Slide show: Mayan group leads protest, march after president’s delay on deportation action

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Photos by Danika Worthington

More than 50 members of Consejo del Pueblo Maya, or “Counsel of Mayan People,” marched downtown Friday showing their outrage at President Barack Obama for delaying deportation changes, which the president announced Thursday.

The protesters started at Seventh and McKinley streets Friday evening, circled to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement building on Central Avenue just south of Encanto Boulevard and then finished at the federal building on First Avenue between Monroe and Van Buren streets, a total of roughly 4 ½ miles.

Obama announced plans to delay deportation changes Thursday because of multiple tight races involving Democrats across the nation.

“(We’re protesting) to let President Obama know that we’re not happy that he’s basically utilizing our people as political pawns and at the same time promising something that he never comes through,” said Salvador Rezas, an organizer with the group CPO Maya. “So we’re unifying our voices with all the demonstrations, but with our particular voice, which is from the indigenous perspective.”

Rezas said Obama’s promise of deferred action to a few will not help the 11,000-12,000 people here “irregularly.”

Consejo del Pueblo is the larger organization while CPO Maya consists of 10 indigenous family groups who meet in the Valley and address social issues facing Native Americans, Reza said.

The protest also aligned with the 44th anniversary of a Chicano Moratorium march protesting social inequality in East Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 1970, that had 20,000 to 30,000 protesters, Reza said.

Contact the photographer at ddworth1@asu.edu

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