming past me on Hill Street as I tried to inch toward the Fashion District, but it didn’t matter – 8th Street was blocked off, and the lanes of Hill Street that I was on were closed off.
What I saw kind of amused me, yet angered me at the same time, simply because I got caught in it while trying to go about my life. When you’re a reporter reporting on it, it’s awesome, because all of it makes for a better story. But I saw signs like “Republicans hate Latinos.” Heh. Confession: I am a registered Republican. Yes, I know. My fellow journalists are always shocked and dismayed when they find out. But obviously, I’m no Nazi, as some of these protesters might allege, so something is disconnected here, right?
The immigration issue is something I have very mixed feelings about. I don’t know all the nuances of HR 4437, so I can’t really make an argument for or against it. But here’s my story.
My parents came here legally, worked their way up into the middle class, then got divorced, leaving my mom and my family essentially destitute. We were denied welfare because my father was a dentist. Yet, my siblings and I all worked our way up. I have extended family who immigrated here, thanks to my mom, who tweaked her tax returns to help her family immigrate here for a better life. Aforementioned family promptly abandoned us when we needed help. I have friends who have had to leave the country because they couldn’t get a job that would lead to a visa. I also have friends who are here and who have managed to either get married or get a job that led to a green card.
Can you see why I have mixed feelings?
Also: Eecue of blogging.la has kindly posted these wonderful pics. Enjoy.
Also: An inspired thought via IM from my friend Sam, who immigrated here when she was a teenager (although you wouldn’t know it by her proper “pronounciation:”
I don’t know the details of that immigration bill, either, but I’m not so sure it’s something that people should try legislating because they think the nation’s problems stem from illegals…
This has been said so many times, but it’s ironic that a power structure whose leaders are descendants of marauders feel they have the right to institute this…
When they know that the American economy in its own way depends on the cheap labor of these immigrants…
What about the Polish folk in Wisconsin, the Germans in North Dakota? Will this affect them too?
To my half-informed self, the bill reeks of race and socio-economic bias.
As a side note..
What also makes me raise my eyebrows about this bill and the protest it’s inspired is the lack of information on the marchers’ side, too…
When I was told to contribute to a local story, I had to ask kids what they were protesting…
And many of them didn’t know. There are two mob mentalities at war here, over an idea that’s not easily categorized as black and white.
There, that’s my 2 centavos. :D