On March 25, a huge number of people showed up in downtown Los Angeles to draw attention to illegal immigration. What sort of attention did they draw? The estimated half million people who were there paid attention. From the reports I heard, you couldn’t even move without paying close attention.
The gathering had been promoted by Spanish radio stations for weeks. Viva la Raza everywhere. I don’t understand Spanish, so I didn’t know about it until I spoke with my co-worker. Gus was born in Mexico and has a lot of family still there. His father applied for immigration to the US and legally brought his whole family to America when Gus was little.
Gus told me how the radio stations had been ramping up for this protest event for a long time. “I just had to shut it off. It made me really mad.” He remembered the work his father did to gain entrance to America. He told me how these protestors had one hand grabbing for instant American citizenship, and the other hand reaching to pull Aztlan — legally known as the state of California — back into Mexico.
That seems to be a bit of a conflict of interest. But we could hardly expect otherwise with that many people involved. It was a lot of people! In my mind. It was really a big story - a huge cultural event.
And it wasn’t just the Saturday protest. Myspace.com had been organizing a walkout for high-schoolers. The teenagers left school and went downtown to protest longer. Monday had a big crowd of kids holding signs. They had even blocked the 110 freeway with their march.
I heard the morning news the next day, exclaiming, “The kids were walking in the freeway! That’s so dangerous! Someone could get KILLED!”
I know that stretch of freeway. It is never free-flowing, never. Those kids were never in danger, which is a good thing.
I wanted to hear what other people were saying, so I tuned into my radio stations to hear what the reports and opinions were. What a revelation! Here is the line-up:
KPCC [NPR]: a feature about the California condor
KCRW [NPR again]: a sampling of eclectic alternative music
Power 106 “Where Hip Hop Lives”: Destiny’s Child is getting their Star on the Walk of Fame
KISS fm [ugh...Ryan Seacrest]: Destiny’s Child is getting the Star! And King Kong DVD is out today
KBIG [80s, 90s and TODAY!]: King Kong is out on DVD
Latino 96.3 Reggeaton and Hip Hop: ~~Now this is where it gets interesting…