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May 1st, 2006 San Pancho-Francisco. El Gran Paro. El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido.
May 1st. El Gran Paro. El Pueblo.Unido. Jamas Sera Vencido./The Great Halt. The People. Together. Will Never Be Defeated....
On May 1st, the largest gathering that many can ever remember-gathered in San Francisco at 11AM to march from the Embarcadero of San Francisco to City Hall. The Latino section of town-the Mission District, was empty. Businesses that don't even close on Christmas were closed that day with signs that said they were closed for May 1st in solidarity with the workers. A sea of people dressed in white gravitated towards the rally, by foot, by car, by bike, but definitely in groups. On buses, people stood closer than comfortable but with the awareness of why. Contrary to minding, they sang. They sang religous songs, they sang righteous chants. Some even yelled "Gracias Padre Dios por este dia./Thank you Father God for this day." When the bus reached the march gathering, it could go no further due to the crowds and had to head back. The gathering consisted of Latino and Immigrant supporters. They carried signs, flags, babies, noise makers, pots, pans, spoons to clang them with, etc.. The emotions were of anger, sadness, wonder, shock, frustration, and most of all pride! Our local newspapers reported 30,000 people on average. We know better. Those of us who were there would not be surprised to hear there were 100,000. It is not the first time our numbers have been misreported. Isn't that the trouble that got us here in the first place. So many questions to ask now. What next? What do we want? Why do the economic conditions in Mexico continue? Who voted NAFTA in. How can we fix it? How can we all come together on this? There are many things to make an effort of hope for. Hoy marchamos. Manana votamos...