The birthplace of libertad

Today's Philadelphia's May Day immigration demonstration took the form of a march from center city to the office of Senator Arlen Specter (in the Independence Mall area). While similar to the one held April 10 (which I photoblogged -- and videoblogged), today's demo was not as well attended, and at Independence Mall the speeches were almost entirely in Spanish. The organizers were the same as on April 10, and I saw a number of now familiar faces. It was polite and orderly, and I saw very few of the professional white revolutionary types (who must have been somewhere else for May Day).

It was rather dull, and persuaded me of nothing, because I already know what I think. In all honesty, I don't know how anyone with a thinking brain could possibly be persuaded by any demonstration. Either you agree with the cause (which makes it a rah-rah-rah event) or you disagree. But who is really persuaded by either agreeing or disagreeing with a demonstration? I suppose demonstrations remind people that there are people who go to demonstrations, but does anyone need a reminder of that?

Y-A-W-N . . .

Anyway, the American flag was still there. So were Mexican flags.

And so was the now-ratty space alien sign which I photographed last month:


The same cheerleader was exhorting the crowd:


Interestingly, a few Democratic activists were there.

Here's an anti-GOP sign:


And to make sure you avoid hate, a sign telling you to vota Democrata!


(Hey, at least that's better than VOTA SI!)

Si o no, another group of people held signs for Democratic senatorial candidate Alan Sandals . . .


Like the last time, there were a few people who either didn't get it, or haven't fully learned their lessons in American patriotism.

I observed this breach of flag etiquette:


And a T shirt immortalizing Che Guevara:


Finally some videos for those who are interested.


If the stream does not play, you can copy and paste (or try clicking) the URL in your Quicktime browser:




I'm out of time and running late, so I apologize for the hurried nature of this post.

posted by Eric on 05.01.06 at 04:38 PM


Is it my imagination, or is the alien in the first picture wearing a sombrerro?

Beck   ·  May 2, 2006 8:59 AM

gas powered space stations!

Space Burrito   ·  May 2, 2006 12:56 PM

Not to mention a creative alternative for personal jet propulsion.

Beck   ·  May 2, 2006 5:33 PM

I hate to do this. I've been reading your blog for a long time. Honestly, it is my favorite. I think you write well, in an entertaining fashion, on matters I am usually interested in, and your thoughts are always just delightful for me to read.

I don't like admitting when I disagree with someone I respect, for fear that they won't like me anymore. But, on this point, I must speak out. I love immigrants. I think that they are showcases of the best of America; self-determination, hard work, success, opportunity, freedom. They decide to leave some hellhole and go to the land of Libertad, and they make money enough to sustain themselves picking fruit.

They don't take much government assistance (despite what many people say; hispanics take government assistance, illegals genuinely don't have much access, and when they do, that's just embarrasing for everybody). Because of that, I think that they are more assimilated in most ways than even some native minorities (Mormons, blacks, etc.). I think America has avoided the immigrant riots of France because, by being part of the job market, immigrants to America become part of the society and the culture.

We get some cheap labor, food I happen to like. They get good pay by their standards, and they get to live here. It honestly seems like a win-win. I never bought the argument that they are taking other people's jobs; they get the jobs because they work for some combination of less/better. You've pointed out that a lot of this has to do with regulations. I agree. But, if that is the case, we should ask for an end to labor regulation, to my mind.

To show you what I mean when I say that I really think illegal immigrants are assimilating incredibly rapidly, I was giving a lecture at a high school once. I walked out (I bombed, if it matters, big time), and caught the closing day ceremony of lowering the flag. Some dumb kid dropped it, and it was going to fall in the mud. I was a dozen meters away, but I didn't move to catch it. Some kid rushed past me, jumped a fence between the pole and where I was standing, and dived to catch the flag before it could be sullied. He was an immigrant.

There are problems. But, they are problems created by government; English taught in our schools as a second language, or not at all, making new generations not learn the native language and creating a rift between us (perpetrated in part by identity politics gurus who realize they'll lose control if the hispanics become too American, the way Jesse Jackson knows he'd be out of a job if we ended welfare and a few other idiot programs). Government assistance, which both makes it less likely assimilation will occur and would break our backs with an open border. And the labor regulations that mean that a citizen is punished in the labor market for following the law.

This is just my opinion. I know it isn't well thought-out or written. It isn't really an opinion; that is too nice. It is just a bunch of thoughts I had that I threw up. But, when I see people coming here from Mexico, or anywhere, to seek a better life through labor, when I hear that what they want is to make a better life for themselves and their family, when they say all they want is to earn what people are willing to pay them for their sweat, I can't stop myself from liking the idea. I just feel that way.

Jon Thompson   ·  May 5, 2006 2:35 AM

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