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Burbank: Standoff in the Street

by Leslie Radford Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM

On Saturday morning, during an immigration confrontation at Burbank Home Depot, Save Our State and other minutemen spouted their frustration and unsuccessfully tried to provoke violence after a month of pro-migrant victories.

Burbank: Standoff in...
pro-migrants1.jpg, image/jpeg, 425x648

LOS ANGELES, 23 April 2006--To the casual observer, Saturday’s confrontation between pro-migrant activists and the minutemen might have looked like the dozen or so others over the past year: 65 or so minutemen at their peak, something like 100 pro-migrant activists across the street from each other at a day labor center, trading insults.

But the morning match up at the Burbank Home Depot was the first since the Gran Marcha of March 25, the first since the Senate took up the question of legalization for migrants. Under the rain-threatening clouds, the minutemen barely acknowledged their ostensible purpose, a Southern California convergence against Burbank Home Depot, part of a National Corporation protest against hiring workers without papers. Instead, showing their frustration at the turning tide, the minutemen verbally assaulted the Native Americans, Chicana/os, and Mexicans with unmitigated racial insults and slurs for four hours.

Mexica Movement was firmly in place by 5:15 a.m., waiting for the minutemen. By 7:30 a.m., members of Frente Unido de los Pueblos Americanos, a sponsoring organization for the pro-migrant "Support the Boycott, Stop the Minutemen" rally, arrived, along with the first of the anarchists. ANSWER-LA and the Jornaleros del Valle de San Gabriel joined them, along with newcomers Estudiantes Unidos, Students for Amnesty from East Los Angeles, and Border Resistance Network. What they confronted was almost unending barrage of racism, even as the minutemen simultaneously screamed that they weren’t racists.

The call from anti-migrant Save Our State went out to all Southern California minutemen, including FAIR, CTCIC, OJJPAC, USA Border Alert, Wake Up America, IFIRE, MFIRE, The Fire Coalition, MAIA, the Minuteman Project, and a handful of recognized neo-Nazis, one of whom, according to a Chicano protestor, offered a Nazi salute. Apparently the National Corporation Protest occurred only in Burbank.

It began with minuteman Ray Herrera proclaiming the U.S. is “an Anglo-Christian culture that let the Irish in in 1820.” He added, “The U.S. never let any Mexicans in. We’re a nation of British settlers and their descendents. We’re not a nation of immigrants.”

The minutemen called out “You don’t have a God” and called the protestors reprobates and idiots. “This is not your continent,” they shouted. “Brown bastards!”

Ted Hayes, an African American Republican, brought a handful of fellow African Americans to the protest in what they dubbed the Crispus Attucks Brigade. Midway through the morning, two or three of the African Americans crossed the street and were engaged by Mexican-Americans in discussion. Hayes, however, promised to "call out the Buffalo soldiers on you."

Meanwhile, the white Minutemen shouted, “You don’t bathe! You eat cockroaches!” Herrera announced, “I’m an Anglo! I’m a coconut and proud of it!”

The minutemen briefly turned toward Home Depot, in what turned out to be the only organized anti-corporate action of the day. Then they turned back to continue their verbal assault on Mexicans: “What law are you going to break next: rape? murder?” a woman called out on the PA system.

It wasn’t yet 10:00 a.m., less than halfway into the minutemen’s protest schedule. Twenty minutemen pulled out, marching down the street to their cars, flags waving.

Pro-amnesty forces bullhorned back to the minutemen, “I don’t ask questions, I just feed the hungry. You take food away from the hungry! Racists! Racists!” The minutemen shouted, “You can’t even add. You can’t even spell!”

“Your time is up. The war is on. We’re taking every one of you out. Go back across the border,” Herrera challenged. Nearby, a minutewoman sported a Confederate flag on her sign.

Half an hour later, Hayes led the minutemen in singing “God Bless America” and the national anthem. Hayes shouted out, “We love you!” At that, pro-amnesty protestors surged into the street, just past the row of parked cars. Police lined up in front of both groups, donning riot helmets to face the minutemen. “Commies, go home,” the minutemen baited. “SOS, KKK, racist scum, go away!” The migrant supporters held the police at bay for twenty minutes before they marched down the street, around the cars, and back up on the sidewalk.

A member of FUPA explained: “These people have spewed racist filth at us all day. Like, I can’t get out of my mind them calling us ‘cockroach-eaters.’ They swagger around saying ‘this is war’ and that ICE is going to deport every one of us across the street from them. It might as well have been Custer holding a dead Indian baby he’d smashed into a wall, and telling the mother he loved her. And people just went off. SOS was doing everything it could to provoke violence.”

A minutewoman shouted, “Your problem is your church. They don’t allow birth control.”
“What do we want? Racists out! When do we want it? Now!”

“If you take America, down,” the minutewoman continued, “you take us down. Don’t have four children when you can’t afford two.”
“Esos racistas ellos son los terroristas!”

“You can not assimilate. You can never be part of this country.”
The Aztec dancers called out “Abajo SOS!”

“Have respect for your elders!”
That brought on another round of “SOS, KKK, racist scum, go away!”

“You are being controlled by a few people who run this country. You are sending our money to Latin America. We are your savior! Do not harm your savior!”
“Down! Down! Down with the minutemen!"

By 11:30, only 30 minutemen remained, while the migrant supporters maintained nearly their entire contingent.

According to a witness, it was about then that Save Our State leader Don Silva was the first to trespass into the day labor center, and four riot cops followed him until he left. Less than half an hour later, another minutemen crossed into the center. A laborer, asserting that the minuteman had thrown trash at him, pushed him out, and the minuteman left to consult with Silva at Silva’s taxi. He returned in a huff and demanded the laborer be arrested for assault. The police officer said that he hadn’t seen the incident, and the minuteman promised to file charges against the laborer anyway.

At 11:40, the last handful minutemen marched out, and the storm clouds had cleared for the time being.

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by Leslie Radford Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM

anti-migrants2.jpg, image/jpeg, 530x506

Ray Herrera (c) and Ted Hayes (r) stand with a depiction of a Confederate flag.

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by Leslie Radford Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM

standoff1.jpg, image/jpeg, 358x463

a Chicana tells the officer to let go of her arm

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by Leslie Radford Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM

sosprovocateurs.jpg, image/jpeg, 338x464

minutemen photographer and associate walk through Aztec ceremonial dancers. The man in the back later trespassed into the day labor center.

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by Leslie Radford Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM

jornaleros.jpg, image/jpeg, 478x486

about 20 strong, the day laborers confront the minutemen

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Smiling racists

by Leslie Radford Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 5:04 AM

Smiling racists...
minutemen5.jpg, image/jpeg, 522x315

minutemen and minutewomen smile for the photographer on their way out, after spewing hours of hate-filled diatribe.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 33 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
sos' obstinant racism Watchale Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 6:19 AM
Venemous Racist videos John Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 6:41 AM
Racist videos? ???? Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 4:17 PM
The SoS people are hurting all of us Michael Strong Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006 at 9:47 PM
Radford creates fiction Jorge Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 at 2:16 AM
YOU Tom Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 at 12:40 PM
Video of Racist Mexica Haakon the Good Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 at 9:56 PM
"Video of Racist Mexica" @ Thursday, Apr. 27, 2006 at 12:26 AM
Not sure what you mean by "Indy Media goons" @ Thursday, Apr. 27, 2006 at 1:04 AM
Why Mexicaa Hypocrites Thursday, Apr. 27, 2006 at 6:01 PM
Because she's with the Conferderate/Nazi flag wavers BaBaBooey! Thursday, Apr. 27, 2006 at 6:26 PM
Pera is a dog Patriot Friday, Apr. 28, 2006 at 4:42 PM
Please Be Correct, not Trolls Trent Castanavaras Friday, Apr. 28, 2006 at 7:25 PM
sos and kkk El Chivo Friday, Apr. 28, 2006 at 7:50 PM
USA, an Honor-Free Country? usausa Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 4:46 AM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 7:50 AM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 7:52 AM
Zzzzzzzzz....the usual Don Silva Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 2:50 PM
an observation Leslie Saturday, Apr. 29, 2006 at 6:01 PM
reply Jammer CC Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006 at 1:17 AM
hidden Ha ha Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006 at 5:16 PM
Hey CLIFF (Jammer) Observer Saturday, May. 13, 2006 at 2:32 AM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, May. 13, 2006 at 1:20 PM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, May. 13, 2006 at 1:49 PM
Hey Cliff Observer Saturday, May. 13, 2006 at 9:33 PM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, May. 13, 2006 at 10:06 PM
video Common Sunday, May. 14, 2006 at 12:45 AM

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