About 7,000 marchers participated in today’s May First rally, according to a new Tucson police estimate.
The demonstrators made their way from South Tucson to downtown’s Armory Park this morning for a May First rally.
The crowd filled the width of South Sixth Avenue and the procession stretched several blocks. Dozens of other people were waiting along the sidewalks waiting to join the march.
Several carried signs critical of Arizona’s new immigration law and many shouted, “Sí se puede,” a familiar chant among immigrant rights supporters which loosely translates to “It can be done.”
Many of the signs targeted Gov. Jan Brewer, one reading “Stop the furor.” One person dressed like Brewer was surrounded by dancers wearing shirts that read ICE, a reference to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They danced to the 1990 Vanilla Ice rap song, “Ice Ice Baby,” and occasionally ran into the crowd asking for ID while the Brewer character pulled her pants down to show pink underwear with the name of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on them.
No demonstrators were arrested, Tucson police said.
Some signs supported a boycott of Arizona and replaced the letter z with the Nazi swastika.
The linking of Brewer to a Nazi was also seen in a march in Dallas. There, about a dozen people were carrying signs depicting Brewer as a Nazi and Arpaio as a Klansman.
The Texas signs showed Brewer in a Nazi uniform with her arm extended in a Nazi salute. Arpaio, who has developed a national reputation for his tough illegal immigration stance, was depicted wearing a white hood and holding a noose.
Organizers of the Dallas march, which was expected to draw up to 100,000 people, were asking sign holders to discard the placards.
Meanwhile, about 30 people from the group Arizonans For Immigration Control stood in the street near the Tucson Children’s Museum to show their support of new law and Brewer. There were half as many there for the counter protest by the time the marchers arrived at the park shortly after 11 a.m.
Several police officers were visible along the march as well as around Armory Park.
The May First Coalition march and rally is one of several similar events planned across the country. Organizers said this week the hoped the national attention focused on Arizona’s passage of a tough immigration law swelled the number of participants.