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Protest Costa Mesa City Council 1/17

by Street Soldier...on his behalf Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006 at 1:01 AM

see above


COSTA MESA, CA --On January 17, 2006, at 5:00 PM, members of the Tonantzin Collective and concerned people throughout Orange County will converge again upon the Costa Mesa City Council meeting, in protest of their decision to deputize police officers to perform federal immigration duties. The measure was approved by the council on December 7, 2005. Costa Mesa will be the first United States city to merge police and immigration duties.

The proposal raises concern among Mexicans and Central Americans throughout Orange County. Brown-skinned people will be subject to racial profiling, based on appearance and surname. The measure will also erode relations between immigrants and police, as immigrants will fear reporting crimes. Funding the measure will drain much needed funds from the police department. Furthermore, vigilantism may increase, as residents may attack and harass people they believe to be undocumented.

The last city council meeting exploded in chaos when Coyotl Tezcatlipoca, 25, of Costa Mesa was arrested for allegedly disrupting a public meeting. During the public comments session of the meeting, Tezcatlipoca spoke against the proposal and urged others who shared his views to stand up. Mayor Mansoor requested audience members to remain seated, while Tezcatlipoca continued to urge those against the proposal to remain standing. Mansoor called for a break and closed the meeting, two minutes and 18 seconds into Tezcatlipoca's speech-- out of the three minutes that were available to him according to the Costa Mesa municipal code. Civil libertarians looking into this case argue this was an outright violation of Tezcatlipoca's constitutionally protected right to free speech and assembly.

When the Mayor informed Tezcatlipoca that his time was up, he asked to finish his speech, to no avail. He was quickly surrounded by police. After he attempted to grab his speech off the podium and walk out of council chambers, police officers grabbed him and forced him out the door. He was then choked, kicked and dragged along the ground by officers into the police station.

Prior to Tezcatlipoca's turn at the podium, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist spoke and also asked supporters of his views to stand. They were allowed to do so, and Mansoor responded with thanks and appreciation.

Tezcatlipoca's arrest serves to further illustrate the Costa Mesa City Council's attempt to gerrymander the demographics of Costa Mesa. First, the Council voted to close the Human Relations Commission. Then, the Council voted to close the day labor center and voted to merge city law enforcement with immigration duties. Costa Mesa City Council is attempting to gentrify working class Mexicans and Central Americans out of the city. The Costa Mesa City Council has enacted policies which are rooted in bigotry and divisive to the community. They should not be allowed to use public interest as a guise to promote institutional racism.

Tonantzin Collective demands:

1. Re-opening of the day labor center

2. Withdrawal the vote for the ICE proposal

3. The resignation of council members who voted in favor of the proposal

4. Drop all charges against Coyotl Tezcatlipoca

WHEN: Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 5PM

WHERE: Costa Mesa City Council Chambers

77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

CONTACT: Coyotl Tezcatlipoca

or Naui Huitzilopochtli

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
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More details John Earl Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006 at 9:22 AM
Thank you, Mr. Earl Street Soldier Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006 at 2:48 AM

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