“Protesters to Huddled Masses—Get Out!” : Village Voice

Immigrants rally, counterprotesters react, and Al Jazeera takes it all in

December 18th, 2007

by Maria Luisa Tucker

A group of six men and one woman—some in camouflage ponchos— gathered Thursday night outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement processing center on Varick Street. Despite the freezing rain, they smiled as they carried several American flags and got their whistles ready for action. They are among the city’s few but vocal anti-immigration activists, and they were giddy at the opportunity to disrupt a pro-immigrant candlelight vigil that was about to begin.

There was only one moment when the event organizers actually acknowledged their rivals: The vigil ended with a prayer for the counterprotesters. But the flag-bearing, camo-wearing group was so busy shouting they did not notice that they had just been blessed.

Just a few feet down the sidewalk, priests, rabbis, and sheikhs passed out candles to their flock of about 50 immigrants, advocates, and faithful. Then, when all the candles were lit, the show began.

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine,” the crowd of about 50 candle-holders sang.

“Illegals go home! Get the fuck out of my country!” the camo-wearers responded. “They should take their light back to their home countries,” quipped Joanna Marzullo, the president and founder of New Yorkers for Immigration Control Enforcement (NY ICE).  Read more…

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