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Garden Grove: From Where I Stood

by Leslie Friday, May. 27, 2005 at 8:40 AM

A report on Garden Grove, from the street.

A car plowed without hesitation through the protestors picketing at the driveway, knocking two to the ground. Reportedly, the woman on the ground called out for the other to move his feet, the car’s rear wheels were going to run over them. He managed to pull away. I didn’t see the incident. But as I came away from the boisterous crowd on Chapman shouting “Racists Go Home!” with drums and whistles, and debating a Cuban refugee from the Minutemen, and rounded the corner toward the driveway, the steel-blue anger in people’s eyes was unmistakable.

The police in the parking lot quietly checked the driver’s license, casually conversing with him while the protestors began shouting for his arrest. Two of the Minutemen crossed the picket line on foot; a scuffle broke out; one of the protestors was thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and led by police to the parking lot. The quiet questioning of the driver continued until he, too, was taken away. The green-hatted legal observer shook his head.

We waited for the 150 or so Minutemen to end their meeting. The protesting crowd waxed and waned, perhaps as few as 200, as many as 300, webs of side conversations undeterred by the nonstop chants. Two white Minutemen, one parading a large U.S. flag and the other sporting a flag-colored tie under his cowboy hat and vest, were joined off and on by others in the parking lot as they mocked the mostly-Chicano protestors from behind the safety of the 30-member police line.

As I stood a couple of hundred feet north of the driveway on Gilbert, a uniformed arm reached across the police line and grabbed a protestor’s collar while the man had his back turned, talking with friends. The protestor was dragged to the parking lot, thrown on the ground, handcuffed, and taken away. We were stunned; no one knew why it had happened.

At 8:30 p.m., the police lowered their visors, mounted police started moving, batons were readied, and the police helicopter began circling. It was clear that the meeting, 500 feet away behind sliding glass doors, was breaking up. A woman came out on the porch facing Gilbert and waved her ass at the protestors in a taunting dance that lasted several minutes, apparently to trying to distract the unperturbed protestors, while the rest of the Minutemen were escorted out a back door through the darkness to their cars.

Then the police moved in, in riot gear and on horseback, forcing protestors into the street on Gilbert, toward Chapman, north of the driveway. A caravan of cars pulled out, turning south and driving into the dark, the “victims” of an occasional water bottle.

We were at a standoff. Several batons were raised and lowered at a particular spot in the crowd. The police moved forward; the crowd stepped back. A few minutes later, out of no where, five or six cops on foot rushed the crowd from the southwest to the northeast, threw a young man no more than five feet from me to the ground and handcuffed him, as demonstrators scurried under police legs to reach out to their fallen friend. The police encircled him waving batons and pepper spray cans to back the protestors away. The young man, who had done nothing while I was facing him, disappeared into a phalanx of police.

The police stormed the crowd, batons raised, horses driven forward. The crowd dispersed down Gilbert.

About thirty protestors rendezvoused at the Garden Grove police station and began a vigil for those being booked, encouraging those held inside with circling pickets and chants. Between five and ten police looked on from the steps. Protestors gathered the names of those being held, and the police revealed to the protestors’ negotiator that, in all, seven people were being transported from the booking center to county jail for arraignment on felony charges. One of them was being charged with deadly assault with an automobile.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 34 posted about this article.
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excelllent report bruce Friday, May. 27, 2005 at 11:50 AM
Leslie is a big Fricking LIAR Honcho Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 4:00 AM
LA RAZA isn't going to win Honcho Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 4:02 AM
We were here first pilgrims? Honcho Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 4:12 AM
Pathetic Lies Unbiased_Va Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 6:13 AM
Coconut Hispanics are joining Save our State RAMSEY Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 7:35 AM
Intersting.... PunkNosed Kid Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 7:36 AM
By the term" doctored" Unbiased_VA Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 10:26 AM
Re: By the term" doctored" The Morrígan Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 11:09 AM
All photos are apoliges to 1planet Unbiased_VA Monday, May. 30, 2005 at 11:11 AM
Lying AGAIN Hellfire USA Tuesday, May. 31, 2005 at 8:12 PM
SOVIET LESLIE LIES We American know it! Friday, Jun. 03, 2005 at 7:17 AM
That was exciting harper Friday, Jun. 03, 2005 at 7:40 AM

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