City Council receives death threats for opposing racist group
The city of Baldwin Park has a monument at a MetroLink stop honoring Mexican culture, not surprising for a heavily Latino city.
The Save Our State organization, a new anti-immigration group with ties to the Minutemen, demanded the city remove it. The city council said not a chance, outsiders won’t tell our city what to do. Save Our State decided to hold a demonstration in Baldwin Park.
Latino groups organized a counter demonstration, ANSWER and others were there in solidarity. How noxious is Save Our State? The entire Baldwin Park City Council spoke. They said they had received death threats related to their opposition to the SOS demand and would request the L.A. D.A. prosecute for hate crimes.
These are precisely the groups that Gov. Schwarzenegger is now encouraging. His polls numbers are way down, so he’s throwing red meat to the racist right. Bush called the Minutemen ‘vigilantes’ but Arnold praised them.
These opposing demonstrations were just a precursor of what’s coming. The Minutemen plan to be at the California/Mexico border this summer (Sue opines, sharp thinking guys, to be in the hottest desert in the world during the summer.)
How did the counter-demo go? We vastly out numbered them and succeeded in driving them away. We won and won big.
After an opening demo with the Aztec Dancers and the City Council, we marched to near where SOS was. The police had barricaded the areas between us. After an hour or so, we went down side streets and confronted SOS directly. They were on one corner, maybe fifteen left, down from a maximum of about fifty. We were on the other three corners, several hundred strong. with 40 police in between. We moved into the intersection. I wasn’t sure what the cops would do, so I scanned the side streets for approaching phalanxes of police. But none appeared. We began chanting ‘we won’t leave until they leave.’ And then, to great cheers, the police ordered SOS to leave.
We won! They won’t be back to Baldwin Park. I expect this type of confrontation will escalate dramatically in size during the coming summer. People get ready.
Update: The LA Times covered the story on the cover of the Metro section, quoting friend and ANSWER organizer Preston Wood.
Preston Wood, a member of the antiwar and anti-racism group ANSWER LA, said the protest reminded him of rallies against Proposition 187, approved by state voters in 1994, which barred illegal immigrants from receiving some public services. A court later struck down the proposition.
“It has the same feel,” said Wood, 60.
“This is a real grass-roots mobilization of people who are outraged over racist ideology in Los Angeles of all places.”
PS I just posted more photos on LA Indymedia