Thousands of people gathered at La Placita Olvera in downtown L.A. on September 5 to protest President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The protest began around 5 p.m. with people chanting "Immigrants are welcome here!" and "We shall not go backward we shall go forward." The official program with speakers began at 5:30 p.m. and the march started around 6 p.m. on Alameda Street.
Vania Agama, 21, was one of the first people to arrive at the protest. Agama is a DACA recipient and currently attends UC Irvine. She woke up Tuesday morning to drop her brother off at school when she read that the Trump administration announced it will end DACA. "I was disappointed [but] it wasn't unexpected," Agama said. It was the second protest she attended that same day. "I want Donald Trump to see we are not going to go away. We are going to continue showing our voices and resilience."
Another young woman under the DACA program (who asked to remain anonymous) said it was her first protest ever. She came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 5 but she didn't tell any of her friends until senior year of high school. "It became real when I was applying to colleges," she said. But now she says "I'm finding out that I'm not the only one, and I want people to get informed."
Jose Serrano showed up with his friend holding a sign that read "Never Stop Dreaming..." with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s face on it. Serrano was previously undocumented for about 18 years and just recently became a citizen. He said that Trump's decision is "almost like lawful displacement. It's persecution amongst a certain group of people because of their status."
"We are going to continue to strive for a better future," he said.