Immigrants and Their Supporters March in Long Beach

13 Jan

ImageImageImageAbout 100 people, in the late morning of Saturday, Jan. 11, marched from Orizaba Park to MacArthur Park in Long Beach for comprehensive immigration reform and to voice local grievances..

One marcher was Laura Merryfield.  Merryfield, who works for the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, said “We are marching for comprehensive immigration reform that is the big overarching theme…We have realized that there are local campaigns that are really important…that are advancing immigrant rights agenda…We are calling for a moratorium on car impoundments… Another thing we are asking for is to end wage theft…We brought together a diverse coalition.  We have groups that represent Latinos, Filipinos, Cambodians, (and) other residents of Long Beach because it is an issue where everyone is connected.”

Marissa Martinez, 16 was another marcher.  Martinez, who attends Wilson High School, said, “Just by being here, having people here, we are actually making a difference.”  Martinez said that her father drove her to march and that he supported her being there.

At MacArthur Park, Nicole Cababa, who identified herself as a community organizer with the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community and as a daughter of Filipino immigrants.  Cababa said, “When my mom first got here … she wanted to create a better life for her family.  She was faced with making sure she could support a young daughter with a studio apartment and a mattress and a rice cooker…The only work she could find was cleaning windows for a fast food restaurant….This is a common story that we hear today from many immigrant families….That is why we are here today in solidarity with all immigrant families to say we deserve living-wage jobs to be able to support ourselves, to be able to live and to work in dignity.”

At each end of the march, which was slighter longer than one mile, were chants and testimonials from individual.  All of program at both end points were in English and Spanish.  The chants were in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.  One chant was “Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Whites, We all stand up for human rights.”  Another chant was “Immigrants are under attack.  What do we do?  Stand up, fight back.”

On the sidewalk, the marchers marched from Orizaba Park down Orizaba Ave. to Anaheim Street, where they turned right; they then marched down Anaheim Str. until they arrived at MacArthur Park, 1312 E. Anaheim St.

Some of the local organizations that sponsored the march were the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization (ICO), Khmer Girls in Action, Filipino Migrant Center, The Center, Long Beach and The Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community.

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