Immigrant Rallies Born on Air

From St. Petersburg Times, April 13, 2006 (via Free Press News)

By JOSE CARDENAS and ERIC DEGGANS
Published April 12, 2006

"FORT MYERS – With immigration protests spreading around the country, Hispanic leaders in Fort Myers decided it was time for them to get involved.

They sought help from a key link to the Hispanic community: Spanish-language radio station WWCL-1440 AM, known as Ke Buena.

For days, disc jockey Rosy Arciga implored Central Florida immigrant workers to show up Monday at a flea market on Ortiz Avenue.

The station's efforts helped turn out a pro-immigrant rally estimated at 75,000 men, women and children, the largest such gathering in Florida.

'Without radio it would not have been possible,' said Jose Rodriguez, secretary of Immigrantes Latinos Unidos de La Florida, an organizer of the event.

As the immigration debate has heated up in Congress and around the country, Spanish-language radio stations have been instrumental in informing immigrants about current events and directing them to rallies and marches.

Melissa Gonzalez, one of the founding members of the group that organized Tampa's rally Monday, Immigrants United for Freedom , credited coverage on area Spanish-language radio and TV stations for about half of the estimated 3,000 people who showed up for the rally."

Read the rest of the article here.

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