Hello, Dreamers of the World!
For those of you who were there in spirit, these are TOP TEN moments from the fabulous, multicultural, humongous, super-delicious DREAM act contingent at the March for America:
1) The pre-rally, baby!
We started rallying at 1030 at the Lower Senate Park. We began chanting right away. Even though the area was not part of the March for America area, some of our undocumented leaders dealt with police to ensure dreamers could express themselves in a safe and efficient manner. Numbers USA said on twitter they were meeting at Upper Senate Rark, but that part of the park was empty. As you know, they have “virtual” demonstrations. So they were “virtually” present. Dreamers shared their stories, met folks from other states, and invited more delegations to join in the fun.
2) The march itself
We left the park and marched by the Tea Party, who were outside the capitol protesting against health care reform. We far outnumbered them as about a thousand people had joined us by now. Cops stopped traffic for us, and we made it to the end of the religious service. We all said “aaaamen” to immigration reform. The National Mall was packed from side to side in what was truly an organizing success for RI4A.
3) Nobody chants like them dreamers
Incorporate these into your next rally:
Si, se puede! Yes, We Can!: bilingual and delicious.
Yo, Obama, do not Deport my Momma: created on the spot by the KS/MO delegation.
We are the dreamers, the mighty mighty dreamers: a classic repetition chant.
Luchador! Luchador! Luchador!: The spiritual leader of the delegation was a bus driver in his 50s wearing a wrestling mask and holding a DREAM Act sign. When we needed a word of inspiration, we gave Luchador the megaphone and let him go on another rant.
Education, not Deportation!: This one must include a bit of dancing.
Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos, y si nos echan, nos regresamos!: With mandatory translation for non-spanish speakers.
Can’t stop, won’t stop: As led by Greg from USSA when the Dreamers got to the front of the crowd.
Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha: Honoring El Luchador? Perhaps.
The students, united, will never be divided!
4) Obama hollers at the DREAMers
President Obama did not show up to the rally. He was at some healthcare reform thing. I felt that his video was a nice gesture, and it brought people hope. He gets 1 credit for referring to DREAM students he has met, but still left with an incomplete. Better study up, Barack.
5) DREAM representation on stage
For the first time, DREAMers shown as national leaders and not just testimonials. Carlos Saavedra, national coordinator of United We Dream, spoke of the power that young voices bring to the debate. The Trail of Dreams walkers were present on a video, and invited the crowd to join them when they arrive in Washington DC on May 1st.Â Greg Cendana, president of the United States Student Association and honorary dreamer from IDEAS at UCLA, led the crowd into a DREAM signature chant: Can’t stop, won’t stop!
6) The humongous, gigantic, gargantuan DREAM flag makes its way through the crowd.
Armed with a couple of megaphones, about 200 dreamers opened a path through the crowd and brought the giant “PASS THE DREAM ACT NOW” American flag right to the front of the stage. Rumor has it some crazy blogger honored the migrant experience by jumping over a fence to get to VIP. Crazy kids!
7) Los Lonely Boys chant for the DREAM
Minutes after their amazing performance to cap off the rally, Los Lonely Boys exited the backstage area as the dreamers and their flag were leaving the VIP area. They high-fived a bunch of us and joined us in chanting that we wanted the DREAM Act NOW!
8) Health Care passes!
Not a bad way to walk away from the US Capitol thinking that change really is possible.
9) There is a youth group?!
Seeing a lot of young people who didn’t know about DREAMers get a light in their eyes when they realized there was a youth contingent. I went for a water break to the restaurantÂ at the National Gallery of Art and ran into two young people wearing caps and gowns. They were from Tennessee and had recently done some individual coming out actions after they saw it on this site. The youth continue to unite under the banner of the DREAM Act.
10) The movement continues
We capped the day off with some spoken word, story-telling, and poetry right in front of the Capitol. After 8 hours of chanting and marching, we were dirty, tired, and semi-delirious – but everyone was ready for the next step. The Dreamers are demanding the DREAM Act before the end of the school year, will Washington hear their voices?
p.s. Don’t forget to check out the pictures from the march on our Facebook page, DreamActivist.org!!