by jubilee shine
Wednesday, May. 09, 2007 at 8:17 PM
MIWON march 'leaders' still backing lapd statements blaming activists for the designed police assault.
Mayday march organizer MIWON (Multi-ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network comprised of: Chirla, Gwc, Idespca, Kiwa & Pwa) held a low key meeting at L.A. Kiwa offices a full week after their debacle in mangling the march & vicious lapd assault. A Chirla spokeswoman issued a late, reluctant, and limited “apology” for publicly attributing the cause of the brutal police attack to community members, though MIWON.org webpage still blames the community for the police actions (quoted below) She refused to explain why such remarks were originally made, though it is clear that MIWON leaders readily accepted lapd’s initial position & only after massive community pressure altered this stance, following the politically-sensitive drifting of Mayor Villaraigosa & Chief Bratton. When challenged to issue a public statement of retraction & responsibility for her group’s slanders of other activists, she would go no further than promising private “discussions” with these groups, as well as private “meetings” with the mayor & police chief of unstated objective. When pressed, the MIWON leaders closed the speaker’s list to “break into smaller groups.”
The damage by MIWON statements was not merely in openly slandering community activists as being “outside agitators” & “provocateurs”. The greatest damage was that, in parroting official lapd propaganda, the immediate, worldwide media reports failed to clearly place responsibility for the organized, militaristic police violence on the highest levels of lapd brass, principally Chief Bratton. The mayday community which came under attack was abandoned by MIWON & its advisors, and only after undeniable video, witness, & victim statements emerged did these supposed community leaders & officials begin to shift their stories.
MIWON spokespersons also refused to acknowledge responsibility for the organized physical force used by its commissioned “security” agents during the march against the demonstration, which were in concert with, and precipitated the violence by the police. MIWON security, many wearing labor union shirts from the scab “change to win” aflcio splitters, of which L.A. County Labor Federation leader Maria Elena Durazo is an official (& a signee to the MIWON anti-activist slanders), worked with police to muscle marchers from the street although there clearly was not room on the sidewalk for the thousands present & expected (MIWON attempted to physically enforce a “sidewalk only” permit). There is video of MIWON security strong-arming peaceful demonstrators as early as 5:10pm, an hour before the full police onslaught.
There are many elements in the activist circuit which claim to represent the interests of the people, but who actually are self-interested & will mechanically align with “official” law enforcement, or government, or “proper” monied conventions when push comes to shove, as it did on May 1. These elements can be cooperated with under certain, generally calm conditions, but true representatives of the community must always be clear & make clear that these are variable, wavering & suspect. The greatest danger is encouraging uneducated & inexperienced workers to fall under unguarded influence of smooth-talking opportunists. Ultimately these forces will sell out and the bullets won’t always be plastic.
Jubilee Shine, Mayday Defense Committee
Check the official MIWON.org position which remains on their website:
[There WERE thousand of people marching with us but sadly a group cause problem and got many hurt…
As the event was nearing its end, a very small number individuals, not associated with the otherwise peaceful, family-themed rally engaged in a scuffle with police, which resulted…
Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA, had the following to say: “…I would like to express my deep disappointment that the actions of a small number of individuals … put the safety of my children and hundreds of others at risk.
Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane and Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Kimi Lee, Garment Worker Center, MIWON
Angela Sanbrano, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
Victor Narro, UCLA Labor Center, Attorney]