Looking back at May 1st 2006

This was written during the movement of which later would become the 2006 immigrant rights movement. It was just beginning to peak in a series of large and mostly spontaneous marches that built up to May 1st, 2006. I think this lays down some of the optimism and worry that others and myself felt at that juncture.

 From Si Se Puede to Si Se Pudo

A Labor Organizer Looks at Changing a Moment into a Movement

Story Adam W.
Photos by Jessica Valdez

In this profound moment of world-wide doubt in leaders and governments, a wave of day laborers, cooks, janitors and high school students have suddenly become a powerful force bringing a new conversation to dinner tables and law makers across the nation.

This past week of marches and high school walkouts across San Jose in protest of HR 4437 was as beautiful as it was significant. Optimism was high returning from the March 25th journey across the city and back. The chant was no longer, Si se puede, but, Si se pudo or, Yes, we did it. Over the next week students made their own mark as they defied administrations, marching from school to school to spread their walkouts as well.

Less than a week later, another call is spreading by word of mouth and over the internet. May 1 st will be the next day of protest, boycotts and even worker strikes- a tradition called paros civicos in Mexico’s social movement. But as we ready for the next storm of protest, could the fire of the movement leave as quickly as the spark was lit?

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