Community members, Occupy SF march side by side for immigrant rights

By Meghann Adams

Watch slideshow — Photos by Bill Hackwell

Focusing on immigrants’ rights this week, Occupy SF and supporters marched along Market Street and down the Latino Mission District to demand equal rights for all. Echoes rang not just of the traditional chant, “We are the 99%!” and its Spanish counterpart, “Nosotros somos 99%!”

ANSWER organizer Gloria La Riva called out to those on the sidewalks to join the march in the fight for immigrant rights and against war and oppression: “If you don’t get enough in wages, if you don’t have enough to live on, if your children are going into debt going to school, you belong with us! Join this march!”

The Saturday, Nov. 26 demonstration saw more than 300 Occupy SF campers and supporters take to the streets, while many others showed their support from the sidelines. Chants of solidarity were shouted out to students, teachers, bus drivers, and all workers who have been suffering under the weight of the economic crisis and facing attacks from the 1%. The response came not just from car horns in support, but cheers and smiles from the sidewalks and from inside public buses.

Other chants along the long route included: “From New York to the Bay, Occupy the USA!”, “The banks got bailed out, we got sold out!”, and “¡Aquí, allá, la lucha seguirá!” The march continued to the 16th Street BART station, where it joined with the rally of La Colectiva, La Raza Centro Legal and the Day Labor Program.

The crowd was greeted by a woman from La Colectiva, who said: “¡La communidad immigrate es parte del 99%! The immigrant community is part of the 99%! Our community has been suffering the detention of our family members, separation between children and their parents, incarceration of an entire generation. So we send the message loud and clear tonight to Wells Fargo and Bank of America and Citicorp and the rest of you a------s, that here in the Mission, you do not control us. We are in control of our destinies. Day laborers, domestic workers, women, mothers, young people, and workers…that’s who we are!”

Announcements were made for a march the following Saturday against foreclosures that will be preceded by neighborhood actions in different parts of the city for people to speak up about the needs of their communities. The united crowd continued on through the heart of the Mission to 24th Street BART for a closing rally calling out: “¡La Misíon escucha! ¡Estamos en la lucha!”

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