David W. Oliveira/Standard-Times special About 150 to 200 people attended an anti-illegal immigrant rally Saturday at the Days Inn in New Bedford organized by conservative radio talk show host Ken Pittman.
By Aaron Nicodemus
Standard-Times staff writer
May 27, 2007 6:00 AM
NEW BEDFORD - The rally against illegal immigration held Saturday was a star-spangled affair. The rally's main speakers wore American flag ties and many in the audience had American flags on their shirts. Songs such as "Born in the USA," "Coming to America" and "Proud to be an American" played to a montage of photos of immigrants coming to the country - legally - at the turn of the century.
Billed as the counterbalance to pro-immigration news coverage and politicians in the aftermath of the raid on Michael Bianco Inc., the "America First Rally" drew 150 to 200 people to a conference room in the Days Inn.
The rally's message was simple and straightforward: Illegal immigration is not acceptable. Organizers and speakers all asked that those in attendance start calling their representatives to convey that message, and start looking for candidates to take that message to heart.
"If they do define this (rally) as anti-immigrant, it's out of ignorance," organizer Ken Pittman, a radio talk show host on WBSM-AM, told the crowd. "If you meet a legal immigrant, you should thank them for coming in the right way. We're not against immigrants, we're against illegal immigration."
The rally had none of the "send them all back home" rhetoric that has dominated talk radio airwaves since 361 illegal immigrants were arrested at the Bianco factory on March 6. There was a lot of talk, however, about throwing Washington politicians out of office for being out of step with the American public on this issue.
Saturday's rally also was a platform for conservative Republican candidates to test their messages to a friendly audience. Jeff Beatty of Harwich, a former Delta Force soldier and FBI agent who is planning a campaign against Sen. John F. Kerry, told the audience they should demand that every politician pledge to enforce the laws of the country and fight illegal immigration.
"We have the force of being right, and we have numbers," he told the crowd.
A taped speech of Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, a representative from Colorado, also was played to much applause, which was especially loud when he called for English to be made the official language of the country.
Full Story: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070527/NEWS/705270336
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