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Report from Friday's Marches and Rallies in Santa Cruz
For over three hours 500 Santa Cruzans united and rallied on Friday night. Messages include but are not limited to: “Sí se puede,” “NO to HR 4437,” “We deserve respect for our civil and human rights,” “we unite for justice Now!” etc. The rally began at SC's county building, then marched onto Ocean St., into El Barrio Beach Flats to rally there, then to Pacific St. and rallied again at the county buildings.
The evening began with various members of the community speaking about human and civil rights abuses against immigrants and people of color. Many speakers shared information about violence and death that occurs daily at the Mexico-USA border. José Sandoval spoke about supporting residency programs for workers and the need to continually march and impede representatives with our demands for social equality. Another clear message from speakers was get out and educate people about the human and civil rights abuses committed by police, border patrol, and U.S. Legislative bodies. Speakers and participants also agreed that we need to continue marching for justice and celebrating our immigrant heritage and community.
As the rally closes, the march began with participants marching 2 by 2, holding candles to commemorate those who have died at the border. Participants then had to move on to Ocean St., because so many people came to support human rights for all people. The march took over the streets from Ocean, then through the streets of Lower Ocean and into the Beach Flats. Numerous supports joined the march on the way, as participants talked to people who had come outside to see the march and encouraged all residents to march and rally. At the Beach Flats park, more people spoke, folks read poetry, a theatre troupe from UCSC performed a satiric piece that featured the founder of Minute-men in a post-HR 4427 world, and of course musica. Participants were not tired yet and decided to travel back to the county building marching through down town Santa Cruz before rallying again at the county building.
Watsonville Brown Berets, UCSC MECHA, UCSC SIN (Students Informing Now) organized this rally and march and were joined by community members of all ages, colors, nationalities and other organizations.
This march is essential to preserving human and civil rights here in Santa Cruz , the USA, and internationally! We need to continue rallying, marching, writing and calling “our” representatives to preserve respect and peace for all people in our community. We want to spread information regarding the anti-immigrant legislation and climate that exists in our communities and that along with that climate we continually support immigrants and migrants and legislation that enables people to live safely in our community.