Saturday, March 25, 2006

Houston's March for a DREAM


Photo taken by RoB at Houston Indy Media

From Houston Indy Media

An estimated 5,000 people took to the streets of Houston demanding the Passage of the DREAM act, Amnesty for undocumented people in the US and human rights for all people.

Chants included classics "si si puede" and "el pueblo unido jamas será vencido" I think my favorite was "Aqui estamos, y nos nos vamos, y si nos sacan, nos regresamos" (here we are, we're not leaving, if they kick us out, we'll come back)

In the morning I was out in the streets and I saw a caravan of cars, with signs on the grill and flags waving. It was a great sight to see.

To hear that Houston had 5,000 people, brings tears to my eyes. Even though Houston is the fourth largest city, those numbers equate to the same number seen in Chicago and Los Angeles. Houston, has a bad reputation of making sure to black out any news regarding civil rights. That can be said about any city and that it would be impossible to do any type of blackout.

Houston is a city with a long history of racial discrimination. During the 1960s, many Southern cities were have rallies and sit-ins, including Houston. However, whenever a sit-in was about to happen, the local press were persuaded to black-out the news.


(more below the fold)

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In 1998, a documentary was made about these events. I was one of the few allowed to see one of the first public screenings of The Strange Demise of Jim Crow.
The Strange Demise of Jim Crow reveals for the first time on film how many Southern cities were desegregated in a quieter, almost stealthy fashion with behind-the-scenes negotiations, secret deals and controversial news black-outs. It makes visible a fascinating case-study of how urban power is really wielded.
...
The Strange Demise of Jim Crow is a multi-level story of urban power and change: student demonstrators vs. segregationists; the white power structure's fear of integration vs. their greater fear of violence, embarrassing national publicity and financial losses; secret deal-making vs. freedom of the press.

Most of all, the documentary demonstrates how threats of demonstrations and civic strife compelled the power elite to negotiate with more moderate, "responsible" black leaders and neutralize arch-segregationists. At the same time, by censoring news coverage...[it] undermined efforts to build a mass movement that might truly threaten and destabilize white power and privilege.
The entire film can be viewed over the internet here. I recommend that if you have a chance to see, do so, because it provides a great example how the MSM can be pressured to blackout certain events.

The March today, is no exception. I was checking the local media and still nothing is being reported. The so-called new "Houston Chronicle" has nothing about the rally. The big story: LSU eliminates Texas; [Houston Astros'] Bagwell headed to disabled list; may not return; Bush pushes guest worker plan (An AP report); HPD academy classes may double; and Houston man kills suspected home invader.

Houston's local ABC: City could profit from computer glitch, Two men shot to death at apartment; Neurologist stricken with brain tumor, Agencies teaming up to fight crime.

Houston's NBC: Duke Forfeits Lacrosse Games After Rape Accusation; Outdated Tickets Can Cost Drivers Money
Subpoenas Issued In City Hall Bonus Scandal; 2 People Shot, Killed At Apartment Complex; Man Shot In Motel Room; 13 Students Arrested In School Fight; Grandmother Scares Off 2 Armed Intruders; Coach Accused Of Forcing Student To Defecate In Bag; and Texas Cracks Down On Drunks In Bars

Houston's CBS: Astros' Jeff Bagwell to start season on disabled list; could be out for the season; AP's Bush calls for fair immigration bill; Yesterday's AP report: Immigration rallies draw thousands nationwide and Slain minister's wife being brought home.

JIFM went beyond the call of duty to let people know about this rally.

From JIFM's Blog:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006
we also got some wonderful news, several actually... national coverages, chinese media coming up... meeting with mayor's city council and end the day [on air with KPFT's Proyecto Latinoamericano].
...
Listen out for us in La Raza. Tatiana and Genesis will be going to record a segment for nuestra vida in univision. Tatiana then has a radio show later that day.

Friday we are also doing a show in la mera, mera, so listen out folks.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
banner party!!!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006
JIFM-UH representing @ George R. Brown [Houston's Convention Center]
...
We also got our march very well publicized, it was only the beginning of this march which promises to be something.

Considering they have been working hard to get the word out about the march, says a lot, given Houston's long history of silencing any type of civil rights events taking place here.

Regardless if 5,000 or 100,000 show up to a rally, the sleeping giant is awake and should be considered a threat in the next election.

Viva La Raza!

8 comments:

theboz said...

You know, the communication here in Houston sucks. I didn't know that this march was going to happen, nor did I know that it had happened. They could have easily had more than 5,000 people show up.

I think we need to try again.

XicanoPwr said...

Your right, the communication does suck. And that is why I posted all that information. I am pretty sure JIFM didn't get the blessing from the politicos. They hate it when you don't inform them.

Man Eegee said...

All signs are leading to an April 10th day of solidarity with nationwide protests, just a heads up.

Martha said...

I was at the march and rally on Saturday and it was really awesome. And I agree that JIFM really made a huge effort to publicize the event. So like RoB I ask where is the media coverage -I have been searching the net this morning and was shocked to see that even though immigration issues and the rallies in LA and elsewhere are one of the main stories in the HOuston Chronicle today. There was NO mention of our march and rally here in Houston. I am new here so can someone please tell me what is going on with the media in this city?
Sure, the liberal media that got the crowds to come out Saturday worked. And as we marched we attracted support and approval. But were we preaching to the converted? How effective can a movement be if we are not reaching the consciousness of the ill-educated?

By the way, there are a lot of fanatic bloggers who are using a lot of cuss words and are very insulting about the privileged, White, ill-educated people out there. Do people actually think that's going help? I understand they are angry and passionate about the cause but folk are hardly going to take the movement and liberal media seriously if we behave like children.

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