Republican Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix only last week complained publicly and bitterly that too many people, a surprising 30,000, had demonstrated in “his” city streets on March 29 with a pro-immigrant march on Sen. Jon Kyl’s office.

This time his office estimated publicly and with little comment that the pro-immigrant march in Phoenix April 10 had between 125,000 and 150,000 people. The official police report estimated the crowd to be “at least 100,000.” Organizers placed a more realistic estimate of 300,000 people for the march.

The enormous crowd at one point covered the entire 3 1/2 mile march route that began at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum and finished at the State Capitol.

The march pre-program began with 4 hours of dancing, and speaking, and singing of many songs including “De Colores.” March organizers held the start time to be 1:00 p.m. in order to allow students to finish their testing in the public schools. Thousands registered to vote at tables all along the march route.

Thousands of AFL-CIO signs were carried that read “With Liberty and Justice for All.” Thousands of American flags were waved. One large banner included the famous words of the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Also seen were banners of Cesar Chavez and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Thousands of onlookers waved and cheered from huge buildings and parking lot towers as thousands of marchers chanted “Si se puede.”

Former gubernatorial candidate Alfredo Gutierrez spoke at the end of the march. He said, “We promise nothing less than to recapture the ideals that created America.”

The march brought smiles and won the hearts of newscasters from all prominent television news stations who commented on the exemplary behavior of the marchers. One prominent newscaster called it a “beautiful sea of humanity.”

Police officials had nothing but praise for the marchers and march organizers that not one serious incident had occurred during the long day, bringing new meaning and substance to the words “family values” so hotly debated during the last presidential race.

The march isolated far right politicians such as Kyl, one of the few remaining mouthpieces for Bush’s phony war on terrorism, who himself is promoting the Senate version of the diabolical House bill 4437 before Congress. Kyl refused to do television interviews on the day of the march. Kyl has traditionally relied on the pro-gun lobby as his base of support and is up for reelection this November. He faces stiff competition from at least 2 strong candidates: State Democratic chair Jim Pederson and Iraq War veteran Leonard Clark.

On the Friday prior to the march, an interfaith coalition of ministers and rabbis protested in front of the Capitol over offensive, irresponsible and illegal remarks made on a prominent radio news station by a local right wing talk host. Last week also saw hundreds of Phoenix students leaving their high school classes to walk to the Capitol building to protest HR 4437.

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