Photo by Luis Sinco/LAT
A year ago I witnessed the most magnificent, uplifting, astonishing mass demonstration in downtown Los Angeles. People, most of them immigrants (but most of us are immigrants) poured into the streets--all of the streets--singing, chanting, laughing, shouting, dancing in support of immigrants' rights, in opposition to oppressive government policies, and in wild celebration of America and themselves. It was a wonderful, wonderful day.
This year it looks like that once-in-a-lifetime convergence of publicity, word-of-mouth, spontaneity, anger and glee will be repeated on a much smaller scale. The turnout is reported to be much lower this year; kids are staying in school, workers at their jobs. Rumors of waiting immigration agents abound; maybe it is not so safe to proclaim your undocumented status in a smaller group for which the state has had a year to prepare. It's too bad, but I, for one, will never forget the Spring of 2006.