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Santa Monica Counter-protest: Don’t Teach Your Children Hate

by Ixachilanka Monday, Jan. 09, 2006 at 10:06 AM

Mobilizing overnight, the Santa Monica Chicana/o Community Shuts Down the Minutemen.

Santa Monica Counter...
santa_monica_1.jpg, image/jpeg, 323x432

To hear the Minutemen tell it, today’s protest in Santa Monica was an urgent part of their plans for a national day of protest against immigrant workers – a site in the heart of the entertainment and media enclave of greater LA, and an anchor site for a Japanese TV network’s international coverage of white America’s immigrant-bashing rage.

Days ago, Minutemen email lists published an “urgent appeal” for their troops to come for Santa Monica’s first-ever anti-Mexican, anti-migrant picket line.

Santa Monica’s Chicana/o community got the news late Friday. By Saturday morning, literally overnight, 25 people from the community hit the streets against the Minutemen.

All four of them.

People turned out from Mothers for Justice, the Pico Youth and Family Center, Comite Pro-Democracia de Mexico, the Center for Urban Policy at UCLA and the Aztlan Mexica Nation Harmony Circle, surrounding the Minutemen until they were all but invisible from the street.

“It was powerful,” said one man from the youth center, who was holding a sign that said ‘Show Me Your Green Card, Pilgrim.’

“I got the call 8 hours ago – so we’re the _real_ minutemen, coming out on short notice to defend our people. This was a test for us. Today we see who’s down. These are the people we will depend on for our future.”

One Minuteman said “This is good; we keep the issue in the media and so we pass legislation.” But the media he got this day was not so good.

A reporter from the Santa Monica Daily Press noted his sign. On one side it read “Hire an illegal, you go to jail – he goes home.”

On the other side it said “No La Raza Bronce” (“No Brown People”) and “No Espiritual Aztlan,” a garbled reference to El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, a founding document of the Chicana/o Movement. As a white counter- protestor said, “It’s racism, just translate the damn sign.”

The Japanese TV network never showed up. A befuddled writer for GQ Magazine out of London left early.

At 11 in the morning the three remaining Minutemen walked away, too, 25 counter-protestors on their heels, chanting “La Raza, Unida, Jamas Sera Vencida.” As one of the Minutemen stopped to talk to a person who pulled up in a truck, the tone of the counter-protestors quickly shifted into gentleness.

The chant changed, too. “Don’t teach your children hate.” They were almost singing it, like a lullaby. In Santa Monica, the Chicana/o family stood up together with love in our hearts for our People.

As we followed the retreating Minutemen, a migrant worker, a man about 55, looked up at me from where he crouched, next to a flower bed, “Gracias, Maestro,” he said quietly.

A post-doctoral student specializing in migrant studies told me, “It was impressive that people came together so quickly. I got the email this morning. It just shows how strong the network is.”

As the counter protestors gathered in a circle to close the day one man said, “Today we won one battle. We can’t let them come to the West Side gang banging against our People.”

The day was a disaster for the Minutemen nationally – they were outnumbered by counter-protestors in virtually every protest site across the nation.


Report this post as:

This is Indian Land

by Ixachilanka Monday, Jan. 09, 2006 at 10:06 AM

This is Indian Land...
santa_monica_demo.jpg, image/jpeg, 258x156

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 15 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
The National Story - Few Drawn to Illegal Immigration Protests repost Monday, Jan. 09, 2006 at 10:33 AM
Disater, Defeated, Demise, Indy Keeps Claiming MMP is dead MMP Monday, Jan. 09, 2006 at 10:20 PM
Excellent work Fredric L. Rice Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006 at 8:40 PM
"Don’t Teach Your Children Hate" idiot detector Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006 at 9:18 PM
Yes Fredric L. Rice Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006 at 12:45 AM
Another FOX "News" victim Fredric L. Rice Friday, Jan. 13, 2006 at 8:09 PM

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