Thousands of people fill the streets of Phoenix on Saturday, marching on the state Capitol to protest Arizona’s new immigration law.
An estimated 50,000 Thousands of people walked five miles through the streets and heat of Phoenix on Saturday in protest of Arizona’s new immigration law, which is slated to take effect July 29.
A considerably smaller crowd gathered later in a nearby stadium in support of the bill, where speakers ridiculed any suggestion that the crowd was motivated by racism. —JCL
Update: According to the Arizona Republic, which did a little police band eavesdropping, the march was anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 people strong.
The New York Times:
Two sides of the immigration debate converged here Saturday: a throng of several thousand marching for five miles opposed to Arizona’s new immigration law, and several thousand nearly filling a nearby stadium in the evening in support of it.
Organizers said the timing was coincidental, with both sides taking advantage of a holiday weekend to bring out the masses. But the gatherings encapsulated in a single day the passions surrounding the national immigration debate, recharged by the new law, which will expand the state’s role in immigration enforcement.
Both demonstrations made a point of waving a large number of American flags and issuing pleas for a national overhaul of immigration law, but they offered a jarring study in how polarized the debate has become here.