Protesters in Decatur to march on Hammon

DECATUR, Ala. (WAAY and Decatur Daily) - Organizers expect a crowd of a couple hundred in Decatur today at a rally against Alabama’s illegal immigration law.

Protesters will gather starting at 5 p.m. at La Guerrerense Mexican Store in Decatur Shopping Center on Sixth Avenue and march about a mile to the office of state Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, at 2128 Sixth Ave. S.E.

The chief organizer of the rally is Rosa Calderon of the Athens-based immigrants-rights advocacy group All Races United. She said the rally will single out Hammon because he sponsored the illegal-immigration law with Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale.

“He (Hammon) said there’s a big illegal immigration problem in Decatur,” Calderon said. “Well, we’re going to show him that problem.”

Hammon did not return calls for comment Friday.

Calderon said All Races United is a volunteer organization with six members and was established in October. She said the organization’s goal is to educate the general population about immigration law.

Calderon said Hammon doesn’t see a difference between undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants. “He puts everyone in one category,” she said. “There are good and bad people in any population.”

Hammon has said previously that his intention “was to make it difficult for illegal immigrants to live and work in Alabama.”

Holding the rally on May 5 — Cinco de Mayo — has significance, Calderon said.

“We’re here to take back our holiday,” Calderon said. “In America, Cinco de Mayo has become, ‘Let’s go drink a margarita and eat Mexican food.’

“But most people don’t know its true meaning.”

La Guerrerense owner Martin Perez said through a translator that he supports the march and allowed the protesters to use his parking lot as a gathering place because the laws are personally affecting his business by driving Hispanic families away from the area. He said he believes the laws target people who are hard workers and are trying to provide for their families.

Calderon said the rally will be peaceful. She has a permit for the demonstration from City Hall.

“There will be officers there for traffic safety,” Lt. John Crouch of Decatur police said.

source: Protesters in Decatur to march on Hammon - Huntsville, Alabama Television - News Weather Sports