Wednesday, May 02, 2007

LA Police Out of Control at Immigration Rally

Here's the story (with video), plus additional video here, here and here, that clearly documents the abuse of force by the members of the LA Police, who appeared to be dressed for war rather than a peaceful demonstration, at yesterday's immigration rights rally at MacArthur Park. Even the police chief admits it looks like some officers were acting inappropriately. Video to the rescue. Note that police seemed to take a special interest in hitting and shoving people with cameras.

After a peaceful day of marching and rallying, it looked to many like the cops decided to cause trouble by suddenly deciding to get rough with people who were off the sidewalk and/or not clearing the park quickly enough. Many who were manhandled were walking away from the scene, not challenging anyone. A few reacted by throwing things, which gave the cops a good excuse to move into overdrive using their clubs and rubber bullets on people, regardless of who they were and what they were doing.

Oh, the rubber bullets fired without warning were "non-lethal," meaning they only inflict intense pain or, perhaps, knock an eye or two out in the process. No big deal if you're the cop wearing the war gear. Beware women pushing strollers who don't get out of the way fast enough to suit the officers.

The Los Angeles CBS affiliate reports:

Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday some of the police tactics to clear immigration protesters from a park were "inappropriate," as numerous news videos showed officers striking people with batons and firing rubber bullets into crowds that included children.

Images showed police hitting a television cameraman to the ground and shoving people who were walking away from officers at Tuesday's demonstration. Some injured people were seen in the videos, including a Hispanic man with a bleeding welt on his stomach.

May 2, 2007 at 04:51 PM in Immigration | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, April 16, 2007

KUNM 89.9, Espejos de Aztlan tonight @8:00 PM on Immigration Reform and Family Unity

From Espejos de Aztlan: Check out KUNM 89.9 tonight, Monday, April 15th, at 8:00 PM for a half-hour live interview on "Espejos de Aztlan" with organizers of the upcoming boycott and March in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Family Unity. The event will take place on Tuesday, May 1st at 3:00 PM at Tiguex Park (16th and Mountain) and will begin with a rally, music and a picnic (since it will be a "no-purchase" day) - and a march will commence at 5:00 PM.

Many immigrant families in Albuquerque have been increasingly living in fear due to severe recent immigration enforcement activities throughout the City. On many occasions, ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) bureau raids have taken place at local parks, workplaces and even schools, often separating families and at times leaving young children unattended.

The event is being held in solidarity with the International Worker's Day. For more information, contact El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos at 246-1627.

Espejos has been on-air since 1979 and is part of the Raices Colectiva which conducts programming on news, culture and music from a Latino perspective on KUNM 89.9FM.

April 16, 2007 at 05:03 PM in Immigration, Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Minutemen vs. ACLU: 2/11/07 at Congregation Albert

From Congregation Albert Brotherhood:
Brunch and Speakers: Immigration and the Border Region
Speakers: Bob Wright, Deputy National Executive Director, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and Peter Simonson, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico
Social Hall of Congregation Albert
3800 Louisiana NE, Albuquerque
Sunday February 11, 10 AM
Brunch $11 Nonmembers, Debate Only Free
RSVP by Feb. 8th at 883-1818, ext. 3203

New Mexico is a border state and consequently is central to the debate on illegal immigration. Gov. Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency last year in four border counties citing a chaotic situation involving illegal alien smuggling and drug shipments. Richardson, while seeming to take a strong stand against illegal immigration, then contradictorily signed legislation giving some illegal aliens in-state tuition rates at our public universities. He also issued an executive order that in effect prohibits state and local enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal authorities solely in regard to inquiring about a person’s immigration status.

Meanwhile, prior to the midterm elections, the Republican controlled U. S. Congress was unable to enact any meaningful immigration reform. Still, demonstrations against any proposed crackdown on illegal immigration brought thousands of protesters into the streets across the country. Here in the southwest we have witnessed the rise of citizens groups such as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, viewed by some as vigilantes and by others as a needed grassroots effort to step in where government has failed. Other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union are concerned with defending the civil and constitutional rights of immigrants, whether they are here legally or not. The illegal immigration debate encompasses a wide range of difficult issues and conflicting opinions.

Join us at 10:00 am on Sunday, February 11th in the Social Hall of Congregation Albert (3800 Louisiana NE) when our speakers will be Bob Wright, Deputy National Executive Director, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and Peter Simonson, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico.

The cost for brunch is $8 for Brotherhood/Sisterhood members and $11 for others, including the general public. Please reserve before Feb. 8th by calling 883-1818, ext. 3203, and leaving your name, phone number and the number attending. We are expecting a large turnout so make your reservations early.

Editor's Note: If you don't want to purchase the brunch, you can still attend the speaker portion for free and sit at the side of the room for the debate only.

January 25, 2007 at 08:16 AM in Civil Liberties, Events, Immigration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Take Action: Immigrants Imprisoned in American Concentration Camps, On Christmas

firedoglake has everything you need to know about this horror story. Their entire post is well worth a read, but here's an excerpt:

Latina Lista has been doing fantastic work on the story of the truly evil ICE roundup of immigrant children and families, which has in many cases left American citizen children effectively orphaned. Now, we learn of American concentration camps for brown people, holding hundreds of children, just in time for Christmas, here on mainland American soil. As allied forces liberated Europe after defeating Germany, the undesirables of the Nazi regime were set free. Who will liberate these people?

It has to be you.

I'll give you the details of the situation after the jump, but here's what we need you to do:  this holiday season, while congress is out of session and your representatives are back home, please contact the local offices of your senators and congressmen and tell them this is immoral, unAmerican, and it has to stop. Now. None of these people are expecting calls on this, and certainly not during the holidays. Flood their fax machines with messages, too. If you wanted something truly good for the soul to do this holiday season, this is it. Please act. These families and children have no hope without you.

You can read more about the fed busts at Swift & Co. in my earlier post.

December 22, 2006 at 10:14 AM in Immigration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Scrooge Is Alive and Well in Chertoff's America

IceMichael Chertoff, the skeletal head of Homeland Security, was recently grandstanding all over the media as he is prone to do periodically. This time he was making rather hysterical claims that hundreds of meatpacking workers recently rounded up in six states and taken to undisclosed locations by Homeland Security were involved in an organized identify theft ring. Surprise -- it turns out that criminal acts, including "stolen" identification accusations, were the basis of only 65 of the 1,282 arrests. The rest were guilty of only "run of the mill immigration violations" or they turned out to be legally documented. Read this.

For example, of the 261 workers rounded up at the Swift plant in Grand Island, Nebraska, only 15 ended up being indicted for using someone else's identity to gain employment. Officials had to admit there was no evidence of their involvement in an ID theft ring or any other organized process. Here's a recent diary on Daily Kos about similar raids in Colorado (with lots of photos).

If only Chertoff were this heavily focused on making things right in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's tragic wake. Does anyone in the Bush administration EVER tell the truth? Not when political gain is at stake. With this bunch, political hay can be made with ANY issue without setting off any alarm bells in their shrunken consciences. All the world's a political stage, even if people are dying, getting their limbs blown up or having their families destroyed right before Christmas because they had the AUDACITY to accept jobs offered to them by corporate America. You won't see anyone from Swift or the outfit that provided the workers with the fake IDs getting arrested. Just those who took the brutal, low-paying jobs so their families could eat and have a place to live.

In another really Christmasy detail, it's being reported that children of those seized are being left on their own, including at least one nursing baby. Family values in action. The way law enforcement is acting you'd think the immigrants were murderers or worse. These raids were carried out by heavily armed SWAT teams, despite the fact that civil, not criminal, warrants were used to meet legal requirements. Just another case of selective application of the law performed in a way that most harms ordinary people while letting corporate forces behind the scenes remain scot free.

Another ironic twist is that it now appears that most of those seized were bussed across state lines and eventually released without charge. Chertoff doesn't care. He got his headlines, and only the families of the workers will suffer through the holiday season. If only we could get those ghosts that haunted Ebenezer Scrooge to make late night visits to Mr. Chertoff -- and to those among us who support these sorts of un-American round-ups -- we might get somewhere in crafting a just and coherent immigration policy.

December 18, 2006 at 11:01 AM in Civil Liberties, Immigration, Labor | Permalink | Comments (0)