The MassHope Vigil has had a great impact on my life. It has taught me that if solidarity anddetermination exist, there is always hope no matter how great the struggle is. One of the most prolificdays of the Vigil was Friday it’s fifth day . It all started out with an amazing press conference atnoon. What made the press conference amazing were the people who came. Approximately sixtycommunity leaders sat in front of the state house to show their support to the immigrant community.All of the people present cam from different backgrounds, , some were religious leaders , some wereunion leaders,others represented different immigrant rights organizations but they all have one thingin common. All of them have the same goals, they fight for justice and equality . Seeing everyonethere made me feel very hopeful and empowered. The message that we sent to the press and toour elected officials was loud and clear, “Same struggle, Same Fight”.The concepts of equality andjustice do not discriminate against color, creed, ethnicity, or immigration status, they propose thatall human beings have the same rights. Time and again different groups have been discriminatedin our country , yet our politicians choose the ignore the lessons that history hands to them. . OnFriday we let our politicians know that we are going to fight ,and that we are not going to let thesexenophobic,racist ,and intolerant amendments turn Massachusetts into a hate state.
After the press conference everyone split up into groups and we all went lobbying inside the statehouse . Of course the representatives and senators themselves were not to be found but we managed totalk to their staff. Our responses were mixed, some aides really seemed interested and concerned whileothers just listened politely. One aide in particular blatantly told us that his boss (Senator Badour)supported the anti immigrant amendments and had actually proposed some of them. Indifferent of theirresponse it is clear that the staff will remember us for a long time. I personally told my story at everyoffice I wanted to ,to make sure that the politicians understood that they were hurting human beingsOne of the groups actually made the aides pray with them. Overall we overwhelmed them with ourdetermination and solidarity. There was one particular lobbying session that I thought really left itsmark on our audience. We were in the office of the Senate President , when Alan who is a member ofSIM was telling his story. His story was powerful and full of, sorrow ,I felt that it really affectedthe staff and motivated the people in the room. Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part but as wewere leaving I thought I could see tears in the eyes of one of the staff. As we were walking out of heroffice , another group of lobbyists of about thirty people people walked in. It was a really impressivesight to see so many people fight for the same cause. The lobbying showed just how much power thepeople of Massachusetts have. Our elected officials have to listen to us and if we continue to tell ourstories then we can make them understand just how outrageous these amendments are. In the end it allboils down to the words that were immortalized by Cesar Chavez , “Si se puede” (Yes we can).If weremain united in our cause we can succeed in the removal of the anti immigrant amendments.