Skip to comments.Fort Worth students take protest downtown (Texas)
Posted on 03/28/2006 11:50:26 AM PST by Dubya
About 150 Polytechnic High Schools students marched away from campus early Tuesday to protest proposed federal immigration legislation, and scores of students on other campuses in Tarrant County soon followed.
The Polytechnic students said school officials told them it would be OK for them to demonstrate before classes Tuesday morning around the perimeter of the campus, located in southeast Fort Worth.
The demonstration began about 7:45 a.m., with students chanting "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido or "the people united will never be defeated.
The crowd of students started onto Vickery Boulevard and moved west toward downtown, reaching Interstate 35 at about 9:15 a.m.
"The kids are too energized, said Reyna Martinez, 17, a junior who helped organize the protest. "A lot of us made it across the border, so were going to make it across the bridge.
Reports of similar walkouts in Fort Worth surfaced at around 11 a.m., but not all of them were immediately confirmed. However, similar protests were occurring in Dallas, Arlington and Irving. A student demonstration Monday in Dallas made national headlines.
Glynna Torres, principal at South Hills High School, said students started leaving her campus around 10:45 a.m.
"What Im hearing is that kids in the high schools are text messaging one another and (they) are walking out at the same time, Torres said.
She added that school district officials told principals that there would be walkouts on Tuesday, and advised them how to handle them.
"Its a peaceful demonstration and were not going to confront the students, Torres said. "Its an unexcused absence from school, if they come back to class, and thats about it.
In Arlington, hundreds of students also walked out of public high schools to protest the immigration bill that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally, school officials said.
Students from Arlington, Bowie, Sam Houston and Martin high schools walked out of their classrooms at various times this morning.
Arlington police were working to control the crowds and keep the students safe as they marched. Officers blocked traffic on major streets, such as Cooper, so protesters could cross safely, police said.
There was no police estimate immediately available as to the size of the protest.
At Sam Houston, students apparently were handing out fliers encouraging others to join the walk out, school officials said, adding that students who protested and did not return to school will be given an unexcused absence.
At 11:30 a.m., a group of about 400 students, mostly from Sam Houston High School and Carter and Hutchison junior highs, had congregated at Arlington High Schools football field. They walked out of class about 9:20 a.m.
Police and school officials were working to get the students onto buses to be taken back to class, police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said.
Police had put detectives and sergeants from investigations units on alert and had them change into their uniforms in case they were needed for emergency crowd control, Gilfour said. City crews were also alerted they might be needed. But there had been no reports of any crime or fights, Gilfour said.
"They are very peaceful," Gilfour said. "The most important thing was that we were able to get a handle on this early on."
The Polytechnic protesters were marching around City Hall at about 9:45 a.m.
The group was escorted by police and school administrators as it moved west. Some students said they had permission from their parents to participate in the demonstration.
Some of them said suspension from school "isnt as bad as being deported.
At about 10 a.m., Martinez stopped marching, spoke briefly with two police officers and then gathered fellow students around her. She announced that they had made their point and it was time to go back to school.
"You guys, this is good enough, she yelled. "We dont want to turn this into a riot or anything stupid.
"Guys, now we have to prove to them that were smart enough and willing to accept a good education to become better people, to support our people.
Martinez shook hands with the officers and with her fellow protesters, reversed course and orderly headed away from City Hall. Three school buses were pulled up to drive the students back to school, and a few of them got on board.
Most of them, however, chose to walk.
"I figure if were good enough to walk up here, were good enough to walk back to get our educations, Martinez said.
By late morning, a group of Polytechnic and Paschal students headed to Trimble Tech, where they gathered. Students flowed out of the school, four to five at a time, through the front exits. As the students exited, the group filled the street in front of the school.
Police cordoned off much of the road leading to the school.
The group, estimated at about 500, crossed Pennsylvania Avenue heading east, and then headed north on Hemphill Street. A smaller group of about 200 students walked behind them with a Mexican flag. Fort Worth officers rode slowly behind and beside them in police cruisers.
Im not sure what were going to do. I think were heading downtown, said Adrian Villanueva, a ninth-grader at Polytechnic.
Driving behind the groups were several cars with students inside. About ten students were seen riding in the back of a Chevrolet pickup truck.
Fifteen others were riding in the back of a Ford pickup behind the protestors. A police officer pulled that truck over and told the kids to get out, but did not issue a citation.
Shirley Jinkins, Mark Agee and Bill Miller contributed to this report
Those students need to keep on marching, to home or Hell, whichever is closer.
Notice how undernourished they all look?
(Is it my imagination, or is there a complete absence amongst the protestors of Mexicans of European descent?)
I can't tell. When I drove past them I had put my car flag in the trunk. I pulled over and displayed on my car again. Its still displayed on my car. They wanted to start trouble but a couple of cops were their.
What I want to know is...just who 'our people?'
I would like to know that also.
Maybe they are referring to Americas Politicians.
I was going to complain but I think I'll leave it for others to see.
Looks like he was repressed by the Man yet again.
Who just got Zotted?
Personally I wish the mod squad had left it so he could clearly display the fine quality of the illegal immigrants we can get.
It looks like the mod thought that the personal insults weren't a good way to debate. Who'd a thought? /sarc
Yo quiero ZOT?
I thought it was kinda funny listening to the pro illegal supporter on the TV telling us what fine citizens they are while a pro illegal troll threatened to have sex with me.
Well, at least FR is an amnesty-free zone for vulgar illegals.
LOL! Usually I use multiple windows to try and catch their ravings. Missed that one, though. What was the cat chow saying?
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