At Dallas Mega March, Thousands Rally Downtown For Immigration Reform, Peace | KERA News

At Dallas Mega March, Thousands Rally Downtown For Immigration Reform, Peace

Apr 9, 2017

A sea of people wearing red, white and blue marched from the Cathedral of Guadalupe downtown to Dallas City Hall on a warm and windy Sunday afternoon, calling for immigration reform and religious and racial equality.

Participants in the Dallas Mega March protested developments since the election of President Donald Trump — specifically, recent deportation efforts, executive orders banning travelers from Muslim-majority nations, as well as hate crimes and hate speech. Religious leaders, activists, community organizers and citizens across North Texas aimed to “send a message that hate has no place in our nation.”

It has been more than a decade since Dallas’ last Mega March. In 2006, an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 marchers walked the 1.3 miles for four hours, according to the event’s website. Sunday's crowd was noticeably smaller.


Sunday also marked the 49th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was buried. King’s son, Martin Luther King, III, was one of dozens of guest speakers at the Mega March, along with state representatives, Dallas school board members and religious leaders.


King’s legacy influenced the mission of the march. Organizers write on the event’s website: “Let's help our community to know the truth of Martin Luther King Jr’s words, 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.'"


Scenes from the march

Jennifer Santos, 15, tells KERA's Bill Zeeble that she fears a border wall will separate more families who are in the U.S. to work hard and building a life.

Map: The route for the Mega March

The route for the march stretched just over a mile.


Before the march, organizers urged participants not to bring other flags (American flags will be provided), negative posters or firearms. Demonstrators were also asked not to use profanity, mention President Trump or start arguments with opposing protesters in order to keep the peace.

"We expect to have a very safe and uneventful march. In 2006, half-a-million people attended. There were no arrests, not one incident and we plan to repeat that,” organizer Domingo Garcia told WFAA ahead of the event.

Hundreds of Dallas police officers, trained volunteers and hired off-duty security officers helped control the crowd.

Organizers also assured participants that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not be in attendance at the march. In recent weeks, ICE has arrested undocumented immigrants in raids across Texas.

For more event information, visit the Mega March website.