Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

100,000 Immigrant Workers and Supporters Demand Change to Nation's Immigration Laws

StoryOctober 06, 2003
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Demonstrations on Friday and Saturday were the climax of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a two-week journey of nearly 900 immigrants and their supporters across the country to challenge the nation’s immigration laws.

As many as 100,000 immigrants rallied in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens — the most diverse community in the world–on Saturday to call for better working conditions for undocumented workers. This follows a rally on Friday against the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty in New Jersey.

Saturday’s demonstration was the climax of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a two-week journey of nearly 900 immigrants and their supporters who traveled from Los Angeles, Seattle and eight other cities to Washington and New York to challenge the nation’s immigration laws.

The rally was in many ways a multicultural festival, with salsa and reggae music, signs in Creole and Spanish, and wafting smells of tortillas and jerk chicken.

Church and mosque congregations and community groups marched into the site with banners declaring their affiliations. Bangladeshi men skipped around the park, chanting "Amnesty!" Korean folk drummers and dancers gave impromptu performances.

The riders pushed for better conditions for legal as well as "illegal" immigrants. Their four-point agenda focuses on workplace policies, civil liberties, faster reunification of families, as well as official status for illegal workers.

Excerpts of speeches at Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride rally in Liberty State Park in Jersey City on October 3, 2003:

  • Terence O’ Sullivan, General President, Laborers International Union.
  • Bruce Rainer, President of UNITE!
  • Congressman John Lewis, Democrat, Georgia.
  • Linda Chavez Thompson, AFL-CIO.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation