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Dec 03rd
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Fil-Am View of May-Day Clash at MacArthur Park
Fil-Am View of May-Day Clash at MacArthur Park PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 18 May 2007 11:12

In the interest of truth and justice, immigrant-rights advocates want to correct some misconceptions and deliberate twisting of facts being peddled by some quarters in some mainstream newspapers.

The slant of the bourgeois media is that "there are less people during the rallies" in comparison to last year’s May-First event. The mainstream media said that the violence "came from a small group of anarchist agitators." Although there was a universal condemnation of the police attack on immigrants, the blame is being attributed more to the "anarchist" groups that were not even present at the rally. This means a reason for the authorities to break up future rallies.

The propaganda blitz by some reactionary forces is meant to discourage immigrant rights mobilization that managed to attract tens of thousands in attendance. The immigrant-rights movement is getting stronger and bigger as it mobilizes supporters. The April 7, 2007, rally attracted 75,000 persons and started the mobilization for the now-controversial incident at the MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007.

People should not compare to the May-First rally last year because there is already a big change in the situation. The May-First rallies last year were in opposition to House of Representatives (HR) Bill 4437. The immigrant advocacy gained victory when HR 4437 was dumped last year. This year, the advocacy is in the US Congress. People feel disconnected with the lobby efforts. Must skeptics wait until the US Congress would refuse to act on real immigrant rights? The legislators who marginalize real immigrant power or who refuse to support the immigration reform may suffer the same fate of Republican candidates who lost during the last election

The public is appalled by such propaganda and people wonder why some journalist accepted face-value such innuendoes. The Filipino media should remember that in the United States that there are more-than 850,000 overstaying Filipinos (the so-called TNTs) who the community should fight and care for. The progressive immigrant-rights community advocates must vehemently condemn the unprovoked massive attack by the LAPD, especially its SWAT unit, against the May-First 70,000-strong immigrant’s march-rally in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles.

To set the record straight, the May-First rally mobilized in Los Angeles three march-rallies that were held by three different alliances: the MIWON (60,000), the downtown rally by the March 25 alliance (25,000) and the La Raza march (10,000).

The LAPD Terror Attack

The LAPD used 20-30 motorcycled African-American cops to commence fascist attacks on the unsuspecting crowds at the corner of Westlake and Wilshire and at the Alvarado-Wilshire intersection.

The all-Black police motorcycles ran through the Cuahatemoc dancers and they hit even children and senior-citizen dancers of the Danza Azteca. This type of dispersal attack was similar to the tactics used against the Oakland demonstrators in 2003.

When the crowd retaliated by pelting the policemen with water bottles and corncobs, the police/SWAT opened fire with rubber bullets, tear gas, foam-and-stun grenades and deliberately targeted the sound stage for the MIWON rally with a barrage of fire.

Clearing Operations

The LAPD started their clearing operations without even warning the crowd. Combined baton-wielding police platoons and the rubber-bullet firing SWAT teams attacked everybody at the park and the crowd who ran pell-mell. The students and youth defended the rally participants as they scampered out of the park.

The police attacked families, hurting children and old people, vendors and even brutalized journalists. This is not the first time that the police attacked a peaceful crowd in Los Angeles. During the Democratic national convention at the Staples Center and at a demonstration in Parker Center in 2000 and in Hollywood last year against the racist Minutemen, the LAPD used also violent force against the demonstrators.

We call on the Mayor of Los Angeles and the City Council to sanction the LAPD and stop police brutality against immigrants and the people of Los Angeles.

We support the call of the Los Angeles journalist to call for an impartial investigation by an independent panel. Any investigation by the LAPD itself or its allies will only result to more whitewash. The LAPD and the Police Commission have a track record of absolving itself.

People must all work for true justice and peace, especially justice for all immigrants.

# # # Editor’s Notes: Mr. Garcia is the People's CORE project coordinator for Immigrant Rights. He is also the coordinator of the Social Justice Program and the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV).

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Last Updated on Saturday, 19 May 2007 00:58

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