Immigration Voice

Immigration Voice (https://archive.immigrationvoice.org/forum/index.php)
-   Sept 18th Rally: Car-pooling, Group Reservations for Air travel, hotel etc. (https://archive.immigrationvoice.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=90)
-   -   Rally Memories - part 1 : WHO MET WHO ? HOW DID YOU FEEL (https://archive.immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=13558)

gsc999 09-19-2007 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by authrd (Post 169620)
I am a new member on IV. Haven't contributed, haven't send flowers or thank you cards, haven't volunteered for anything. In fact, I had not even heard of IV up until a month or so back.

However, as I read about the IV efforts in response to the July fiasco, I realised there are a lot of people out here on IV who are doing a tremendous amount of work, work that affects me as an individual positively.

At the last minute, I decided to drive down from NJ. My wife has never ever been on any immigration forum. But she was all for it. We thought it would be too late to get on the NJ bus and drove down.

ME AND MY WIFE ARE VERY PROUD OF IV AND EVERYONE ELSE THAT MADE IT TO DC. IT WAS WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!!!!

For the first time in my life, I have stood up for anything. I am from India and I hate to say it but for far too long, most Indians I know have been shy/meek/lazy about standing up for what we believe in.

Hats off to all the IV volunteers, people who came in and worked over the weekend, people especially who flew into DC, people who came with their kids!!!

PS: Disappointed in my fellow East Coast ppl for no turning up in more numbers

----
Thanks for making my day. Post like this is what makes our volunteer work so satisfying.

vandanaverdia 09-19-2007 09:43 PM

Putting faces & names to IV handles....
 
Coming to DC will be a memory most of us will cherish... and for a really long time...

Whether it was working late or eating dinner at 3 am or running to meetings, it was an enriching experience for all IV members. And it makes us proud that we stood up & made our presence felt & voices heard...

We all knew each other by IV handles... but meeting in DC put names & faces to those handles...
Meeting each & everyone was amazing and even more satisfying was that people came from different states & with families & kids...

A li'l disappointed with the locals who didn't turn up though.... and more so with those who walked on the other side of the road from all of us....

thescadaman 09-19-2007 11:20 PM

Houston, TX to DC - My Experience
 
It was a memorable trip indeed! 3 weeks before, I thought Houston to DC was a long shot. I kept reading the IV forums and saw the energy built up. Then I decided, I should definitely do something from my part even if I don’t attend the Rally. I said to myself, enough, I am going to announce in the Texas thread that I am willing to volunteer for the publicity work in Houston during the long weekend. That’s when I got a chance to talk to Texanmom. We had a conversation for about 40 minutes and once I finishing talking to her over the phone my position changed from “‘No way” to let me try to convince my friends and if I have company, I will go. I can always talk to my Boss later about taking a day off. Once I decided that, I kept calling all my friends in Houston. Sadly, I could not motivate people to buy tickets and fly with me to DC. My wife, then told me, if you want to go, you should go, don’t wait for your friends.

I am glad, I took that decision. The whole trip to DC was very memorable indeed. There were 3 of us in the same flight jayram123, Texanmom and myself. We had a volunteer (IV handle ?? – if you are reading this please tell me your IV Handle!), who picked us up and we all stayed in a hotel. Thanks for all your hospitality! We left very early and reached the location by 7:15 in the morning. It felt good to work with everyone and make the necessary preparation before the crowd started pouring in.

Early in the morning, GSC999 gave us a quick announcement session telling us what we need to do as volunteers and what was the plan. GSC999 - you energy was contagious. I was all ready and excited once I heard you talking about our plan for the day.

On of my best moment of the trip was handing out water bottles to all the participants who were standing besides the road showing their banners. This happened just before the actual Rally began. It was a nice feeling making all the folks comfortable and giving them water while they were all standing there for more than an hour flaunting their signs to the cars on the road. I was helping another volunteer in this effort and later found that he is from Houston too and is part of IV Core (please PM me your id if you are reading this). It felt so good that all of us were helping each other for our common cause.

I had one person ask me where can we find the nametag stickers which we give to the volunteers. I searched for a long time and then told that person that I will find it for him. Then I got busy with some other work. Only later I realized that it was not some other volunteer who had requested the nametags from me but it was Mr. Pappu himself! Pappu you are a very humble man!

A special thanks to the person who was pulling the cart with 2 packs of water bottles all along the Rally and distributing water to all the people who were walking in the Rallly. I tried moving that cart and found that it was TOO Heavy and decided to work on some other volunteering effort. But you did it. Thanks!

Also, the person who sang the National Anthem did a wonderful job! All the speeches were very nice too! The sound system arrangement was very professional. The Rally Marshals did a fabulous job and everything went exactly as planned. The arrangements made by the Cops with their cars motorbikes and bicycles was very impressive.

In all, it was great trip from Houston to DC. Thanks to jayram123 too who took care of all the travel logistics. I did not have a clue about the routes or the trains etc and was completely relying on him. Hoping to keep in touch with the Houston IV team and help with more efforts till all our goals are achieved.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered and participated in the Rally. I wanted to write a lot more and mention a lot of names, only if I had noted down their IV handles! Moreover I have to catch some sleep now. Its been a very looong day yesterday.

dante1271 09-19-2007 11:28 PM

It was worth the trip!!!
 
I went to the DC rally anyway...
I meet new friends but cant remember all their unusual names (FBI name check problem :D, just kidding) ...
pose for a picture in front of the US Capitol...
see the White House live!!!...
got inside the US congress buildings (was little embarassed, wearing jeans during lobbying :cool:)...

see old-time friends in DC and have lunch at Chipotle near Tysons Corner mall...
watch some drivers get angry due to the traffic caused by the parade (huh!)...
lost some carbs due to walking, ...
saw nice gals jogging on the streets of DC at the parade route...
5 hours sitting down in the airplane from CA to DC, 5 hours again from DC to CA...
LASTLY, HAPPY JUST BEING THERE FOR THE IV Cause...

P.S. they have good food inside the US congress cafeteria...

Thanks to Drona and Ramesh for making my trip happend.

gsc999 09-19-2007 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thescadaman (Post 169676)
It was a memorable trip indeed! 3 weeks before, I thought Houston to DC was a long shot. I kept reading the IV forums and saw the energy built up. Then I decided, I should definitely do something from my part even if I don’t attend the Rally. I said to myself, enough, I am going to announce in the Texas thread that I am willing to volunteer for the publicity work in Houston during the long weekend. That’s when I got a chance to talk to Texanmom. We had a conversation for about 40 minutes and once I finishing talking to her over the phone my position changed from “‘No way” to let me try to convince my friends and if I have company, I will go. I can always talk to my Boss later about taking a day off. Once I decided that, I kept calling all my friends in Houston. Sadly, I could not motivate people to buy tickets and fly with me to DC. My wife, then told me, if you want to go, you should go, don’t wait for your friends.

I am glad, I took that decision. The whole trip to DC was very memorable indeed. There were 3 of us in the same flight jayram123, Texanmom and myself. We had a volunteer (IV handle ?? – if you are reading this please tell me your IV Handle!), who picked us up and we all stayed in a hotel. Thanks for all your hospitality! We left very early and reached the location by 7:15 in the morning. It felt good to work with everyone and make the necessary preparation before the crowd started pouring in.

Early in the morning, GSC999 gave us a quick announcement session telling us what we need to do as volunteers and what was the plan. GSC999 - you energy was contagious. I was all ready and excited once I heard you talking about our plan for the day.

On of my best moment of the trip was handing out water bottles to all the participants who were standing besides the road showing their banners. This happened just before the actual Rally began. It was a nice feeling making all the folks comfortable and giving them water while they were all standing there for more than an hour flaunting their signs to the cars on the road. I was helping another volunteer in this effort and later found that he is from Houston too and is part of IV Core (please PM me your id if you are reading this). It felt so good that all of us were helping each other for our common cause.

---
You did a fabulous job. The registration process was so smooth that people didn't even notice it. It is always a pleasure to work with motivated people, in your words, who support the common cause.

franklin 09-20-2007 12:11 AM

Hmmm... humorous stories...

Well there was gsc999 and jazz trying to pull a "room service" gag on Drona and myself, but they went to the wrong room...

... I've heard some pretty hilarious tales about a comedic cab journey with a driver that wouldn't obey, and got some impromptu driving instruction by Logiclife...

... but a lot of the others must stay in DC :)

485_se_dukhi 09-20-2007 12:21 AM

Hi Niloufer,

Both my husband and I wore bright green T-shirts and were pushing a pink stroller...:D

Somebody in the rally in fact remarked that our green T-shirts matched the idea of getting green cards...;)

Here's the link to some of our pix at the rally...:)

http://picasaweb.google.com/preetisi...tember18th2007

I was hoping to meet you but in all the rush and excitement, missed you...but I'm glad to see you in the other pix...your daughter is just too cute!!:)

take care,
Preeti


Quote:

Originally Posted by needhelp! (Post 169046)
sw33t, texanmom, thescadman, nagaraj, mundru, macaca, paskal, pdakwala, ashish, pappu, drona, franklin, paskal, janils, ARC
Kanika, Meenal, Sumita, Vandana, Vijay, Akhil, Ashish, Sapna, Preeti, Atmaja, Sonali, Sujata, Dhiren, Sejal, Prasad, Arun, Venky, Gopal, Jane, Kaushal oh my GOD I am surely forgetting a ton of others (and I can't match them with thier IV handles).. California's huge contingent was so great!!
abhijitp, chanduv, Aman and logiclife, well they have already been household figures around my place, and it was great to see them in action.

Please PM me and remind me if I met you, I really really WANT to remember. Overwhelmed by the warmth and cameraderie of the whole group.

Jaime, Libra, 485_se_dukhi, digital2k are there any pictures where I can spot you?


abhijitp 09-20-2007 01:02 AM

special thanks to leo2606 and gdhiren
 
There are just too many fond memories to share in one post... but I do want to specially thank leo2606 who drove 70 miles to pick up myself, venkygct, vsraja and punjabi at the Dulles airport and then took us out for breakfast, then to the rally venue, then for lunch, finally to a hotel room we had booked for a quick shower, basically... like a shadow he was with us wherever we wanted to go! And... whenever we thanked him (and gdhiren who co-ordinated pickups/dropoffs for many others like the 4 of us) these guys, instead of saying something like "You are welcome", would profusely thank us for flying in!

Its people... like leo2606 and gdhiren.. and many others are the true strength of IV!

anilsal 09-20-2007 01:21 AM

Great to meet
 
waldenpond,gsc999, needhelp, chandu123, nixstor, paskal, *************MACACA**********, drona, eager2immi,logiclife,pappu, Mr.Postman(PDakwala/CA), texanmom.

Missed: tikka, libra, english_august(not present at the rally)

singam 09-20-2007 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thescadaman (Post 169676)
A special thanks to the person who was pulling the cart with 2 packs of water bottles all along the Rally and distributing water to all the people who were walking in the Rallly. I tried moving that cart and found that it was TOO Heavy and decided to work on some other volunteering effort. But you did it. Thanks!

I was that guy; yes it was heavy :o

wolfpok 09-20-2007 01:34 AM

dc trip
 
I rode the nc bus to dc (ok raised funds, booked the bus, cajoled/threatened people/got permissions/negotiated deals blah blah...in partnership with ramus and gc_prasad). We started at 2 am from RTP and were in fairfax by 7:00. there were 38 people on the bus including a 2 year old. :) IV had arranged for a halt at a gurudwara in fairfax - we spent about 45 minutes there cleaning up and drinking tea. The bus dropped us off at Franconia/Springfield metro at 8:15...we took a while figuring out those metro farecard vending machines. Some of them wouldn't give us change...some others wouldn't take credit cards. But we survived. In 10 minutes, 38 people had farecards and were raring to go. We got to the monument at half past 9...and folks were already lining up, holding placards. I only had time time to meet my company brethren from Cal and then paskal. I dropped off a stack of petitions with ashish (hopefully they made it to IVs pile). The nc contingent walked together most of the way to the capitol...it was a truly great feeling, having people honk, wave and generally be nice. I could never have imagined myself out on the street, fighting against broken systems...in front of the US Capitol. But yah, it happened. During the speeches, i walked around the audience, asking folks to turn their placards to face their cameras...(something to learn for next time - thats why political events have twin sided placards - so that cameras facing the speaker get the message). After the rally, i got to one lawmaker meeting with????'s staff. They were pretty cool to talk to...while they may be aware of some broad issue with legal immigration, they seemed to fall into the "oh you are talking about h1b quota" trap. We set the framework for discussion early on and clarified the "we are talking about gcs here" point.

Some of my nc colleagues went on to meet ???? - they had a productive meeting there too...perhaps Rahul will write about it. After the meetings we made our way back to the franconia metro, had dinner at the springfield mall food court and left there by 8 pm. We were back in RTP by midnight. In all 22 hours...well spent!

pictures! ->
http://picasaweb.google.com/wolfpok/...CSeptember18th

one of the things I did today was send out a note to all my friends groups...while most people seemed to ignore all pleas to join the rally or contribute $, they all seemed to be watching curiously. A lot of them feared going to the rally...some others didnt care. Some others even promised to show up and didn't. But i believe we need the support of these very people, if IV has to grow and become an even stronger force in the future...I shall copy paste wot i wrote, and i encourage all to write to their skeptic friends...only to point to a positive experience and ask for their future participation. So i quote...

"Some might wonder why we participated? Well, how could we give up on a chance to make history and truly understand what it means to live in a democracy. Its not about desperation for a green card, its about fairness and dignity. We believe that we have the right to a fair, open and predictable process and anything else is an affront to our dignity. We believe that the system is broken and can be changed. But change to the system will not come overnight and it will definitely not come with us keeping quiet. So we got out and did what we knew was possible - get the message out, propose solutions, meet congressmen and appeal to people's conscience.

In participating in this movement for change, we realized something else that we would like to share. We realize that the struggle for a fair immigration process is but a process of change just like struggles against oppresion and prejudice of different severities. The only difference is that its a question of dignity and fair process versus segregated facilities and disenfranchisement. Accept one and you accept the other. So if we wonder how the world could have every been a certain way in the past, we don't have to look beyond ourselves. Honest and well intentioned as we might be, if we cannot stand up and say something about something that affects our rights and freedoms as individuals, we are saying that we are OK with all that is around us.

thanks to all who offered support! if you are still on the sidelines, do get involved! Our success depends on all of us making a contribution!"

enuf said...

thanks IV volunteers/Coords. a million kudos!

pok from nc.

seahawks 09-20-2007 01:39 AM

I met lots of people, I remember a lot of names, but how can I write down all the names, it will be a long list. Oh forgot, I met my wife too there:)

It was fun to meet so many people, its amazing, you read threads, you see IV handles and you try to be imaginative on who that person would be, but you just can't put a face behind the IV handle. Then you get to meet them in person and you say my name is this and my name is that and then we look surprised, who.. and then the question comes, whats your IV handle. Then we talk as we have known each other for years. We all fight for the same cause, we all have compelling stories very personal, very painful, the never ending wait for getting a green card. Some of them are in with us even though they have crossed the hurdle of getting a green card, because they believe in our cause, they don't want anyone to go through the pain all of us are going through. Hats off to all.. the train has left the station now, we have one voice, IMMIGRATION VOICE!!!!

jaocanada 09-20-2007 01:49 AM

Great to meet the people behind the handles
 
I arrived at the Situation Room at about 1 pm on Monday.. didn't know anybody and nobody knew me so I was searching for a Core IV type look on anybody's face... Poor 'beenwaiting' was eating her late lunch at what seemed like a registration table and she noticed my dillema.. she promptly put her lunch aside and briefed me on the agenda and my meetings.. Thanks 'beenwainting'...

Next I remember was helping Sanjeev (can u PM me your handle?) with his tie and hurrying with Shivkanth and Sumita (can you PM me your handle too?) to a Senator's meeting. That Senator's staff knew the issues pretty well and it was fun to watch Shivkanth debate with her.

SriKondoji - it was nice meeting you. The reception and the rally next day were a great experiences. Finally I had some great Indian food at the Union Station with Indio0617, Pappu and Dr. Gupta (can u PM me your handle?)

All PA (Philly) members - let's plan on meeting over coffee sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Here are the photos that I tool to 'live blog' the rally:
http://picasaweb.google.com/getrajes...migrationVoice

The experience of attending the rally was therapeutic in a way... Day in and day out one is sucked in to the bubble of daily life, work, kids, family..... and on top of it, the thought of interminable wait for GC really burns you from inside. You know you have to go through it and you know there are thousands like you who are stuck too. And then one fine day, these thousand faceless online handles come to life together and in the nation's capital and actually march and meet the lawmakers. This has truly been a great experience.

gsc999 09-20-2007 02:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abhijitp (Post 169720)
There are just too many fond memories to share in one post... but I do want to specially thank leo2606 who drove 70 miles to pick up myself, venkygct, vsraja and punjabi at the Dulles airport and then took us out for breakfast, then to the rally venue, then for lunch, finally to a hotel room we had booked for a quick shower, basically... like a shadow he was with us wherever we wanted to go! And... whenever we thanked him (and gdhiren who co-ordinated pickups/dropoffs for many others like the 4 of us) these guys, instead of saying something like "You are welcome", would profusely thank us for flying in!

Its people... like leo2606 and gdhiren.. and many others are the true strength of IV!

---
Abhijit, great idea you brought your guitar along. It was good to hear some nice music at the rally. Thanks to you and Arun for driving & coordinating the sponsorships. Some good volunteers came out of that effort.

gsc999 09-20-2007 02:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janilsal (Post 169727)
waldenpond,gsc999, needhelp, chandu123, nixstor, paskal, *************MACACA**********, drona, eager2immi,logiclife,pappu, Mr.Postman(PDakwala/CA), texanmom.

Missed: tikka, libra, english_august(not present at the rally)

---
I liked your short speech when you introduced our fearless leader Aman at the Monday night reception dinner. Good to put faces to IV handles, I was always curious about this one.


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