Los Angeles, Occupied Mexico - With repeated chants of “Fire Chief Bratton” filling the air, Union del Barrio and Frente Contra Las Redadas, a collation of over 30 organizations dedicated to protecting Raza from racist I.C.E. Raids, demanded justice for all the demonstrators that were viciously attacked at the May 1st demonstration at Macarthur Park.
Over 150 people gathered for the protest and press conference on a windy Wednesday afternoon in front of LAPD headquarters in downtown LA.
Daniel Montes of Union Del Barrio exposed the irony of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa being in El Salvador to sign an agreement to train police in that country, while LAPD beat peaceful protesters in Los Angeles. “Where is Mayor Villaraigosa?” demanded one of the protesters, “He must be held accountable. The police chief does not act alone, but reposts directly to the mayors office. Both Villaraigosa and [Chief] Bratton must assume responsibility for what happened.”
Other speakers pointed out the inherent racism within the LAPD. Ron Gochez, another member of Union del Barrio stated “If the people at the park would have been White, under no circumstance would the police have launched tear gas canisters and shot rubber bullets at men, women and children without warning.”
Gerardo Gomez, one of the victims that was shot with rubber bullets at the march, displayed his wounds and also demanded the resignation of Chief Bratton. “We can change the chief of police, but that will not change the system. We need to change the system!”
The protest and press conference ended with chants of “Queremos Legalización No Represión (We want Legalization not Repression) and “Renuncia, renuncia, renuncia Chief Bratton (resign, resign, resign Chief Bratton).”
The event can be best summed up by a student organizer from the Coordinadora Estudiantil de la Raza, Vicente Jimenez, who stated, “What surprises me is that I am not surprised. This has been occurring to us Mexicans since 1846 when they attacked us to take our land. This is not over yet.”