Bay Area groups march on May Day

May 1, 2008 7:10:56 PM PDT
May Day has become a day of protest around the country, for immigration reform. Thousands of people marched through the streets of Los Angeles on Thursday, and in other major cities as well, as activists tried to re-energize the immigration debate that's has been stagnant in Washington.

There is a group in San Jose marching to City Hall and as they march, other people are joining in, as it makes its way down the street. The numbers are swelling and could be up to 1,000 people, maybe over that. Police don't have an official estimate yet.

Despite coordinated plans with police and promises made this year to stay on the sidewalk.

Hundreds of marchers with large signs took over two lanes of King Road just as they have they have the last couple of years.

San Jose Police quickly adapted. They became the escorts helping to move the marchers safely on this route.

Traffic was disrupted on King Road. Those delays continued as the crowd made it's way to Alum Rock, which turns into Santa Clara Street.

The crowd supports comprehensive immigration reform that would pave the way for an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants to achieve citizenship.

"As human beings we have rights. We want our dignity to be expected and current laws have been unjust. Current laws separate babies from mothers," said Cesar Juarez, a San Jose State student.

"When we voice our opinion, that we ought to enforce the laws, people then immediately jump into the conclusion that you're anti-immigration and you're a racist. In no way is that the case, we welcome people into this country. We want it done properly," says Jack Mallory from Saratoga.

In 2006, Congress failed to come to any consensus on comprehensive immigration reform.

Marchers chanted the familiar phrase, "Yes we can." It was a peaceful march and a large march with several hundred people making their way to City Hall.

One of the goals of May Day's activities is to register and encourage as many Latino voters as possible to get involved in the election process and perhaps influence the presidential election.


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