Numbers Down, But May Day Rally Marches On

Numbers were down drastically at this year's May Day March for immigration reform.

Only about 2,000 people showed up for the Chicago rally, down from the estimated 150,000 that took part in 2007. Organizers mostly blame the swine flu scare, but said the hope for change from Obama and fear of leaving work in this economy are other reasons. Organizers also claim city urged them to cancel.

Waukegan resident Armando Pena said he was disappointed more people didn't turn out and blamed the low numbers on a  combination of the flu and tough economic times.

"The economy is so bad they don't want to lose their jobs," said Pena, who organized a contingent of about 50 people.

Protesters began arriving at Federal Plaza shortly after 1 p.m. after making their way from Union Park through the Loop. The confluence of events that kept many away from this year's rally revealed the core of the immigration movement -- labor unions, churches and student groups, the Trib reported.

The CTA is rerouted buses around the rally and there were rolling street closures for the protest.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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