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Roundup: March For America, “Change Takes Courage,” Brought 200,000 to DC

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 03/23/2010 at 11:12am

Coverage in the blogosphere is still picking up after Sunday’s historic health care vote, but here’s an initial roundup of blogging on Sunday’s massive rally and march for real immigration reform.

First, check out Rachel LaBruyere’s amazing March For America liveblog, here (UPDATED LINK), complete with feedback from advocates supporting the march.

Next, Nolan Treadway, blogging at Daily Kos, provides an important media critique:

You may not have been aware such a large gathering took place if you were watching the news around the country.  It seems a couple dozen dead-ender Tea Partiers determined to thwart progress are more newsworthy than a crowd 1/3 the size of the population of DC gathering to fight for social and economic justice.

Indeed, according to Maegan Ortiz of Vivir Latino (<–click for a photo slideshow): 

Depending on who you ask, between a quarter of a million people to half a million people, overwhelmingly Latinos, went to the National Mall this past Sunday in support of immigration reform in what was called the March for America.

Talking Points Memo founder and editor Josh Marshall also critiques the coverage in, “SLIDESHOW: Quite a Turnout!”:

Did you see the huge march this weekend in DC? Tens of thousands turned out. Maybe even 100,000. Tea Partiers? No, the big pro-immigration march that got virtually no press attention at all.

Also taking a jab at mainstream media’s lack of coverage of the event compared to coverage of a Tea Party protest the same day, with just a fraction of the crowd, here’s the founder and publisher of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas (‘Kos’), in “Governing by crowd size– immigration reform wins!” Kos jokes that if we play by “the new rules of Fox News,” then “immigration reform is now the law of the land. Yay!”

Marisa Treviño of Latina Lista takes us back to the tremendous power displayed by the marchers:

But if one thing was learned in yesterday’s march, it doesn’t matter how many media cameras are present but how many marchers’ voices are raised in unison.

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars has a day-of interview with Numbers USA leader Roy Beck, who was at the march trying to provoke and film protesters for his anti-immigration website. In Neiwert’s video, Beck appears convinced that the quarter of a million people rallying in Washington Sunday were actually just “thieves.” Neiwert points out the irony of this given Numbers USA’s own website, which prominently displays the tagline “no to immigrant bashing:”

Dunno about you, but calling 200,000 people — no, make that 12 million — “thieves” sure sounds like immigrant-bashing to me.

Neiwert also has more on the five burly bodyguards Beck brought out to “protect himself” and his Numbers USA staff from what appears to have been a small group of mimes and whistlers. That’s here (<–with original video). Even more background on the march from Neiwert here.

Andrea Nill of Think Progress has an exclusive interview with one of the mimes, some of whom ended up filing assault charges against the bodyguards, as well as Numbers USA’s own (absurd) account of “crushing physical intimidation” by the group of young women with balloons: 

According to Anne Manetas of NumbersUSA, a group of female mimes threatened Beck and his bodyguards with “constant efforts at crushing physical intimidation” instigated by “blowing hateful whistles” and waving balloons. […] However, that doesn’t explain why Beck’s bodyguard is the one who ended up being arrested and charged with assault yesterday. […] Graber explains that she and four other mimes followed Beck and his crew around for four hours in an effort to prevent Beck from picking a fight with demonstrators. According to Graber, Beck’s bodyguard pulled out a pocket knife and started popping the mimes’ balloons.

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