I just got home from the immigration rally on the mall today and I have a few things to quickly report.
-People turned out. The entire mall was nearly covered with protestors. I only saw a few Mexican flags (apparently they took note that backfired in previous rallies) many were carrying American flags.
-But the Answer coalition provided signs that were probably the second most popular form of signage. I’m sure they’ll be included in the photo gallery Rob Bluey will have up soon. Union groups made a strong showing and two anti-Bush stickers were widely distributed. The most popular was from the Party for Socialism and Liberalism that read: "Bush is the symptom. Capitalism is the disease. Revolution is the cure." The other was brought to the rally simply read "Drive Out the Bush Regime."
-Interviewing people was hard, because it was difficult to find people that spoke English. I asked protestors questions about how they would keep terrorists from crossing the southern border without building a fence (most said they terrorists would find a way, fence or not), what lawmakers they supported (Teddy Kennedy was the most popular) and what they thought of the House bill and James Sensenbrenner (I didn’t find anyone who knew what either was).
-The city functioned just fine with all the immigrants "taking a day off." In fact, the only problems I encountered were with the Metro being delayed because too many protestors were jamming it up.
-Flyers were distributed with suggested chants in English and Spanish. A few of them were: "Tired of immigrants in your face? Get some justice in this place," "Today we march, tommorrow we vote," "As long as it takes, whatever it takes, we’ll be in your face" and "Don’t be a fool, Sensenbrenner is a bull." (I asked protestors what "Sensenbrenner is a bull" meant and was only answered by shrugs. No one knew who he was.)
-And, I got to interview (sort of) Tucker Carlson. He was hanging out at the rally doing his thing and I talked to him, but he wouldn’t give me any exclusive commentary. He said I had to wait until 11 o’clock for his show. Since I haven’t watched his show in forever, I was trying to find out exactly where he stood on the immgration issue. But, basically, he’s for the fence and get this, while he was telling me he wanted even tougher security measures, protestors were lining up for his autograph.
More to come!