Our VoiceImmigration

Sparse weekend protests signal yet another failure for anti-immigrant movement


Imagine 2050 Staff • Oct 28, 2014
Protesters at an Oct. 25 event in Arnold, Missouri. (via Facebook)
Protesters at an Oct. 25 event in Arnold, Missouri. (via Facebook)

Last week at Imagine 2050, we previewed a series a protests organized by the National Illegal Immigration Protest Coalition (NIIPC) scheduled to occur throughout the country on October 24-25. NIIPC members include Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), Overpasses for America, NumbersUSA, The Remembrance Project, and many state-level affiliates of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Screen shot 2014-10-28 at 10.36.50 AMWe expected the protests to be underwhelming and plagued by poor attendance. After looking over reports and photos from the weekend, our predictions were largely correct.

It should be noted that we weren’t the only ones underwhelmed by the protests’ size and scale. Those participating in the events lamented their failures as well.

For example, here’s one protester’s take after attending a scheduled protest in Fort Collins, Colorado: “I am starting to move to a new home, as of today, so my day is better spent taking care of myself, rather than standing on a bridge alone.” The man published a picture of himself standing alone on the overpass, stating: “my graphic representation of America in decline.”

Yes, only one man opted to participate in the weekend’s anti-immigrant protest in Colorado’s fourth largest city (estimated population of 152,061 according to the U.S. Census Bureau). Fort Collins is the largest city in a county that, according to records made available by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, has 66,544 “active” and another 8,711 “inactive” registered Republican voters as of Sept. 1 this year.

Even when not accounting for the “inactive” voters on the rolls, that is a turnout rate of 0.0015% among registered Republicans, one of the presumed targets of the weekend’s protests.

Based on social media posts by protesters and other media outlets, the Fort Collins resident was not the only one expecting a full day of anti-immigrant protesting only to arrive at an announced site and be left to his own devices.

On the Facebook page announcing an NIIPC protest in Charlotte, North Carolina, a man noted that he arrived at a scheduled protest location about two hours before the demonstration’s announced end time to find no one there. In Denver, Colorado, another man noted on Facebook that there was no protest occurring 30 minutes after the announced start time Saturday.

Other notes from last weekend’s protests include:

  • A mere two individuals were observed protesting on a roadside in New Orleans, Louisiana (estimated population: 378,715).
  • Six individuals were observed demonstrating on a highway overpass outside of Atlanta, Georgia (estimated population: 447,841).
  • Five people were also observed attending a scheduled protest in downtown Dallas, Texas (estimated population: 1,257,676). One of whom carried a sign reading, “Warning: Illegal Immigration Aborts a Nation.”
  • In Jerome, Idaho, a small gathering of anti-immigrant protesters left as soon as a counter protest organized by nearly thirty immigration advocates began, according to local news outlet KMVT.
  • In Arnold, Missouri, fewer than five protesters waved NumbersUSA signs alongside another sign maligning Muslims. “Honk if you love bacon & you oppose Sharia law!!!” the sign reads.

For more photos and evidence of protests (or lack thereof) from last weekend see this interactive map maintained by Imagine 2050 staff.

In other locations some protesters wore masks and/or orange protective suits — seemingly mocking the ongoing Ebola crisis in Africa. NIIPC organizers announced in an Oct. 20 press release that protestors would be stooping to such lows as a last-ditch effort to stoke fear and mobilize its base.

It didn’t seem to work.

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