Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Immigration reform: Two arrests mar boisterous rally

Suburban Chicago News
By: Tim Wagner
Sept. 5, 2006

BATAVIA---The four-day journey from Chicago to Batavia finished Monday outside U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office, where enthusiastic marchers rallied for nearly 4 hours on Labor Day, challenging Hastert to work for immigration reform.

About 300 participants walked about 50 miles from Chicago's Chinatown to downtown Batavia, where they were greeted by hundreds more, including participants in feeder marches from Aurora, Joliet and Elgin.

The fourth and final leg of the Immigrant Workers Justice Walk began Monday morning in West Chicago, and Batavia police Cmdr. Greg Thrun estimated the total crowd between 1,500 and 2,000, along with 150-200 counter-protesters who gathered on River Street just south of Hastert's office.

***Why wasn't Hastert there? Why did he run?

Batavia police, along with officers from other agencies including Elgin, deployed 50 uniformed officers who wore shielded helmets and carried batons. Advocates on both sides of the immigration issue---seperated by lines of police officers and wooden barricades---remained boisterous throughout the event.

***A majority of those protesters were Republican operatives. Some who worked for Hastert!

The walk and rally were in response to what marchers refer to as stalled legislation in Congress. They chose to demonstrate here because they believe Hastert repeatedly has failed to meet with immigrant leaders to hear their concerns.

***This is a lost cause this year. Hastert is only going to allow wedge issues onto the floor of the House. And probably national security issues just to make it appear that the Republicans are hard on security. If Bush would have closed the borders, which would have been great for national security, Hastert wouldn't have these protesters there now, would he?

"We call on Speaker Hastert and the members of his party to stop with the partisan rhetoric, to stop with racism and to give us real, comprehensive immigration reform," said Jose Artemio Arreola of the Service Employees International Union, one of the march's organizers.

"We marched here to demonstrate the diversity and power of the immigration community here in Illinois. And we marched here because we love America and we are mericans."

Hastert was not at his office on Monday, but spokesman Brad Hahn said the speaker is focused on the issue, has talked with people on all sides of the debate and has visited the U.S.-Mexico border.

***Hastert knew these people were coming, why wasn't he there? All talk and no action!

"It's important to note it isn't a question of who can yell the loudest, but finding the most effective solutions to securing the borders and strengthening our immigration system," Hahn said last week.

Counterdemonstration held

Critics of the pro-immigration groups began gathering early Monday. The anticipation grew, along with the crowd, when announcements were made that the marchers were just blocks away from their destination. Signs and flags were abundant.

***These were all Republican operatives! They knew the media was going to be there. They had to make it appear like he had a lot of support, but only 200 people were there compared to 2,000 of theirs!

Many marchers carried wooden crosses to represent the thousands of Mexicans who have died while trying to make the three-to-four-day trek through the desert in an attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The crosses were left on the curb in front of the speakers office.

"This law is killing people everyday," said Jorge Mujica of the March 10 Movement, another organizer of the march. People attempting to cross the border "didn't die on the job---they died trying to get a job."

Nearby, immigration critics shouted into megaphones and staged a rally of their own, albeit on a much smaller scale.

"We're here to primarily to support Congressman Hastert," said Rick Biesieda of the Minuteman Midwest organization. "We are being invaded. We have federal laws that are not being enforced or obeyed. We're here to hold Congressman Hastert's feet to the fire."

***That guy kinda' contradicted himself, didn't he? He claims he was there to support Hastert, but then says Hastert isn't upholding the federal laws that are already out there from this so-called invasion! So was he there to support him or to hold his feet to the fire? You can't do both!

"This is not about race and never has been, and it's not about immigrants and never has been," said Cheree Calabro of the Indiana Foundation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement. "This is about the rule of law. We want law and order, not chaos and corruption."

***Well, there you go. Why isn't Hastert doing anything about the illegals?

"Yes we can"

Around the corner, marchers cheered and chanted, as dozens of speakers relayed their views, speaking in both English and Spanish. The refrain "si se puede"---"yes we can"---emanated from the crowd throughout the rally.

"We know this is a country that stands for opportunity, for liberty and justice for all," Arreola said.

***Then they must be in the wrong country! Not under this administration!

Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights, stressed the importance of how immigration reform ultimately would affect children and the generations that succeed them.

"We hope that Speaker Hastert hears a groundswell of petitions from both the immigrant community and the American-born community for bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform," Hoyt said, "and that (Hastert) stops using immigrants as a political football for trying to hold onto the speakership in November.

***Hastert uses everybody as a political football!

A recruiting theme for the rally was: "Today we march, tomorrow we vote."

Arreola said the group will not waver.

"If we keep struggling, if we keep moving forward, one day we will win," he said. "We know that when we arrived here we represented not only our desires but the desires of the American people to see a just, fair immigration reform. This is Labor Day, and it's time to think about the worker."

***Sorry to say it but, the Republicans know how to fix Diebolt machines. They don't need anyone anymore!

Eggs tossed, 2 arrested

Two people were taken into custody on unrelated infractions near the end of the rally.

A Batavia youth was turned over to juvenile authorities after it was determined he was launching eggs that hit several people in the area of the crowd that supported immigration reform.

A 31-year-old Melrose Park man was arrested after he spit on a person attending the event.

Charges, if any, against either person had not been determined.


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