The 2010 school walkout, massive!
Several schools missed hundreds of students today as not only was it "senior ditch day," it was rumored, but one of the most historically significant, largest and most vibrant protests called students out of their classrooms and into the streets against the newest American pariah state, Arizona.
One week after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) signed Senate Bill (SB) 1070 into law, thousands of students around the United States participated in school walkouts akin to the 1968 school blowouts that famously marked the rise of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles, an inspiration that spread rapidly around the U.S., and a fire that still hasn't dimmed as of yet. It's looking like it is only picking up momentum, enough to burn out that unconstitutional law in Arizona, as today's school walkouts are in concert with May Day (May 1st), "International Workers Day," for which an even larger critical mass is expected to turn out, and the theme this year is what is becoming an apparently fast-spreading and mostly spontaneous (self-motivated/grassroots) world-wide boycott of the State of Arizona. Not merely by not visiting but by not buying produce from Arizona, and other materials. A state with world famous amenities attracting tourists from all over can't withstand the blow delivered by a loss in the workforce, a loss in visitor profits from tourism, divestment and a drop in exports of produce and other useful materials.
Perhaps Gov. Brewer believes the personal cost doesn't outweigh the benefits, but politically her signing that bill was probably the most ridiculous political blunder by any Governor since ... George W. Bush? Sarah Palin? Pick one. What a sad state of affairs.
The turnout today was inspiring beyond the potency of recognition of that state of affairs, and slowly but surly it will probably pitch yours truly right out of this depression.
High schools, colleges, private and public, students from all of the above were arriving in swarms at the Colorado State Capitol building today at 2:30 p.m., and among them was an entire school who marched together, what was practically a school field trip, the Escuela Tlatelolco, a school that teaches indigenous and latina youth from relevant historical viewpoints to their identity and heritage, started by a prominent Denver Chicano activist who headed the Crusade For Justice, Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, and is now run by his daughter Nita, all together marched from Escuela to the Capitol building. Nita also blessed and thanked the rally attendees from all schools, and some who aren't in school but attended in solidarity, with a passionate and lively speech. I gathered audio footage of the rally and somewhere in all these files is her speech so it will be included in one of my excruciatingly low-budget Youtube videos, so keep an eye out for that.
Denver Police assisted in directing traffic and assuring safety more or less, especially when a small crowd of anti-protesters arrived across the street to no avail as most of the rally participants on the Capitol steps never actually noticed they were there. Everyone unanimously decided that enough is enough apparently, so ¡Ya Basta! was the cry of the day. Even people who don't speak Spanish were yelling a Spanish phrase at the tops of their lungs.
Today was but a taste of what is to come tomorrow, when it is not only students walking out in protest to a law that obligates police to use race as a "reasonable suspicion," ripped from the 3rd Reich playbook, but tomorrow our friends, families, neighbors, homies, comrades, and total strangers will swarm downtown everywhere between Sunken Gardens Park and the Capitol Building starting around 10:00 a.m., and if you all thought today's rally was lively - "you ain't seen nothin' yet," as the saying goes.
See you all tomorrow.