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by Juan Santos
Monday, Apr. 24, 2006 at 2:03 PM
A spontaneous eyewitness report.
Black Republican Ted Hayes and his Minutemen allies held an anti-migrant demonstration in Leimert Park today, which was outnumbered by a spontaneous gathering of African Americans who opposed them by a margin of 2 to 1.
Black women danced and led a chorus chanting "No Human Being is Illegal." A man of African descent brought signs and maps and images of Native Americans and proclaimed, as he held up one of the photos beside a Mexican man's face "They're not illegal - this is their land!"
A white man in a Nazi-style biker helmet threatened one Chicano, asking, "Are you ready to die for your cause? You'd better be because we're going to put a bayonet up your ass and slit your throat! It's going to be war. Are you ready?"
Another white man - an anti-migrant - was asked, "How many times have you been in the Black community"? His answer; "This is the first time: does it show"? "Yes," he was told.
The area of the official demonstration was marked off by yellow police tape, and by far the greatest number of people were on the other side of the line, where fierce, honest and beautiful debate were the order of the day.
African sisters and brothers put their hearts and minds on the line calling for unity; exposed the history of slavery and genocide at the hands of Europe that Black and Brown share; demanded answers to the realities of Brown discrimination against Blacks; dealt frankly with the "Land Question," and that the US had siezed the Nothern half of Mexico in order to extend slavery; spoke bitterly about Black / Brown rivalries in prison and among gangs; talked aloud about the driving down of wages; insisted that Mexicans took no one's job - that the jobs had been shipped overseas, and "I don't know about you but I'm not working for no six dollars an hour."
One African American man in his fifties spoke with urgent reality about Black survival, saying "Every nation in the world has been trained to be against Black people... they are wiping us out in Africa today... it would have been better if they had killed us all instead of freeing us from slavery, instead of putting my father through what he went through... if you want to relate to me, you have to listen to me, you have to respect me..."
Others discussed Ted Hayes' backward influence in the community. Some resented that he had brought this demonstration to Leimert Park, because they said, it made it appear as if the conscious Black community is behind him. Haye's assistant on the improvised stage had worn a Malcolm X hat and a George Bush / Dick Cheney election pin on his jacket.
One African man brought a contract that he felt should be signed by members of the Black and Brown communities, each pledging to support the other's cause. He called for an all-night discussion on April 30th to forge unity for the May 1 Gran Boicot / Huelga General. A planning meeting for the event had been held only the day before in the same park that now hosted Hayes and the Minutemen.
The minister of a nearby Black church declared that his congregation sheltered three families of migrants, insisting that such is the word of God, and that whatever Ted Hayes and company were preaching, it was most certainly not the word of God.
Backed into a corner, Hayes allowed a Chicano man to speak from the improvised "stage," to the small crowd that gathered around it. Europeans had killed a hundred million Africans between the Middle Passage and the Conquest of Africa, the crowd was reminded, and the same numbers of Native Americans had died in the Conquest of the Americas - history's two most massive genocides.
Mainstream media, English and Spanish, were everywhere, and for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear it was clear that the real event today was the struggle over the question of immigration within the African community, not the momentary unity between a trinkle of Black Republicans and their Minutemen allies. As one Black man put it, "those Minutemen hate us just as bad as they do you."
By the event's end Hayes led his supporters in a for-show-only march for the cameras around the perimeter of the park. Only 23 people marched with him, and 1/5 of that number white Minutemen. Only the Minutemen and two or three Blacks had brought American flags: the rest were car-window style flags handed out on the spot from a box the organizers had brought.
Another seventy people refused to join the march, continued to speak among themselves, and began to celebrate, Black and Brown together, as African drums began to roll, and as plans were laid to unite the Black and Brown communities in a common demonstration for their rights.
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 38 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|No race is not racist
||Monday, Apr. 24, 2006 at 4:04 PM
|Republicans, SOS, hate groups
||divide & conquer the working class
||Monday, Apr. 24, 2006 at 4:32 PM
||Monday, Apr. 24, 2006 at 7:12 PM
|You dont think Mexicans are racist?
||Monday, Apr. 24, 2006 at 11:30 PM
||Hijo del Jornalero
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 12:21 AM
|Channel 9 coverage
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 8:39 AM
|pix from sunday
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 9:31 AM
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 9:32 AM
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 9:56 AM
|more oppositin pix
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 9:58 AM
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 10:00 AM
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 10:05 AM
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 10:08 AM
|final pix for now
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 10:13 AM
|Hayes' Coordinated Assault + "Apology"
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 11:22 AM
|Nobody was driven out by immigrants
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 11:57 AM
|good chance that is him
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 12:15 PM
|Build the Black and Brown Alliance for Justice and Human Rights!
||Black Worker's League
||Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 1:24 PM
||Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 at 9:37 AM
||Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 at 9:38 AM
|Re: Black Worker's League
||Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 at 9:52 AM
|"Hello all, SS187 here with ya...."
||Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 12:54 AM
||Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 2:36 PM
||Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 2:39 PM
||Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 8:09 PM
||Hijo de Zapata
||Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 8:48 PM
||Friday, May. 12, 2006 at 1:58 PM
||Friday, May. 12, 2006 at 5:33 PM
|original Aboriginal !! yepppaaahhooo!!
||Saturday, Jun. 03, 2006 at 11:51 AM
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