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Police feel heat after May 1 attack, Minuteman leader confronted

by staff |
May 22, 2007
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Los Angles, CA - The Los Angeles Police Commission hearing on May 8 drew hundreds of angry protesters demanding that Los Angeles Police Department officers be fired and prosecuted for attacking the peaceful Mexican/Latinos families gathered at Macarthur Park on May 1. Some called for the firing of Chief Bratton.

The long line of speakers at the hearing included members of the Somos America Coalition, who had held the late afternoon rally at Macarthur Park, young people, activists, and lawyers. They all were united in stating what happened on May 1 was a police attack against our Mexican/Latino community.

A statement from Latinos Against War pointed out: “This racist police attack was a planned political attack against our movement that has been growing in the last several years. It is a racist police attack against the Chicano/Mexican people and the movement for equality. The local power structure and police are sending us a message to stay in our place as oppressed people. But we will continue our fight not just for legalization but for full equality and self determination.”

Javier Rodriguez, of the March 25 Coalition and Carlos Montes, of Latinos Against War spoke at the hearing pointing our how the police had earlier harassed and tried to limit the march and rally held in downtown Los Angeles. Montes stated that due to the fact that the March 25 Coalition had organized its own security with the help of the community and had the enthusiastic support of the 100,000 masses marching chanting legalization stop the raids, the police would not dare attack the event.

Racist Minuteman Confronted

Racist Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist arrived at the hearing to show support for the police and try to blame ‘outside agitators.’ In the police headquarters lobby, holding a press briefing, Gilchrist blamed the attack on the families and praised the police - but he was confronted by Carlos Montes who called him a liar and a racist, thus putting an end his arrogant display.

Lawsuit Filed, Organizing Continues

The March 25 Coalition held a press conference in front the of the LAPD headquarters on May 2 to announce a class action lawsuit by the Mexican American Bar Association and the National Lawyers Guild against the Los Angeles Police Department. Activists condemned and exposed this attack on our movement for equality and self-determination. A spokesperson for Latinos Against War states: “We are committed to continue the struggle for migrant rights and not let this racist blatant attack detour our movement. We must continue our focus on the demand for full legalization.”

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