Pro-immigrant march falls woefully short of attendance goal

Dallas’ 2017 Mega March focusing on immigration reform fell short of organizers’ expectations of 100,000 attendees, with police reporting that only 3,200 people showed up to the march. Organizers of the event contended that 20,000 people participated, claiming that crowds could be seen for blocks.

“You know, there’s times when you have to march to get your point across. This is one of those times,” said Roger Rocha, Jr., LULAC National President. “You’ve got people from all over the state of Texas, Oklahoma and as far away as Washington, D.C. and New York.”

Benny de la Vega, an immigrant who became a citizen who volunteered to register voters at the event said, “People want to have a say in what’s going on in their country. And this is how you do it.”

A 28-year-old woman from Mexico who is a DACA recipient asserted, “I don’t believe in borders of any kind. Not physical borders not any type of borders. I was actually expecting a lot more people but you know with all of this craziness going on. With raids going on I think people are afraid. I really think people were afraid to be here today.” The woman noted that, as a DACA recipient, she has “deferred action” from deportation.

Democratic U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro attended and said, “What we see today is people coming together to stand up for unity.”

The rally concluded outside of city hall where religious and political leaders spoke, including Martin Luther King, III.

“No matter what some politicians do to try to stop and turn the clock back, we’re not going back. We’re moving forward. We want America to be great for all Americans. Not any one group of people,” King said.

During the largest, most-publicized march since the July 7, 2016 massacre, the Dallas Police Department stationed heavily armed officers along the march route, many carrying AR15 rifles. Dallas Fire-Rescue personnel wore bulletproof vests as a precautionary measure, and State Troopers and FBI bomb technicians were on the scene. Dump trucks were employed to block streets.

Dallas held a Mega March in 2006 that drew approximately 500,000 participants.

“This is a march where we are asking everyone to only wear red, white and blue, for the American flag. To only bring American flags, because this is really about America’s values,” said Domingo Garcia, one of the march’s organizers.

No incidents required police intervention, and most downtown streets had reopened by 5 p.m.

 

 

 

H/T: WFAA 8

 

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