Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The students left campus to join a group of hundreds of demonstrators, some of them schoolmates, in Kennedy Park, to march through eastern Union City before returning to the park to rally.
Onlookers estimated that the demonstrators numbered around 500. Principal Don Montoya said that the crowd appeared to have some Logan students as members, but didn't offer an estimate of the number of Logan students who took part on the march. Police and school district officials monitored the march as it proceeded.
"As usual, we are always concerned about the safety of our students," said Principal Don Montoya.
He told teachers not to attempt to stop students who chose to walk out of school, but not to encourage them, either.
"We are legally obligated to impartially present all sides of a controversial issue during discussions and we cannot encourage students to walk (or not walk) based on our own personal opinions," Montoya said, citing district policy. Students who joined the walk-out were to be marked absent, he said.
Illegal immigrants and their allies gathered in towns and cities around the nation Monday for marches, prayers and demonstrations on a planned national day of economic protest, boycotting work, school and shopping to show their importance to the country and to protest stricter immigration laws that are being debated in Congress.
Teachers said they noticed more absences from their classes today, but said the day went fairly smoothly and without any protest-related incidents, other than the small walk out. "Most of my hispanic students were absent from my second period class," said one teacher, who asked not to be identified. "Some did attend, though."
Another teacher said more than half of one of his classes was absent, and there were more absences than usual in the others.
Some local businesses shut down in support of the protest. Supermercado Mi Terruņo, on 10th street in the Decoto district, posted a notice in Spanish on it's closed doors: "Supermarket Mi Terruņo supports the immigrants of all nations. This first of May, 2006, we will close our doors in sign of support against proposition HR-4437. We hope that this demonstration of our support of just immigration law benefits all the immigrants. "
Reports from around the country indicated that many businesses closed in support of the protest, or simply couldn't open for lack of workers, who had joined the demonstrations along with tens of thousands of others.
In Hayward, many of the protesters wore white to
demonstrate that they were peaceful and "flew American flags to demonstrate
their support for the nation and to prove that they too want to be supported,"
said Arcelia Rodriguez who joined a protest in Hayward, which ended at City
Crowds gathered at the state Capitol in Sacramento and Market Street in San Francisco, marched on Oakland's International Boulevard and walked through downtown Los Angeles to City Hall. According to news reports, the waving of the U.S. flag was more common than in previous demonstrations, in which the Mexican flag and others were more prominently featured.
Traffic was snarled in downtown San Francisco Monday afternoon, where tens of thousands of protesters gathered and marched.
On the other hand, some commuters reported lighter than usual traffic on their morning commutes.
Several reports of decreased traffic levels were noted.