People left their jobs and took to the streets. In some cases, employers even told their workers to abandon their jobs for the day.
People came with flags waving. Some came in their work clothes carrying tools.
Thousands marched through Phoenix on Friday to protest U.S. House Resolution 4437 on immigration policy, yet primary organizer Inmigrantes Sin Fronteras only began planning it two weeks ago, said Magdalena Schwartz, the nonprofit’s vice president.
Word about Friday’s march spread farther than anyone imagined.
“We used the radio,” Schwartz said. “We went door to door and give out fliers.”
Numerous other nonprofits soon joined the cause. Inmigrantes Sin Fronteras appeared daily on Multicultural Radio, KIDR (740 AM). Its members walked the streets with fliers all over Phoenix and the Valley. They contacted the media.
Hispanic media have been covering the resolution for at least a month now, and they’ve promoted the march.
Among them is Radio Campesina, KNAI (88.3 FM), a station founded by the United Farm Workers — the union started by Cesar Chavez. It targets Latinos who have just arrived to the U.S.
Many marchers chanted the station’s jingle, “La Campesina y no más!” The repetition underscored the station’s influence in the protest, said María Baquin, local programming and media relations coordinator.
Assistant publisher Leo Hernández said that La Prensa Hispana, a 65,000-weekly Latino newspaper in Phoenix, began writing articles on the measure four weeks ago and also promoted the march since it was announced by the nonprofits.
Hernandez and Baquin agreed one major factor motivated people to take to the streets: Fear.
“I asked people what their message is,” Hernández said in Spanish. “Their main message is: Please let us live in peace. We came here to work, not to cause problems.”