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Protests affect little in Aspen

Joel Stonington
David Rosales, left, and Milio Madagril work in the kitchen of the Cantina as demonstrators across the country gathered Monday for a protest on immigration issues. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)
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A day when thousands of people across the country skipped work and school to show support for immigrants had little effect in Aspen.Originally intended as an economic boycott, Monday’s “Day Without Immigrants” ended up as a round of protests focused on the national debate over the status of the estimated 11 million illegals in America.

About 2,000 people rallied at events in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, but there was no major effect in Aspen, where nearly every business continued to run smoothly and most people showed up for work.High schoolers in Aspen were encouraged to bring a sack lunch because some cafeteria employees did not go to work. Some food was available. Only a few students took the day off.Spokeswoman Rhonda Toland said City Market encouraged employees to go as long as they let the grocery store know in advance. She said 10 employees went to Glenwood, and there was no noticeable change in sales patterns or customer buying patterns.

A normal number of people showed up to get jobs at Aspen Workforce, a temp agency. “Of all the job sites, we have only two where people didn’t show up, and we had enough to cover those sites,” manager Nelson Suarez said. “If they lose a day they lose money; they need to pay rent, buy food. That’s why we had 10 guys in here.”During the summer, Suarez said, there are often more jobs than people to fill them. Though he had to cancel three or four jobs Monday, he said that’s relatively normal for this time of year.

“They cared,” he said, speaking of the people who came looking for work on Monday. “They have to work. They live day by day right now.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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