The “Arkansas Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform” (ACCIR) is coordinating a new massive Latin American demonstration for Monday, May 1st, to have a positive and not negative, and that it benefits the cause of those lacking identity papers, as well as other future efforts in Arkansas and even to convince the legislators to approve a total immigration reform system.
Some of the members of ACCIR met Monday 24 at the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, to finalize the details of the concentration and to establish the final program. ACCIR decided to call this march and concentration at the steps of the Capitol in Little Rock again, but this time with a greater participation at state level, for Monday, May 1st, coinciding with the traditional Work Day that is celebrated in most of the world on that day.
The demonstration will be comprised of two parts:
- A mass meeting in McArthur Park of Little Rock, in front of San Eduardo church at 2:00 pm, in order to begin the parade to downtown Little Rock to the state Capitol.
- A concentration in front of the steps of the Capitol of other groups and the beginning at 3:00 pm a Latin-American musical program.
When the first group from the park arrives at the Capitol, the phase of the speeches will begin, having invited Arkansas legislator, Governor Mike Huckabee, and the candidates for governor, Mike Beebe and Asa Hutchinson, to participate as well.
After analyzing the great success of the first concentration that occurred on April 10th, with the presence of thousands of Latin Americans and their supporters, agreed to repeat the experience, but this time coaxing more Latin American Communities from all corners of the state to participate.
To achieve this, the leaders of each community are asked to contact the local businesses, asking them to offer a holiday without salary (and without subsequent disciplinary repercussions) on Monday, May 1st, to all their workers that want to attend the event and that they ask for permission in advance.
It is also requested to the local churches and to private people that are able to facilitate the transportation of the participants from their localities to Little Rock and back.
Likewise the school superintendents and administrators of schools have been contacted, as well as the universities, so that they allow their students to attend the concentration, without punishing them with bad grades, readjusting the dates of possible exams, and recognizing their help as a merit of service to the community.
On the other hand, the organizers of ACCIR, return to remind all the Latin American forces, that this is a peaceful demonstration but with a lot of force and mass, to request the national legislators approve a integral migratory reform and to resolve the border problems, the regularization of the millions lacking identity papers, and the unification of the families divided by the present laws.
Likewise they ask the attendants to be dressed in white t-shirts (symbolizing the peace), to carry American flags (symbolizing the desire of legally remaining in the U.S.), to carry placards in English affirming that those lacking identity papers are not criminals (so that the Anglo mass media can understand them), and to avoid causing destruction to the plants and throwing trash in the Capitol’s gardens.
The word will also be given to the delegates of different cities that attend the event, and to the Arkansas business representatives (Tyson, Wal-Mart, ALLTEL, Axciom, construction companies, hospitals, etc.), that have interest for a new immigration law be approved and that they have declared their support to this type of project to legalize millions of workers lacking identity papers that the businesses need to continue producing products and services. The Capitol is a very significant and symbolic place, it is located in a central place of the city with easy access along I- 630, and has extensive opportunities to park the vehicles.
For more information, different members of ACCIR can be contacted: the Catholic Church of Arkansas (501) 664-0340; ACORN of Arkansas (501) 376-7151; LULAC of Arkansas (501) 219-2460; LA CASA, health services for Latin Americans (501) 664-3500; EL LATINO, the weekly Latin American periodical in Spanish (501)375-0853; and the Committee (Caucus) of Latin Americans of the Democratic Party (501) 607-2711.