Children forced to march in downtown L.A.?

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/04/childmarch_indymedia-thumb.jpgCan we all agree that this past weekend was probably the busiest the city of Los Angeles has ever seen? Music fests, cowboy fests, book fests, presidential fundraisers, and more.

What you may have missed was yesterday’s “Children’s March Against Racist Deportations and Immigration Laws”. LA Indymedia has pics and extensive coverage:

Hundreds of Mexican and “Central American”-descent children marched through downtown Los Angeles Sunday afternoon to protest “racist immigration laws and racist deportations.” The children and their families marched approximately four blocks, from Olvera Street to City Hall.

The children — the vast majority who are U.S. citizens due to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — wore white t-shirts with the message “Legalize My Parents.”

While I empathize with the movement, I find there’s always something distasteful about using children as instruments to promote a political agenda, no matter the cause.

The photos at Indymedia show many kids carrying picket signs, but smiles are glaringly absent. Either someone coached them to pout on cue, or they’re genuinely sad. But if these kids are upset about anything, its probably that they’re being forced to march on a Sunday when they’d rather be out playing.

On the flip side, it will be interesting to see how many of the older kids play hooky this Tuesday’s “Great American Boycott”

…photo by Indymedia, used under copyright permission…

20 Replies to “Children forced to march in downtown L.A.?”

  1. I could see your point, when you state, “there’s always something distasteful about using children as instruments to promote a political agenda” but don’t you think these kids genuinely care about having their immigrant parents deported? They probably worry as to who would take care of them, if that happened.

  2. Kayo- I think you’re right that none of them want to see their parents deported, but do you really think the little boy in the photo on the right understands what he’s doing? He probably can’t even read the sign he’s holding yet!

  3. Maybe I’m wrong but my understanding is that no one has advocated splitting families apart when the kids are born here, who in fact are legal citizens. Those using that tactic are on the far side that more-or-less want some sort cleansing.
    My experience, and this can go back as far as 20 years where I have run into this situation, but barring some significant felony, someone here illegally with kids born here tend to get a lot of things smoothed over for quick green cards.
    Its the fear mongering that makes the whole immigration reform so frustrating. Both camps use whatever tools they can to strike fear deep. It is just foul tasting when they use children. But even that is the American Way…ever been to a corporate sponsored United Way campain where they bring in the autistic kids who ring bells to make songs so you feel sorry and donate?

  4. While I hear where you’re coming from, I’m not sure I can get myself too worked up about immigrants bringing their kids to a protest in favor of the parents’ rights.

    At worst, this is probably a lot like the various “Just Say No to Everything” rallies that other parents are so fond of using to showcase their child’s purity.

    As for splitting apart families, a quick check of Google indicates it might be a real problem.

  5. The best term I’ve heard for using kids for political purpose is “Stunt Kids” I really like that.

  6. Last May 1st, I joined my roommate and her family at the rallies/marches. She was with her parents (one and immigrant, one US-born) and her younger brother. Her brother is 7 years old. He definitely knew what he was doing and knew that it was something bigger than just skipping school for a day. Considering that children have been targeted in some of the anti-immigration legislation (hello, prop 187), I don’t see anything wrong with families bringing along their kids to a march.

    Frazgo,
    Have you heard of Tom Tancredo?

  7. The same logic can be applied to all the kids that are forced to go to church on Sunday just because of their parents religious agenda, lots of sad faces in that lot.
    Here’s a link to a story that just ran in the LAT about splitting families.

  8. I think if the poster is more multiculturally-aware, he would understand that bringing in Latino children to any event considered ‘adult’ is normal. What we see as a political action is simply seen as something that the children should help their parents with. From bringing along children to watch R-rated movies or helping to manage a funeral, Latino children are included in almost every step in the ‘adult’ world.

    Now if we can only bring Latino parents to the classrooms so the kids will follow…

  9. I remember this tactic being used a few years ago when there was a possibility of gay marriage being approved (it may have been a prop I really can’t remember), and at the end of the commercial they had a group of kids saying “Save our family, vote ‘no’ on .” While Cindy’s roomate’s broter may have known what he was doing, I’m quite sure these kids didn’t know why they were speaking. Their parents are probably too afraid to explain to them what gay is…..

  10. Dave gets it, Mark get’s it, Cindylu doesn’t. The point is kids are brought in to raise the emotions so people put their brains in a ziplock back and can be lead down the merry path by WHATEVER group. It happens on both sides of the reform issue. Would you like to see the tripe I somehow got sent by the OC Border patrol (and I don’t reside anywhere near the OC in spirit or abode)? It was awful but end is BOTH sides use kids like a salvo in the battle and that is just wrong.

  11. Yeah Michael, but I hear you cut ’em loose under orders that they use the time off to figure out a way to mount a front plate on your sportscar without messing up the aerodynamix and the fiberglass.

  12. lol Thanks for the levity Will. Reality checks are almost as good as priority checks. The best are welfare checks but thats got to be another blog somewhere.

  13. The kids who are protesting against their parents being deported aren’t smiling so clearly they’re being forced into marching and don’t actually care.

  14. I tutor a 10 year old boy who can’t sleep at night because he is terrified that his parents will be arrested. He got this from TV, not from his parents. People forget how smart and perceptive kids are.

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