Immigrants rallied yesterday in front of City Hall in Manhattan yesterday and organizers say that as many as 200,000 people attended the rally. I was very happy at some of the things that I saw yesterday and was less than happy with others.
What I was happy about:
– It seemed that Spanish radio played a huge role in this rally as it is in so many other cities and Reggeaton DJ Mega got some of the loudest cheers and was the talk of much of the crowd and I am glad to see music playing such a role. Maybe in the next rally we will see Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Queen Ivy and Tego Calderon ( who are all popular reggeaton stars for those who do not know).
– I saw so many groups that have been so politically dead in New York for so long and who most political observers believed to just be workers with no political ambitions and who will not stand up for their rights; Dominicans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans and other Latino groups.
– Non Latino groups also showed up in force yesterday and I saw Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Guyanese, West Indian, Irish and other groups which was a good thing and I was happy to see that.
-Fun! This rally was fun with a lot of chanting, music and dancing in the crowd and people were having fun and hanging out and guys and girls were flirting with one another and everyone was taking it easy which is the exact opposite of what you normally see in white leftists rallies were everyone is so robotic and uniform and you see organized carefully planned playfulness.
– Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Congressman Jose Serrano and many other elected officials, activists and power brokers showed up to speak and all got a warm reaction from the crowd ( for the most part). When you get these kinds of people to address your rally then you are being noticed.
– Unions. There was a large presence of labor unions and in particular I saw the Laborers Union, the Telecommunications Workers Union, the Service Employees International Union ( whose President Dennis Rivera addressed the crowd) and others.
What I Was Not Happy About
– There were groups of Leftist groups, mostly white but I did notice a lot of Latinos in the group, who were trying to use the event to call for all kinds of things unrelated to the issue at hand and I see these same people at all kinds of rallies. When Sen. Clinton was speaking many started a chant against her which ran against the spirit of the rally.
-The lack of Muslims. There was a Bengali delegation at the rally, but it was relatively small and the people didn’t look particularly religious. At the entire event, and I was walking up and down the street examining the crowd, I only saw one family that looked like a religious Muslim family, and on that note, I also saw one Orthodox Jew in the crowd.
– The lack of Americans and certain immigrant groups. There was a sprinkling of white Americans in the crowd, and at least a handful of African-Americans I saw; but on the whole there were not that many American citizens who are non-relatives who were their to show support. I also did not see that many people from some very large immigrant groups in New York; Russians, Polish ( though I did see one), and Arabs. What are the reasons for this? Ill let you figure this out.