Marches, Rallies, and Demonstrations – What’s the Difference? Free the People Immigration March in Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

Today was the second time I’ve marched in my “greater” City of the Angels, Los Angeles, CA. I am a third-generation Angelino, and my children are fourth.  So even though we are primarily from the San Gabriel Valley, we definitely feel that the greater Los Angeles area is our home. It was a march put together mostly on Facebook, and the official title was “Free the People Immigration March | Sanctuary for All”.  The march was from Pershing Square downtown to City Hall.

Free the People Immigration March | Sanctuary for All

Free the People Immigration March | Sanctuary for All

It was a bit of a rainy day after a huge storm that passed through the day before, but people were prepared, many wearing rain gear and putting plastic wrap over their signs so the ink wouldn’t run if it rained.

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

I’ve been learning about “marches”, “rallies”, and “demonstrations”. It seems to me that marches are the most “official” type of physical activism. The organizers apply for and receive permits, and have porta-potties and some local police patrolling. The marches I’ve participated in have all had rallies at the beginning and/or end of the route. The rallies were basically speakers bringing the crowd’s focus on the issue(s) at hand, educating, and propagating their viewpoints. Music is often a part of the rallies. Demonstrations are more loosely pulled together and can involve participating in civil disobedience or disruption that can lead to arrest.  It’s helpful to know these distinctions, especially when processing news or editorials in the press or deciding which type of events or action we are able to be involved with.

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

Can a human being be “illegal”? I don’t think so! A person may not have the documentation that a particular system at a particular point in history would like to require – but ALL humans are God’s children  and are worthy of love, respect and dignity. I think it’s imperative during these times to remember what Jesus said about giving a cup of water to the least of these

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

For those of the Christian faith, one of the tenets is that Christ came from God and became incarnate as a man in order to identify with all of us. One could say he was/is the ultimate immigrant! In fact, that’s what this person below did say on their sign!

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

One person offered free hugs:

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

And whole families marched, with the littlest girl sweetly saying that the only “I.C.E.” she wants is ice cream!

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

And there WERE Pink Hats at the march too:

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

It seemed only right to have lunch from a street cart, which have been the subject of an ongoing effort for decriminalization in Los Angeles for some time.

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

All-in-all it was a great day in L.A.. I hope the many voices will continue to be heard, and that those in power will be influenced to act on the side of justice for ALL. Or as the engraving on Los Angeles City Hall says, “Let us have faith that right makes might” – a quote from Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday we mark this Presidents’ Day!

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA - 2.18.17

Free the People Immigration March, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, CA – 2.18.17

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