Voice of the People USA held a rally on May 1, 2008 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania - the heart of the small town fight against illegal immigration - to counter the protests being held across the country by supporters of illegal immigration.
Ruth of Illegal protest and I drove the two hours there to cover the event.
Weather, Setting and Timing
Setting the stage
It was a cloudy day and the forecast called for rain, so for the past few days we were crossing our fingers. We were in luck! There was very little rain, just a sprinkling on the drive up and during the event. The rally was held at the Hazle Township Community Park, a nicely maintained park right on a small lake just outside the downtown area. The air was crisp and it was cool out, probably near 50-55 or so and seemed to be 10 degrees cooler at the park than in the city itself (probably because of the lake).
The turnout was on the low side as it was being held on a Thursday afternoon from 6:00PM-7:30PM. Estimates range from 30-40. Voice of the People are also holding a rally this Sunday in Wilkes-Barre, so check their site for further information.
Joe Perez of You Don't Speak For Me supports Lou Barletta, Mayor of Hazleton and currently running for congress.
Overall Take On Speeches
The overall feeling I got from the event was one of good vibes. The speakers did a good job and covered relevant topics. The only comment I would make on the speeches that I found a little "off" were the comments on local talk show hosts that others in the nation probably could care less about, but they did get laughs from the local audience.
Kicking things off with who we're fighting for - the children
All of the speeches are posted below at the end of this entry, but here is a summation of the speakers and the points made in their speeches.
of Voice of the People USA
kicked events off and did a great job emceeing the event throughout. He came up with relevant comments after each speaker. He did misstate a few numbers though that I noticed (i.e. at one point confusing 600,000 fugitive illegal aliens with 600 million... lord help us all if it ever gets that bad!). He did a great job though and anybody could have made those mistakes.
of the group You Don't Speak For Me
- Americans of Hispanic decent against illegal immigration. I've seen Carmen speak before and she was fairly mellow in this speech. Great information as always. As I watched her though I was waiting for her to finally open both barrels and unload in frustration at what is happening to our country. Alas that never occurred. It probably had to do with it being mid-week and them having to drive so far. Still a great speech as always from Carmen.
(I probably spelled it wrong, sorry Dave!) representing Chris Hackett
who is running in the 10th Pa District near Hazleton. Dave read a statement Chris wrote for the event as he could not make it there in person.
, Executive Secretary of Voice of the People USA
, broke the crowd up in laughter as she went after local personalities that are pushing illegal immigration. No holds barred from this one.
Umm, me, Dan Amato
. I'll let you judge for yourself.
of Illegal Protest
. Ruth really did express the frustrations of the average American in this speech. I can see millions of Americans yelling the same thing at their TV's or expressing their outrage when they see a politician giving them lip service on illegal immigration. "How dare they!" indeed!
a local resident who stood up for his community and the working man. The loss of jobs, the unemployment in Hazleton and the 50% increase in population to the area due to illegal immigration are all frustrations and outrages that Hazleton residents have to live with. A great job by Ed.
(I'm sure I misspelled his name as well, sorry Jack!) Another local resident who wanted to stand up and speak his mind. He focuses on the absolutely wrongness of illegal immigration and the lack of security of our borders during a time of war all the while our government is helping Mexico secure their southern border.
, founder of Voice of the People USA
. It's hard to sum up Dan's speech as he covered so many topics as he always does. His main points seemed to boil down to freedom of speech and how people are trying to silence Americans and groups like Voice of the people USA.
Intro and Pledge - Frank Scavo
Carmen Morales Speech
Dave Medarra Speech
Renee Butts Speech
On Rep Paul Kanjorski - Frank Scavo
Dan Amato Speech
Ruth Miller Speech
Ed Medashefski Speech
Clinton, Obama, McCain - COMA - Frank Scavo
Jack Marcazi Speech
Dan Smeriglio Speech in 3 Parts
Closing Remarks and a call to Rep Kanjorski in DC