Social Movements and Contentious Politics

  • David S. Meyer
  • Daisy Verduzco Reyes
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

On May 1, 2006 immigration rights activists staged rallies across the United States. Immigrants and their supporters spilled out into the streets of most major American cities, reacting against a bill under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. The so-called “Sensenbrenner Bill” (H.R. 4437) proposed austere immigration policies, including the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.—Mexico border and the detention and criminalization of undocumented immigrants. In Los Angeles, the “March 25 Coalition,” comprised of more than 100 political and immigrant rights organizations, planned a demonstration which brought an estimated one million people to the streets (Archibold 2006; March 25 Coalition). Protesters wore white t-shirts, and carried signs that read: “Si Se Puede/Yes We Can,” “We are America,” “We are not Criminals,” and “We have a dream too.” Some carried American flags. Organizers also announced a boycott, with the intent of demonstrating the consumer and labor power of immigrants and their supporters through a “day without immigrants” ( 2006).


Social Movement Ethnic Identity Collective Identity Undocumented Immigrant Political Opportunity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Meyer
    • 1
  • Daisy Verduzco Reyes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California- IrvineIrvineUSA

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