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Racists Go Home

by Leslie Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 2:05 AM

Save Our State and the Minutemen declared a showdown. Counterprotestors didn't see it that way but won the day anyway.

Racists Go Home...
go_home_racists.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x615

BURBANK, January 21, 2006--Minuteman Don Silva, also of Save Our State, called the showdown. He named the site--Burbank's new Home Depot. He brought in the TV crews, and radio and newspaper reporters. He pleaded with every minuteman in southern California to attend. The neo-Nazi group VDARE posted a notice of the event on their blog.

Silva managed to raise sixty-five people. He lost his "battle at the black gate of Mordor," as he overdramatically called the protest, when ninety hastily assembled and loosely organized Los Angeles-area counterprotestors brought the minutemen's invasion of Burbank to a standstill.

The protestors took the northeast and southeast corners of the Home Depot entrance. The minutemen and Save Our State clustered on the southwest corner. The police claimed the northwest corner for their staging ground. The Burbank day laborers, who usually number upward of twenty-five, reportedly started the day with only fourteen on hand. The rest had scattered to the streets of Burbank to find work.

By 6:30 a.m., long before the minutemen had brushed their teeth, Mexica Movement were in place with their signs declaring indigenous ownership of the continent and demanding that the colonizers return to Europe, grounding the counterprotestors in the long history of racist oppression in Anahuac.

AnswerLA brought a vocal contingent, ready with banners, bullhorns, and chants. World Can't Wait and individual socialists, anarchists, and others added their voices and noisemakers to the cacophony.

The National Day Laborers Organizing Network arrived by 8:30 a.m. and held their banner resolutely by the day labor center's driveway, in solidarity with their brothers.

By 9:00 a.m. Danza Cuauhtémoc took their place across the street from the day laborers. As they crossed the two-lane road, a roaring cheer rolled down the lines of counterprotestors. The danzantes' pounding drums and rattles all but drowned out a Cuban minuteman on an oversized bullhorn, who tried to threaten people with arrest for traveling with undocumented passengers.

Determined counterprotestors alternated between chants and drums for two and a half more hours.

Meanwhile, SOS and the minuteman waved their flags and raised signs that displayed the confusion in their message and the splits in their ranks: some derided Home Depot, others pointed to the Burbank City Council, some attacked employers, while others proclaimed themselves "Latinos for Legal Immigration" and "Veterans Against Open Borders."

Passing Burbank residents who took note of the protest from their cars and trucks, almost to a person honked and waved for the day laborers. Apparently, SOS has seriously misjudged Burbankians.

Unlike a Glendale protest earlier this month, the police kept the counterprotestors away from the minutemen's corner, even separating chance encounters between individuals as we walked to the protest site. On the other hand, counterprotestors reported that "any white guy with a camera" had free passage through the counterprotestors' ranks, some making it as far as the danzantes before counterprotestors blocked the cameras with their hands, signs, and a Mexican flag.

The media was there en masse, as arranged by Silva, and counterprotestors took full advantage of the opportunity to get their message out. Multiple interviews were ongoing as the sun warmed up the street. Reporters were eager to interview and film; it seemed as if any counterprotestor who wanted press attention could get it.

Apparently, minutemen in general are less tied to their watches than SOS, which typically makes their escape at the stroke of 11:00 a.m. This time, some of the racists hung out for an extra forty minutes, until the counterprotestors seized the moment and swarmed the minutemen's corner. The remaining minutemen backed down the street in small groups, dogged by counterprotestors demanding "Go home, racists." A lone SOSer remained, until Silva, driving a cab, swung around, picked him up, and sped away.

As I looked around, a day labor organizer, an anarchist, and an indigenist were still talking to the media. One anarchist commented to another, "That was rad!" Her friend responded, "Let's go get lunch and celebrate."

A laborer in the passenger side of a cab rode off from the labor center with his employer. I greeted him with "Buenas dias." Only seven day laborers remained.

Report this post as:

Counterprotestors claim turf

by Leslie Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 2:05 AM

Counterprotestors cl...
sw_corner_then_and_now.jpg, image/jpeg, 594x746

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 64 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Thank you Leslie Thank you Leslie Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 8:50 AM
Lost In Translation Spankie Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 9:17 AM
Numbers TheWatchdog Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 11:14 AM
Lost in Space Jose Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 1:52 PM
The Amazing thing is that SOS has in one year Amazing Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 2:11 PM
Why did the Mexa Movement Guys Question Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 2:26 PM
SOS numbers johnk Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 4:19 PM
JohnK TheWatchdog Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 4:47 PM
To Watchdog El CHivo Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 5:52 PM
Are You *sure* it was bad for HD? johnk Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 5:54 PM
El CHivo TheWatchdog Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 7:24 PM
numbers Next Move Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 7:50 PM
p.s. Next Move Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 7:50 PM
Now u See em, Now u Don't Math Whiz Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at 11:28 PM
Leslie: a fair and balanced European Manuel A. Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 3:00 AM
To Leslie - you defend a corporation Minutewoman Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 9:20 AM
from the open borders side? Border Raven Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 10:27 AM
To Minutewoman johnk Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 1:29 PM
To John K and Border Raven Minutewoman Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 2:23 PM
Argue on win / loss? Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 3:34 PM
ANSWER and HD Fredric L. Rice Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 3:50 PM
Fred TheWatchdog Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 6:03 PM
If sos is the racist group why is it that it was Morleigh Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 7:26 PM
Once again, ANSWER is a well funded SOROS Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 7:30 PM
To Minutewoman, BR, I think johnk Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 9:46 PM
Re "you defend a corporation" Morales Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006 at 10:39 PM
BR, I think Border Raven Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 12:02 AM
BR, Hypocrite Morales Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 12:38 AM
BR, Hypocrite? Border Raven Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 4:35 AM
Pay attention, rightard Fredric L. Rice Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 9:16 AM
Is pretty obvious Fredric L. Rice Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 9:25 AM
Poverty and homelessness Fredric L. Rice Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 9:34 AM
Border Raven - full of lies Pete Nice Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 9:51 AM
To John K Minutewoman Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 2:48 PM
what if... Pete Nice Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 3:21 PM
To MW johnk Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 at 6:45 PM
your Navy pension? Border Raven Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 4:37 PM
BRaven Scorpio Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 4:40 PM
Military = Public Employee johnk Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 4:52 PM
johnk Scorpio Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 5:04 PM
scorpio Pete Nice Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 5:41 PM
military personnel Pete Nice Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 at 5:47 PM
Pete Nice... Resident Dunce Scorpio Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 at 10:18 AM
Who's the real dunce? Pete Nice Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 at 12:22 PM
Scorpio: Category IV recruit? Pete Nice Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 at 12:27 PM
Pete The Uninformed Scorpio Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 at 4:25 PM
Scorpio breaks it down... Pete Nice Friday, Jan. 27, 2006 at 5:52 PM
Pete Nice... Bobbing, weaving... and losing. Scorpio Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006 at 2:46 PM
for pete's sake hey Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006 at 2:59 PM
Scorpio: Pete Nice's Punching Bag Pete Nice Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006 at 4:24 PM
? Pete Nice Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006 at 7:58 AM
also, OC=Border Raven El Chivo Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006 at 11:35 AM
border raven believes the propaganda still El Chivo Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006 at 2:17 PM
I pay taxes too Border Raven Saturday, Feb. 25, 2006 at 8:26 PM
here's to you BR Hex Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006 at 6:29 AM
you make me laugh El Chivo Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006 at 8:22 AM
Mr Hermando G. Rodriquez Wednesday, May. 10, 2006 at 12:15 AM

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