Here is Leon's more thorough account in the WSJ.)
At the start of the proceedings today, we all stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, I must admit that normally I do not participate in this rite: its original use as (you might say) pedagogical propaganda and its subsequent tweakings ("under God" was inserted only in 1954) smack of a sort of authoritarian nationalism that I don't much countenance. But today, the fellow next to me commented that what the Pledge asserts has vanished, and we need it back—so I thought I'd recall just what it does assert by saying the words, hand over heart. When I got to "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," tears rolled down my cheeks.
(It surprised me that, several times, the words spoken today caused strong emotions to rise up—of sadness, but also of pride. We've got good people fighting for us all. As well as evil scum bastards fighting mainly, it seems, for their own gain.)
We also heard from Salinas police chief Adele Fresé, Hartnell College president Willard Lewallen (the Salinas community college, which alone has almost 800 Dreamer students enrolled, up from only 200 five years ago), and immigration attorney Michael Mehr. They spoke about the rights of immigrants, both documented and un-. Everyone spoke of the uncertainty of the present moment, but also stressed that there are checks and balances, and again, the more noise we make, the less able they will be to steamroller us.
The hall was packed: I'd guess there were 400–500 people there. It was very much standing room only. Lots of students, lots of Latinos. I saw a few people from my own little Indivisible group. It was heartening to feel all that energy, and to hear the encouragement of our representatives and community leaders. I continue to believe there is hope. But it'll be an uphill battle for at least a couple of years, that's for sure.