And they say kids today are apathetic.
The protests are believed to eclipse in size the demonstrations that occurred during the anti-Proposition 187 campaign in 1994 and even a famous student walkout for Chicano rights in 1968.
"It was my dad's and grandfather's sweat and tears that built the city of Los Angeles," said Marshall High School senior Saul Corona, whose father came to the United States illegally before getting a green card. "People like them did things no one else wanted to do because they wanted me to have a better future."
The protests appeared to be loosely organized, with students learning about them through mass e-mails, fliers, instant messages, cellphone calls and postings on myspace.com Web pages. By contrast, the massive rally Saturday that drew 500,000 people to downtown Los Angeles was highly organized, with demonstrators urged to wear white and bring American flags.