SOS spent a short week of hard and fast Internet organizing and used the unchallenged nightly local media exposure to their advantage. Earlier in the week Don Silva sent out an impassioned plea to his e-mail lists in which he stated, “I am asking, basically pleading with as many of you as possible to show up this Saturday.” Silva’s begging paid off – SOS drew their biggest crowd ever, approximately 75.
The opposition consisting of several local groups and individuals drew about 100. Two prominent groups there today were the ANSWER Coalition and the Mexica-Movement. One report on the Save Our State website placed the numbers at around 100 SOS to 150 anti-SOS.
About an hour into the event the Mexica-Movement remained at their location in front of the day labor center and many of the “left” activists including ANSWER moved across the street. SOS remained where they started, on the sidewalk in front of Home Depot.
Burbank police had a steady but relatively small presence but managed to keep the opposing sides apart for most of the day. The exception was an incident that occurred at the end of the event when SOS was being shuttled to their vehicles. Little by little SOS members were led 2-by-2 (like school children being taken by their teacher to the lavatory) across the street and down an alley to a secret, probably pre-planned, exit location.
Toward the end of the exit parade Joe Turner, the SOS “man-in-charge” and a few other SOSers were left waiting for their rides. At that point the “left” contingent of the counter-protest, spearheaded by members from ANSWER crossed the street and surrounded Turner. The Mexica-Movement stayed at their location in front of the day worker center.
Shouting him down, the activists removed the school-boy, ear-to-ear grin from his face for the first time all day leaving him frustrated and standing in the middle of the street waiting for his ride, who happened to be Don Silva who pulled up about 10 minutes later in his green taxi. Shuttled away no doubt to a celebratory lunch at a local Mexican restaurant more than likely staffed by a kitchen full of undocumented workers.
The incident at the end of the protest was one of the more bizarre incidents to take place at an SOS event and it ranks right up there to Joe Turner’s arrest 10 minutes in to the 12-7-05 Glendale event, the Nazis in Laguna Beach pulling out their flags and then being chased to their cars by the counter protestors and the one SOSer near tears at the beginning of the 6-18-05 Alhambra event (you know who you are).
One can only wonder what will happen next.
The day was also highlighted by the appearance of a few Latino SOS members who were pushed to the front and given access to a bullhorn, at times assisted by Turner himself. Counter-protesters on the other side of the street were heard calling these individuals “house pets”.
Apparently two of these men are available for hire or rent as SOS member LAPhil posted that he has contact information for these men.
Throughout the day SOS members took turns on the bullhorn, each one making their “statement” which they believe will once and for all make the counter-protestors shut up and go away. It never works though because, as should be obvious in such a noisy environment, it’s really impossible to hear a word they are saying.
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