“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”–Frederick Douglass
The United States is a country of immigrants, and Los Angeles is a city rich in ethnic diversity with residents from around the world. Most of the residents are in Los Angeles legally; many are not.
During 2006, thousands of people demonstrated in hundreds of cities across the United States–including in Los Angeles–in response to legislation in the United States House of Representatives that would have made it a felony to be in the United States illegally, imposed new penalties on employers hiring illegal immigrants, and authorized the building of a fence along one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border. The goals of the protests were not only an overhaul of this legislation, but also a path to legalization and citizenship.
These photographs are from an immigrant rights rally in downtown Los Angeles on May 1, 2006. The protest was huge–at least 200,000 people marched to City Hall in the morning, and 400,000 people marched along city streets in the evening. These photographs document that important event–one of many such expressions of collective strength held in cities throughout the United States then and now.
Immigration reform remains one of the most important issues needing a resolution.
The protest signs that day:
No Human Being is Illegal/No Somos Illegales (We Are Not Illegal)
We Built America
Corporate America Will Miss Us
Queremos Legalizacion (We Want Legalization)
Hoy Marchamos Manana Votamos (Today We March Tomorrow We Vote)
The Sleeping Giant Has Awakened
Who Are You Calling Immigrant, Pilgrim?