By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to email@example.com, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
EINS ZWEI POLIZEI
Although I agree with much of Gustavo Arellano's analysis of last month's high school walkouts ["The Gilchristification of OC," March 31], I want to set the record straight on an incident he cites. On the night of the walkouts, I was hanging out with a small crowd of Mexican residents who were doing nothing but standing peacefully on a public sidewalk and quietly watching honking cars drive by along Bristol Street, when we were suddenly attacked by several Santa Ana police officers dressed in full riot gear.
None of these officers gave an order to disperse or explained why we needed to leave. They just drove up in their patrol cars, jumped out and started yelling for us to "get the hell out of here." When some people didn't react immediately, the cops began violently pushing and shoving them with their nightsticks. I saw one man fall.
They then began herding us out of the area like cattle. One policeman angrily kept shouting "Move faster!" to a young man who wasn't running fast enough; he shoved him hard. A cop directly behind me pressed his nightstick on my back, but fortunately didn't push me. Had he done so, I might have fallen on a small child in front of me.
After the cops pushed us deep into a local neighborhood, they left us alone. Although nobody was arrested or appeared to have been seriously injured, people were mad about being treated this way; some cursed the officers in Spanish as they walked away.
Although the Santa Ana Police Department would like you to believe this kind of behavior is an anomaly, my prior experiences dealing with this force have taught me their cops have a long and sordid history of trampling over the civil liberties and rights of that town's working-class Mexican residents.
The elected leadership of Santa Ana is too beholden to the police union for campaign funds for it to do anything about this problem. Perhaps the first step toward dealing with cop abuse in that community is for voters to oust them from their seats and replace them with candidates who haven't been bought off.
I read with interest "The Gilchristification of OC." Gus (Gustavo) is basically demonizing Jim Gilchrest [sic] by blaming him and his nonviolent organization "The Minutemen" (not to mention The John and Ken Show on KFI) for the actions of the OC police during the recent school "walkout." If Gus' point was that Gilchrist and The John and Ken Show have pointed out what ILLEGAL immigration has done to this country, then he is correct, they have done just that. Nowhere in any reporting that I am aware of was there any indication by the protesters of their gratefulness to America for all the free things that they have gotten while here. No, it was all "Viva Mexico" and "Viva La Raza." None of this, however, has anything to do with the actions of the police.
I have heard that there is to be "A Day Without the Immigrant" march and walkout which is to tentatively take place on March 1 [editor's note: May 1?], which is a result of recent events. March 1 [editor's note: May 1?] is a good day for the march as it is the day of the worker which is sponsored by the Communist Party typically [editor's note: May 1!], and I hope it takes place so we can all see what happens when the ILLEGAL immigrant stops working, paying taxes, buying things, not going to school, etc. I then suggest that on April 15 the taxpaying citizens who are paying the freight for ILLEGAL aliens take to the streets, pay no taxes, buy nothing made in Mexico, etc., and then we will see who has the louder voice.
Up to this point I did not take a particularly strong stance on ILLEGAL immigration, but now I will not rest until every ILLEGAL alien is returned to their home country, that hiring of ILLEGALS is criminalized, that groups like MEChA, La Raza, Aztlan (La Voz de Aztlan) and others are exposed for what they are: raciest [sic] organizations. I do not support the building of a fence, but I do support taking away the magnet and the raciest [sic] support groups.
As to the alleged police brutality implied in Gus' article, the reason for any police misconduct is that bad police are rarely brought down and punished for their actions unless they happen to be videotaped. And even then often they are not punished. I need only to point not at the Rodney King incident (after all, he only got $3.5 million) but to the case of the Samoan wedding party that the police raided. Police claimed they were attacked by the Samoans, the Samoans said the reverse. The police lost the lawsuit to the tune of $15.5 million only because someone taped the incident, which made it clear that the police lied en masse. Did anyone get fired or indicted? No. And that is the problem. The police must be punished for their wrongdoings, and they typically are not. I have a lot to say on the police issue, but now is not the time.