Monday, January 29, 2007

Immigrant groups plan local activities

Richmond Times-Dispatch Jan 29, 2007

Several pro-immigrant organizations in Virginia are planning activities this week in Richmond to protest legislation dealing with illegal immigration currently being considered at the General Assembly.

The four days of activities, beginning Friday, include news conferences, fasting, rallies and a march. The organizations have been mobilizing the Hispanic communities across the state through word-of-mouth and nonprofit and faith-based organizations to take part in the activities.

The end of these activities will coincide with the annual Latino Lobbying Day at the General Assembly, which will be Feb. 5.

"Many local communities in the past year have attempted to pass ordinances and impose policies to separate families and violate people's civil rights," said Ricardo Juarez, coordinator of Mexicanos Sin Fronteras (Mexicans Without Borders), one of the planning organizations.

"We are going to show that working families are going to be affected severely by these initiatives," said Coco Gutierrez-Magallanes, spokeswoman for Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.

The activities will start Friday with a news conference at the assembly, followed by activities at Capitol Square Park at 9th and Grace streets at 11 a.m. to begin a fasting until Monday by members of the community.

On Saturday, a rally is planned at Monroe Park at Main and Belvidere Streets at 10 a.m., followed by a march down Franklin Street to Capitol Square at 1 p.m., and a second rally there an hour later.

Activities continue Sunday with religious leaders having an ecumenical event on Capitol Square at 1 p.m.

At 9 a.m. Monday, the activities will end with a rally and news conference. -- Juan Antonio Lizama