By Gustavo Arellano
By OC Weekly Staff
By R. Scott Moxley
By Michelle Woo
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gabriel San Roman
By Gustavo Arellano
Just after 5 p.m. on Aug. 1, fewer than a dozen protesters from Los Angeles-based activist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) gathered on Anna Drive in front of the colorfully decorated Manuel Diaz memorial, a cross-shaped collection of votive candles, family photographs and flowers. As the anti-police-brutality group planned to march from the site where the 24-year-old Diaz was shot by Anaheim police on July 21, about five television news stations began broadcasting the protest. That's when 34-year-old Anna Drive resident Yesenia Rojas apparently decided she'd had enough.
"We don't want them here; they're not from around here," she declared as she put on an orange safety vest. "They are not respecting the Anna Drive community. We don't need any more trouble; we have enough already."
Rojas wasn't kidding about trouble. On the same day Diaz was shot, police shot her with a beanbag gun, wounding her in her lower stomach as she was trying to save her son and grandchild from a snarling K-9 police dog in the now-infamous video of the aftermath of the Diaz shooting, which showed Anaheim officers firing beanbag rounds and Pepperball guns and unleashing the dog after residents gathered to object to the shooting of the unarmed man. The next night, Anaheim policemen shot and killed another man, Joel Acevedo, in the Guinida Lane neighborhood, which led to escalated protests throughout the city.
Rojas' reaction to the activist group was a stark contrast to the protest in front of Anaheim City Hall on July 24, where Rojas led a group of demonstrators into the lobby while chanting on a bullhorn. Rojas has labor-organizing experience, which has led her to be the most vocal of the neighborhood during protests.
"Do we want these kind of cops in Anaheim?" she asked protesters after they stormed the lobby.
"No!" the crowd roared back.
One week later, Rojas called out to her neighbors, "Do we want these people here?" in response to BAMN's gathering.
A small group of residents said, "No!" A few others yelled, "Go home, gringos!" to television reporters hounding bystanders.
Emily Ruiz, a former Anaheim resident, looked visibly shaken and offended by residents' rejection of the protest. "I'm not disturbing anyone. I'm speaking my mind," she says, adding that she went to school with Diaz and other victims of police shootings.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter blamed "outside agitators" for the riots on July 24. Though groups such as Occupy and ANSWER LA—Act Now to End War and Racism, which was formed almost a decade ago in response to the U.S. Invastion of Iraq—were at the demonstration, the marches in the street consisted mainly of Latino youth, visibly upset and frustrated at police brutality and harassment. Of the 24 people arrested, 20 were from Anaheim. It is still unclear who caused the vandalism or the dozen fires throughout the city.
Meanwhile, two groups have made their presence known in the Anna Drive neighborhood, seeking to radicalize local youths in the aftermath of the tragedy: the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and the aforementioned BAMN. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (a.k.a. BAMN) formed in 1995 in response to the UC Regents' decision to ban affirmative action. In recent years, the group has taken on police brutality in communities with people of color, most notably the police-shooting death of Oscar Grant in Oakland.
BAMN organizer Adam Lerman spent the weeks following Diaz's death talking to residents. From his conversations, Lerman says, the neighborhood seems conflicted as to how to move forward. "They are of two minds: Do we go public and try to be bold? Or do we keep quiet and hope justice is served?"
As the group rallies for oft-ignored communities, the recent riots and subsequent media attention have made the task different from others. BAMN's planned march followed the same route Mayor Tom Tait took the previous night, his first visit to Anna Drive since the shooting.
Lerman defended the groups' action, saying he doesn't see a separation between the grieving process and justice. "Families and communities aren't able to move on until justice is done," he says. "If we can get the neighborhood to step up to be leaders, we can turn things around. The city government knows and fears the power this neighborhood has to do so. If we don't keep marching, if we don't keep fighting, nothing is going to come out of these investigations they are promising."
Keith James, along with three other members of the RCP, came to the community from Los Angeles to speak and listen to residents several times in the couple of weeks following the shooting. "When everyone talks about 'outside agitators,' they are worried about the [protester] violence," he says. "After listening to the heartfelt outpouring of residents grappling with the magnitude of the situation, it seems absurd to equate that with the police violence that has occurred in this community."
James, who handed out leaflets and literature about the radical teachings of Bob Avakian, sees Anaheim as a breeding ground for the widespread revolution the party's founder discusses in his writings. As its name suggests, the RCP promotes an overthrow of capitalism and United States imperialism in favor of a Communist revolution.
One problem is that the community, like most working class and poor suburban communities, lacks a "culture of resistance" that would fight for their own justice as a regular part of life - look at the low levels of working class voter participation. Another is that the RCP are vanguardists who feel like the people need to be taught something, and because they all worship Bob Avakian, they think they have the answer. Same with ANSWER and BAMN and even Occupy.
Every community needs its own theoreticians of social improvement, and its own internal cadre of community organizers. They need to send their children out into the wider world, to broaden their experience, and bring them back to be the next leaders. The provincialism displayed by the community shows there isn't enough of this necessary, internally developed leadership.
Okay, I have a question about the logic in the sub-head that states,
"The revolution will have to start without the residents at the riots' epicenter."
Isn't the article arguing that it wants the residents to lead? Yet the present progressive form used in the syntagma or better yet verb phrase "will have to" suggests it did not yet begin. Confusing syntax. Should have past tense inflection.
Unbelievable that "Motorhome Demolition Derby" and this article get placed more importantly that the article on OPERATION HALO. This speaks volumes about the poor leadership at the ocw.
Wow - "fretsward" under Google reveals a LOT about your PAID voice, "frets!" keep it up. I'm sure your little rants give you a nice little AC studio somewhere purty. <3
And in true mountebank reparation, the iniquitous, armed with ambiguously vague expressions will patronize while admitting the infirmity faced by those of us who are categorically not taking this issue facetiously. Nice prevarication. Your irony meter is calibrated incorrectly. This is not a drill. I'm far beyond your capabilities and your voiceless glottal fricatives that are a waste of time.
There is just far too much adolescence and cologne to take earnestly. And what does Googling fretsward have to do with the price of Cod fish raised in Chinese sewers and sold at Wal-Mart for $2.99? As far as I know, there are no studios in Villa Park.
Deep-seated liberals and agenda merchants will lie, cheat, deceive, misguide and smear, throw a collective tantrum when those of us who conflict with their edict, rejecting their thoughtless fantasies and silly schemes. I anticipated constructive discussions regarding these threads. Reading the cascade of pap guised as news has significantly diminished my lenience for disillusioned street vendors feigning to be journalists. I expected the bikini-clad hottie, but once you read the stories, you discover a dude in drag.
As an experienced military officer with more combat than you have relatives, the only thing I've learned is who my enemies are and being man enough to confront them. I don’t have to adapt to or accept hordes of sycophants pouring into the country because La Raza says it is a compassionate invasion and their right to do so. But like pariahs, those who seize pretend compassion often latch onto the righteous aims of requiem. Indeed, any attempts at coherent statements cannot separate the fact that you are the Che Guevara/George Lopez hybrids, presented as corollaries amidst La Raza platitudes and stupefying reasoning. But whereas factual common sense promotes cohesion, knuckle draggers and undeveloped men usually don't make the cut.
Decrees from dissenting Americans are not hypothetical, nor is feigning absolution for miscreants who possess the smoking gun of mental impediment…
I'll take Anaheim's Inside Agitators for $200 Alex. "Go home, gringos," basically sums it up. This has the earmarks of a windmill crusade. Another demonstration at showing the prowess of dodge ball champions the hordes of racist open-borders Hyenas are known to be. Let's regress to semantics shall we? I surmise if the OC Weekly queried the real issues you would ascertain more than you'd want to admit based merely on your allusion. But let the US and Mexico reach the soccer finals – It will expose which side of the stadium you'll be cheering the home team from.
Banal musings emanating from so-called journalists never seems to extend to people like Hermila Garcia. You may recall that she was the Police Chief of Meoqui, and one of a trifling number of women who have shown more gallantry than the multitudes of pathetic men who would rather flee insurrection, enter the US illegally, consider Americans their enemy, and then demand that those same Americans provide a means for them to take care of their families, or suffer the consequences at the voting booths. Garcia was killed while driving to work. I have tremendous admiration and respect for people like her. She was not a parasite who could have chosen the easy route, entered the US during the middle of the night, and by the next afternoon, prepare to partake in the feeding frenzy, demand citizenship and add to the tremendous burden US taxpayers face. It was a suicide mission. Why can't people like Hermila get support from Latinos as do the illegal alien invaders or a few paragraphs in the OC Weekly? Garcia was one of a growing number of women who have decided to take leadership roles in towns where Mexican men have decided it’s far much safer to arrogantly beat their chests and raise their Mexican flags on this side of the border fence.
Why are there no protests for Mexican citizens who are decapitated en mass or slaughtered like animals, or as recently as last July 22, less than 48 hours after the Colorado shooting, a Mexican smuggler lost control of his Ford F-250 pick-up truck at high speed on Highway 59 outside of Goliad, Texas and killed 14 of the 22 Central Americans on board? Most had been laid out on the truck bed like sardines. This incident was the biggest mass killing that weekend. In fact, you in the media buried the Goliad story because the only people you could conceivably blame for the crash, other than some tire company, were yourselves and your political allies. Why no protests for the twenty-five American citizens who are murdered daily by illegal aliens, or the seventeen innocent Americans who are sentenced to death by illegal aliens in drunk-driving crashes?
But here in the USA, police officers just shot and kill for no apparent reason.
Amber, you embody the trendy prejudices of the naive liberal Neolithic about to receive an honorary degree from a Bible college in Arkansas. And if these shooting incidents hadn't happened, the killings of Americans by illegal aliens are still taking place, because Mexico remains the problem it is today, and perhaps many of our once beautiful states would still be favorite destinations, and not the kind of places where American citizens are considered collateral damage, and easy pickings for the lawless who can (and do) escape back into Mexico only to return later reincarnated with new identities. The minority liberal presiding class encouraged by the invader nation has shown that it is prepared to stoop to anything, even as far as undermining the very foundation of Western civilization: freedom of speech. To prop up a rotten ideology that's not only dead but whose corpse is now beginning to smell, and you know that smell – its that pungent mix of deception, duplicity and cowardice that we've all become disappointingly familiar with. Certainly we all know it well. We've had more than our share of it through the years. This rancid putrefaction ceases to dissipate. The stink has lingered and malformed into yet another reprehensible year of pandering by those who have sworn to protect citizens from invasion, arrogant demands, and blackmail if Americans do not accept the illegal alien deluge. States such as Arizona have been refused the right to protect American citizens because our La Raza infiltrated government allowed itself to be intimidated and threatened by millions of like-minded La Raza loudmouth aiders and abettors who took it upon themselves to feign racism and racial profiling to temporarily suppress laws in a country of laws, and are allowed to get away with it for now because otherwise they would be offended. Why the hell should we concern ourselves with what those who are loyal to Mexico and illegal aliens think?
They should be offended.
Nobody gives a damn how offended the rest of us are at having our cities overrun by an aggressive undocumented despotism and being told we are racist if we stand up against it. And that's why this assessment is not just about rewarding people who believe citizenship is earned by scaling fences. The score will affect us all. Liberal Americans have a reputation for holding hands with hate-groups such as La Raza, tolerance and open-mindedness – the very qualities of stupidity that got us into this mess in the first place. We're a bit further down the road of declination, but it's a road we're all traveling in the West Coast. And if we stay on it, we'll all arrive at the same cataclysmic intersection in Mexican sanctioned Third-World courts with illegal aliens claiming rights to steal even more from us. It's only a matter of time.
Fear of dissent is the symptom of an overwhelmingly disturbed and deceitful society, which is what we're experiencing now. Throughout the US, it’s the same apologetic division. The illegal alien vestibule vociferously demands that government and law enforcement recoil before Mexico, La Raza, and millions of invaders, steadily chipping away our civil liberties while the Grand Wizard racist Cecilia Munoz of La Raza serving as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House in the Executive Branch directs domestic policy from behind filthy curtains. We have a biased media and temporary politicians that refuse to use the word La Raza in connection with this invasion, and the problems we face because of it when the two couldn't be more confidentially connected if they were Siamese twins. But lettuce liberals will be quite happy to label the Tea Party as the extreme racist right, Nazis, or Republicans in the casual slander that passes for journalism these days, Spanish language rags filled with subversion, and the immoral androgynous compassioned visionaries who have been too politically correct to acknowledge that an invasion is even taking place. Anyone who isn't livid and horrified that an invasion is taking place doesn't deserve to live in a free society.
The multitudes of racists with Hispanic surnames assembling against Americans has already left as a dark stain on our associations equal to what McCarthyism has left in our history, and its going to get worse. Those who stand against the invasion tsunami are heroes, not criminals. And it's time the rest of us stood up and said so loud and clear. Because, there's too much at stake to be politically correct any more. And there's too much at stake to worry about offending Mexico, La Raza and anchor babies any longer. This arrogant meddling and colonization must be stopped. Our birthright is being deliberately sold from under us by people who don't have the right of ownership. And we are now on the verge of bequeathing our children and grandchildren the kind of society that we wouldn't want to be born into.
Illegal immigration and the consequences and calamity left in its wake are akin to floating down the sewer in a cracked glass-bottom boat. Sooner than later we'll have to get in and swim...
First, I want to congratulate the Anaheim PD and ATF for taking out the trash of 35 gangbangers. They had weapons, bundle of cash of $100 and drugs. What does it show you? No wonder the cartels are taking advantage of them and destroying Mexico apart. You guys did a terrific job who played on Operation Halo. The community is safe from the gang violence and for the children of Anaheim. Great Work!! By the way, what I find it funny that Manuel Diaz was on the list of being arrested by the Feds and Anaheim PD. He's legacy would be remembered as a gangbanger nothing else, you terrible mother.
I guess demolition derby takes precedent over real news.
Tell us something about today's raid now! Tell us anything! Tell us the cops did good or tell us the cops killed off the first born, report something!
@frankandbeans Read Navel Gazing!
@GustavoArellano @frankandbeans So you posted this at 4:05 and buried it in Navel Gazing, why? Was it because you didn't write the story or because the in depth, behind-the-scenes expose was a whopping ten sentences long? It was a HUGE story and OCW missed an opportunity to at least appear neutral
@GustavoArellano @frankandbeans hey gustavo, can you please confirm if diaz was on the list that the feds had today? wait nevermind, you're narrow mind will deny it..
Mexican garbage is overflowing in California. These people have no respect for the law or for life, look at there own country....they stand up for gangsters that kill each other and sell drugs in there neighbor hoods and vandalize anything and everything they can. What the hell is wrong with you people? Go back to Mexico please! I'm tired of hearing about you people coming here for a better life only to pollute the cities and street with your delinquent kids! Anybody watch the so called "riots" in Anaheim? all it was a bunch hispanic kids! Anyone ever research to see what the population in our jails and prison system consist of? 70% Hispanic! Sorry I'm not saying every single Hispanic is bad news but heck 1 out of the dozen doesn't change the facts.
I agree with Guerro. Where's your coverage of the actual news or are you too busy crafting a narrative again?
OC Week, you had a golden opportunity to really take the lead on this national story and lead the dialouge, but you've proven to inexperienced and without integrity. Your readership will drop even lower.
Sad really, I used to enjoy this-hole-in-the-wall life.
Hmm no article regarding the gang sweep through Anaheim that netted 11 POUNDS of meth, dozens of firearms and 49 arrests. Guess it doesn't fit the WEAKLY'S party line narrative of raza victimization. Can you blame the cops for shooting down dogs like these East Side Anaheim gang scum that Stomper was a member of?
@Guerro How stupid are you? We wrote about it in Navel Gazing—do you like playing pendejo, or is this just your natural state?
@GustavoArellano Yeah posted at 4 in the afternoon! Estas dormiendo Carajo! After your 4 mojito lunch? You probably saw Frank and me bitching you out, ran over like a raton to the LAT site C&P and voila! Chevre coberage ese!
can any locals answer this question: how would you like outside groups to show support? (I'm from Occupy OC, I live in an anaheim bordering town.)
@facebookonly82 I could be sensitive here or hard knox. It's hard for me to find middle ground when asked questions like this because it's just too easy to find the answer. So, when people ask, I'm a bit leery because it's too easy to find answers to the question. It's like when you're homeless and people ask - so, what can I do to help the homeless - in other words - don't blame me if you're homeless - I asked what I could do to help and you couldn't give me any straight answers. Puh-leaze.
I would like to say how I feel. That being said, this may not be a well "thought out" comment. It is merely the feelings because this is not an every day occurrence. The events that lead to me experiencing the murder of Joel "Yogi" Acevedo have been traumatic for me and my children. Events we've experienced with police brutality along these similar lines have been traumatic also, but did not result in the death/murder of that person by the police. Not only the murder - I refuse to call it anything else - but the treatment - the cold glares, the laughter of the cops in the background as the mother pulls up and learns of her son whose body is lying in cold blood no more than 100' away from her. A street filled with hundreds of silent onlookers and the bloodcurdling scream of his sister nearly 2 blocks away that chilled us all to the bone. I can't hear the fireworks from Disney without jumping. No one can around here - I've been told - it takes a while - especially by those who were here when Chops was killed as well. Being an educated person moving into a small community like this, I can see the very strategic use of psychological manipulation on the part of the police force. (This is to say anyone educated living in this community can see, smell and know the same thing I do - not that I am the only one realizing this!) This is something they - anyone on the police force - including the Chief and the Mayor - absolutely should not be allowed to get away with. It doesn't take much more than a brief history lesson to recognize what is a very organized and brutal tactic to "sterilize" a community of "unwanted/undesirable" "blemishes" (aka people). Though it is time for people to come together and do something, their grieving process needs to be respected first of all. I can tell you that I did not appreciate the Communist Revolutionaries at the protest in front of the police station. I am sure they had purpose and good intentions. I had hoped to meet some of the ladies of The Cruzaders who have been hard at work for TWO YEARS to find out how I could best use my resources and talents to help. Instead I ended up trying to get away from an all too gregarious person pedaling Communist literature like a Jehovah's Witness salesperson. I heard there was going to be a protest in the middle of a weekday and thought - how odd - no one will be around- everyone works, but decided to check it out. 2 people showed up near Yogi's memorial site and began walking - I don't even know where to - then a few more people showed up one being the same lady that had cornered me the previous Sunday. "Oh, it's her." I said - not looking forward to having to nod my way through a speech. She was in a hurry to drop off pamphlets, thank goodness. The person she handed the propaganda to approached me and my son, however and asked us what we thought about the "gang activity" in the area and suggested that there was "controversy" because Yogi's car "was stolen." I immediately bristled. My son, who was friends with Yogi, shot back some remarks. He said, like he was surprised, "oh, you think he was innocent?" Wow. Just wow. I do my fair share of commenting online (obviously) and I don't have a problem airing my opinions about things I feel strongly or passionately about, but I am definitely feeling the privacy vibe. The need for delicacy in my own backyard. I know if I feel this way as a mere acquaintance, the mother of a son who lost a friend, the neighbor of people who have lost way more than I can even imagine..... geez. Have some respect, Dude! If you're an "outsider" don't push your literature down our throats like evangelists arriving with some magical tent you think we're all going to gather under for your snake oil to fix our city! Have a heart, flip on your "I give a fuck " switch and see what can really be done to help make a difference. Take 10 seconds on Google before you drive your ass all the way out here in the middle of the day to park your car in our parking spaces and etc. I;m not trying to be mean or unwelcoming, but come on!
@blufairie You must be elated that 'Operation Halo' just pulled 33 gang members, 40 guns and 11 pounds of meth out of your neighborhood. Your small community has a few less blemishes today.
@gottaknow247 @blufairie I think you're an instigator. I think you work with the police to troll the pages and say shit to and about people who are in MOURNING. I don't give a shit about people doing drugs. I think NON VIOLENT crimes should be treated by DOCTORS and not a judgmental system that USES the term "GANGSTER" to instigate and perpetuate a stereotype that is OUTRAGEOUS. No, I'm not happy that cops go into a neighborhood where there are children and round people up like cattle. I don't care about the guns - people have the "right to bear arms" in the US if you haven't forgotten. I feel safer having known "gang members" patrolling my streets than I do seeing a cop drive down it - especially after the Police Chief issued a statement saying that if a cop - any cop - tells you to "not run" and you do so, you put yourself "at risk" for whatever happens next and he is basically "not responsible" for that outcome. I.e. getting shot in the back 23 times or t9 imes or after you're handcuffed or directly to the heart and the brains - as has all happened to others in the past. A few less blemishes would be unsightly construction areas turned into permaculture gardens. The horrid fenced off areas that gather wind blown trash from the overhead "heavens" (highway) being turned into a playground. I'd love to see cops installing slides and swings rather than driving cars through my neighborhood with pepper spray and bean bag guns pointed out the window for the mere purpose of intimidation. Let's be reasonable.
@Duster I don't live there, but have lived near dealers. It's not just the dealers that are a problem - it's the customers. The customers are a bigger problem, because they gain the benefits of getting high, but don't have to deal with the violence related to the drug business. The firearms are a necessary part of self-regulation in an underground economy, where the state courts can't be used to arbitrate contract disputes or enforce payment of debts.
@blufairie "I don't give a shit about people doing drugs."
" I don't care about the guns."
Yeah, laws are so inconvenient, aren't they? You would prefer your community be immune from laws, but would like the city to provide you with gardens and playgrounds for your community.
@blufairie the filth you spew is truly disgusting. And yes I live right in the middle of this neighborhood and YES I am very thankful for the Anaheim PD and their efforts to make this a safe place to live. If you don't see a problem with 10 pounds of METH and illegal firearms then you are part of the problem.
@blufairie wow you are the problem with this community
@blufairie well said.
Anaheim Police Chief John Welter blamed "outside agitators" for the riots on July 24. --- I would beg to differ. I would blame Aneheim PD for what happened on July 24
YES! Anaheim council votes down gerrymandering/pandering district elections. Don't move into a country then expect to remake it in your own dysfunctional world view. Selah!
The hallmark of police in a democracy is how they treat (and protect) persons who are protesting actions by the government. For insight and direction on this and other important police improvement issues, take a look at “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” (Amazon.com in US and EU). And the blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/ where other current police improvement issues are discussed. Good luck and may we all experience not just good but great policing!
"Go Home Gringos"? nice racist sentiments from the illegal residents of Anaslime. We'll remember that.
The Revolutionary Communist Party?!!! Really? For a second there I thought I was reading "The Onion" (I seriously had to check). It must be those misguided "Che" T-Shirts that keep being sold...We need more Cubans and Venezuelans in Anaheim to just describe what happens when the poor are fooled. (change is not always good). Instead of a few (allegedly) bad cops and protesting utilizing our free speech, we would be trying not to get shot from the permanently-in-revolution law-abiding cops if we spoke our minds.
Hi Amber! ManuelAngelDiaz.com Parental Responsibility Work Ethic Development Good Neighbor Sustainability James Robert Reade
@JamesRobertReade I think people are being unfair to Amber, it's really not her fault at all but Gustavo's failed leadership.