Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Si Se Puede

May Day March for Labor and Immigrants Rights

When is the last time you’ve been in a situation that gave you goose bumps? This May Day, my friends and I joined a Labor/Immigrants Rights march, and I felt that electric feeling the entire time. We road the bus down to Bayview to join the starting point outside of the Latino community center. I didn’t know what to expect, and frankly, thought not many people would be making the 2.5 miles march to the lakefront and would opt instead to meet there for the schedule speakers (including the head of the AFL-CIO).

Was I wrong. We rounded the corner to a throng of people milling around a 3 city block radius. Signs colored the entire landscape, with every other person hoisting the now iconic red and blue Wisconsin fist poster. Speakers were addressing the crowds, speaking in Spanish so I really couldn’t tell what was happening. And before long, we started to march. Everyone was chanting in unison, mostly Spanish phrases like ‘si se puede!’ It was a great feeling to be the fish out of water – I couldn’t understand a thing, and I didn’t look like the people around me, but that didn’t matter. Everyone’s hearts were in the same place! It was energetic yet peaceful, with lots of families with strollers, teenagers, twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, etc.

So we marched. We marched through downtown Milwaukee, with signs and chants and a sea of people shoulder to shoulder filling up at least 3 full city blocks. And when we got to the lakefront, the crowd paused and pooled together in order to make a unified entrance to the event. And it was truly chilling. We somehow found ourselves in front of this march, looking backwards at the mass of people with a large sign reading “Solidarity March” acting as the billboard for the people behind it. Words really don’t do a thing like this justice. But luckily, I took video! (Posted below).

I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. It was a great feeling to be apart of something that seemed so authentic and real. It’s not an article on HuffPost, it’s not a petition email from the ACLU, and it’s not an exasperated comment below a Facebook
update. It was real people making a real presence. People getting out of their houses and joining together and standing up for themselves and what they believe in. Power to the people! Power to the working class! Hateful politicians and greedy corporations will not be allowed to marginalize the masses. Si se puede!

Here is a link to a video I took of the march ascending on veteran's park.

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