One Year After the Great March

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marcha_pic2006A year has passed since the Day of Unity March took place.  On May 1st 2006, over 3,000 people walked across the Centennial Bridge into LeClaire Park in protest of a bill that would have made undocumented people in the United States felons.  The 3,000 people proudly united to show this country that Latinos have the numbers to stop businesses and impact the economy by staying home just one day.  Doctors marched with dishwashers, and politicians chanted the same tunes with children, proving that when Latino’s
stand together there is nothing that can’t be accomplished.  This year’s Day of Unity March has been postponed, although other marches will be taking place in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, none will take place in the Quad Cities.  I know many people are upset about the area not participating; however I want everyone to know that the struggle is not over from our end.  There is still so much we can do to help our cause, but what have we done to help out our undocumented brothers and sisters?  Sure we all stood strong last year and chanted, “Today we march, tomorrow we vote,” yet very few new Hispanics registered to vote.  During the congressional elections, Hispanic voting numbers stayed consistent to previous elections, where was the follow through?  Why did we not do what we said we were going to do?When ICE came through the Quad Cities and deported documented and undocumented people from our area, how many marchers came to the meetings at Casa Guanajuato to see what could be done to help the deported and their families?  Through out the year meetings about comprehensive immigration reform and human rights issues were held in cities from Chicago, through Moline, to Des Moines, many with elected politicians.  How many people that marched were there to inform themselves on the issues?  When a bill in Ill. giving undocumented people driving certificates and a way to purchase auto insurance passed the house by a matter of votes, how many marchers called their elected officials in the Illinois Senate to let them know that they supported this bill?  How many people went to meetings of established groups like QC AIR and Progressive Action for the Common Good that want to help with the issues affecting undocumented people in the area?  There is so much we can all do besides march to show our support for the cause. The Quad Cities Day of Unity March will be an event that we all will remember for the rest of our lives.  The largest march in Quad Cities history that brought national attention to the area and helped stop a bill making the undocumented felons.  United as one, we shall overcome the injustices that face the undocumented.  Latinos have had many struggles in their history, and never once have they given up on fighting for what is right.  It is in our blood to struggle, fight, and overcome.  If we all stand united, we can’t be divided, for it is in our numbers and strength that this cause will not end until we achieve what it is we want, and that is a life of dignity and respect as citizens for all immigrants living in one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

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