Si Se Puede!
Which is what the protesters are chanting downtown. I took a walk in the spring sunshine up to the PSU park blocks to check out the mayhem that threatened to stop traffic all afternoon. The marchers were supposed to gather there for a while and then set off at noon. I started out from here at about 12:15, noting that I saw lots of police officers on bikes, but no marchers.
It appeared that protesters don't keep tight schedules, as they hadn't taken off yet. Turning the corner on the park block, I could hear the chanting of people in microphones trying to rile the crowd up.
They gathered right outside of Smith Hall at PSU. It's a part of the park blocks that has a lot of brickwork. Specifically, the brick walls and raised brick areas are designed for people to sit and for a small band to play or someone to speak to a crowd. There was an hispanic band there, but while I was there a man spoke in Spanish into a mic, saying one or two lines followed by a woman repeating him in English.
There were lots of signs, so I looked around and tried to pick out any that didn't have to do with immigration. There were a couple. There was the standard "Impeach Bush" and then another that called Bush and Cheney the "real criminals." That same sign also said, "Real Americans fear Tyrants, not Terrorists."
But most of the signs, 98% of them anyway, were based on the theme: human beings are not illegal. Or some variant. Many were opposing U.S. House Resolution (Rule?) 4437.
There were lots of American flags, almost as many Mexican flags, but I'm sure the U.S. flags outnumbered them. There were a scattering of other flags, and a few guys in Argentina's Futball Jersey.
Most of the people there were hispanic. I would say that 5-10 percent were not, being young and fairly hippy looking, but that's not universal either. I saw one guy holding a sign that read "We want a safer Oregon" on what I assumed was a clipboard for gathering signatures. The picture on sign was a Marijuana leaf.
The protesters began marching about 40 minutes behind schedule. It was pretty civil, from what I saw. I heard a couple of policemen talking on a corner about how they were only worried about mayhem if the anarchists showed up. Cesar Chavez was all about non-violent protest. They marched cheerfully, chanting "Si Se Puede!" This was a popular chant for the movement of farm workers started by Cesar Chavez in the late 60s. It expressed their confidence that they could change things and overcome. Ironically, the United Farm Workers Union that Chavez started and fought for was against Illegal Immigration. Agriculture employers would replace the striking farm workers of Chavez's union with undocumented immigrants.
Of all the signs and flags here I was the most surprised to see this one (pictured above). It's the flag of Venezuela. Nice. Wave the flag of probably the most fascist/leftist state in the entire Western Hemisphere. That guy's not even Hispanic, just some punk. Not that you have to be from latin America to participate or show support, but I'm wondering if he had a clue what he was holding in his hand, and what it represents at the moment.
I guess it represents a country where people don't want to be at the present, and thus they are here trying to become citizens.
Instapundit has been linking to protest information today, and reactions. He reports that the attendence isn't what was advertised ahead of time, although I'm not surprised as that's usually the case.
Also, Powerline has said that they are gathering video and pictures of marches nation wide, but I haven't seen it yet.