Thursday, April 27, 2006

You gringos meet our demands or we gonna F**K YOU UP
Immigrant boycott aims to "close" US cities

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pro-immigration activists say a nationwide boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood Americas's streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it tackles reform.

But while such a massive turnout could make for the largest protests since the civil rights era of the 1960s, not all Latinos, nor their leaders, were comfortable with such militancy -- fearing a backlash in Middle America.

"There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles alone. We're going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno," said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize earlier rallies credited with rattling Congress as it debates the issue…

"We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here (illegally)," Rodriguez said. "That is the message that is going to be played out across the country on May 1."

Organizers of the May Day marches, which have strong support from big labor and the Roman Catholic church, vow that America's major cities will grind to a halt and its economy will stagger as Latinos walk off their jobs and skip school.

Teachers' unions in major cities have said children should not be punished for walking out of class. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District said school principals had been told that they should not try to keep students in class but instead should walk with the children to help keep order…

But some Latinos have expressed ambivalence about the boycott and marches, saying they could stir up anti-immigrant sentiment amid an incendiary atmosphere surrounding the issue…

Critics have accused pro-immigrant leaders of stirring up uninformed young Latinos by telling them that their parents were in imminent danger of being deported and accuse them of trying to bully Congress.

"It's intimidation," Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman volunteer border patrol group, said of the May 1 events. "It's intimidation when a million people march down main streets in our major cities under the Mexican flag."

"It angers the people you are trying to impress," he said. "This will backfire just like the Mexican flag parades backfired."

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