A Reader Watches The Illegal Parade In Seattle
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04/30/07 - A Reader Asks If Illegals' May Day Boycott Includes, Well, Everything?

From: A Reader In Seattle

I just came back from the parade route. I watched them all pass by, and have a few notes to share:

  • The crowd was smaller than last year, about 4,000 against over ten times that last year. There were few if any spectators.

  • The crowd was almost entirely Hispanic. The very few whites were either the usual professional protesters, members of the Communist or Socialist Party, or married to a mestizo who was also marching. The usual left wing coalition of immigrants/white students/gays/feminists/environmentalists seems to have broken up. Today the Mexicans did it alone.

  • There was exactly one (1) white male counter-protester, who was interviewed by at least six members of the press when I was there.

  • The propaganda on the signs was narrowly focused on immigration. By contrast, an anti-war protest in Seattle not long ago brought out a larger crowd supporting a variety of issues (antiwar, hate Bush, immigration, feminism, environment, parking regulations, vivisection, global warming, etc.).

  • There were a lot of signs demanding an end to deportations. Basically this means they are reacting to recent increases in enforcement.

  • There were a lot of signs saying "we pay taxes" and "we are not criminals". This is apparently in reaction to charges from the pro-enforcement crowd.

  • There was not a great deal of emphasis on amnesty, which means I think they have given up on that issue.

It looks like this movement is losing its steam. It was especially striking to see that the pro-enforcement reformers seem to be controlling the language and tempo of the debate, even though we are not taking to the streets in any numbers. It is also clearly built on a narrow base of Hispanics with a direct stake in the issue, and is not drawing much from the broad liberal base.

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