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Tuesday, March 28, 2006
SANTA ANA POLICE DEPLOY ARMORED CARS AND HORSES TO
SQUELCH PROTEST ALONG BRISTOL STREET
People watch in horror as riot squad attacks crowd of
peaceful and festive observers
By DUANE J. ROBERTS email@example.com
SANTA ANA, CA -- Several of Santa Ana's poorest
working class Mexican neighborhoods suddenly found
themselves under a state of siege last night when an
estimated two hundred Santa Ana police officers,
Orange County Sheriff's deputies, and California
Highway patrolmen descended into the area and
squelched a peaceful protest near the intersection of
Bristol and McFadden Streets.
More than 700 people had assembled about a quarter
mile away to express their opposition to legislation
passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in
December that would criminalize undocumented workers.
The demonstration was peaceful and festive as people
carried flags, signs, and wore clothing symbolizing
their Mexican heritage. The street was flooded with
cars honking their horns.
Things took a turn for the worse when Santa Ana
policemen dressed in full riot gear suddenly came up
from behind the crowd I was standing in and began
yelling for everybody to "get the hell out of here."
Without warning, cops started jumping out from
their patrol cars and began shoving and pushing
people; several Mexican males trying to move away from
them stumbled and fell as they lost their balance.
After being herded out of the area like a bunch of
cattle, this reporter retreated to the safety of his
vehicle. In the dark, a black armored car carrying
Santa Ana policemen slowly moved east on McFadden.
Several California Highway Patrol units also whizzed
by, their lights quietly flashing; they positioned
themselves further up the street to prevent people
from entering the neighborhood.
When things cooled down, I exited my vehicle and found
myself watching about eight policemen on horseback
ride their ponies directly through one working class
neighborhood in an attempt to get to Bristol street.
Moving to a nearby shopping center, I observed a
formation about sixty Orange County Sheriff's deputies
and California Highway patrolmen march South on
Bristol street toward the intersection.
It's unclear at this time if anybody was arrested or
seriously injured, but after the army of cops
retreated, the only visible property damage one could
see was graffiti that somebody sprayed on local
businesses. On the wall next to a convenience store I
bought a bag of chips and a soda from, somebody wrote
the words: "Mexico, don't hate."