Anti Amnesty Rally & Counter Demonstration 11-14-2009

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In all the political events that I have ever photographed, I think it is safe to say that an event that focuses on the subject of immigration and amnesty brings out a lot of passion from both sides of the debate.

On Saturday November 14th, 2009, a group of local activists from ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee) and other organizations convened on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building. As the event was about to get started, a nervous activist near me said, “They are on the wrong side.” He was looking at a group of people on the other side of the street & was contemplating if they were counter protesters or not. The group on the other side of the street supported a lenient immigration policy while the side of the street I stood on consisted of citizens supporting stricter immigration policy such as enforcing immigration laws presently on the books.

When the group of people representing lax immigration policy picked up their signs and their bullhorn, the reaction on the conservative side was mixed. Some people thought that the whole event was starting to look silly and foolish with the yelling back and forth, while others took the bait and yelled back.

The liberal activists yelled phrases like, “No minute men, no KKK no fascist USA!” When the conservatives heard that, one guy near me mused, “Did I miss a burning cross somewhere?” The point being that no one said anything about racism in one sense or another. They also yelled, “This is Mexico, another piece of land you stole!” The conservative philosophy is basically about enforcing current law and keeping people who should not be in the country out of the U.S.

One conservative activist had to cover her ears because she could not stand to hear the babbling from the guy with the bullhorn on the other side of the street. She was not sure how to describe her frustration. I asked her, “Is it as if he forgot to take his ADD medication?” she laughed and agreed with my impression.

Here are photographs from the event.

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