Arkansas Hispanic Groups Gearing Up for May 1 Rallies

APRIL 26, 2006 - Posted at 8:01 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Demonstrations in favor of giving illegal

immigrants a chance at legal status are scheduled in De Queen,

Little Rock and Springdale next Monday. They come three weeks after

rallies in those cities attracted thousands of people.

But organizers in Arkansas say they won't support calls by

national groups for immigrants to show their economic power by not

working or shopping on that day. Margarita Solorzano, one of the

organizers of the Springdale event, said that group was neither

supporting nor opposing a boycott.

Another organizer of the Springdale event, Alejandro Aviles,

said anyone who chooses not to go to work should ask permission in

advance. That message was echoed by Springdale-based Tyson Foods, a

meat company that employs many Hispanics. The company said it was

not encouraging workers to participate in the rallies, and was

asking workers not to take any unauthorized time off.

A coalition planning a rally in Little Rock also isn't

encouraging a boycott. Neil Sealy, head organizer with ACORN, a

community activist group involved in planning the demonstration,

said protesters plan to march through downtown Little Rock and

rally at the state Capitol. Sealy said the group is encouraging

people to ask their employers for time off to attend the three p-m


(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)