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San Francisco | Immigrant Rights | Police State and Prisons

1 Arrested at Immigrant Rights March in SF on May 1 still in custody
by Volatrine DeClyre
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 10:04 PM
As the immigrant rights march was approaching Mission and South VanNess 5 young men were pulled from the crowd by police officers and 1 was arrested and reamins in custody
As the immigrant rights march in San Francisco was headed down Mission street and South VanNess officers grabbed 5 young men, dressed as punks, who were not engaing in disruptive or violent activity from the marching crowd. 4 of the men were released and not cited while the other is currently in custody at the SF county jail. His arraignment is set for Wednesday morning at 9am.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by a friend
Monday May 3rd, 2010 10:13 AM
volatrine, is the arraignment at 850 bryant? i'd like to be there to support him if i can. also, any word on what the charges are?
by Voltarine DeClyre
Monday May 3rd, 2010 10:40 AM
yes it is...charges are weapons posession and resisting arrest
by Lorna Dee Cervantes
Monday May 3rd, 2010 10:46 AM
Unlawful Arrest With Undue Force of Young Latino Man at May Day March In San Francisco

Today I witnessed the apparent illegal arrest with undue force of a young Latino protester in the May Day march in San Francisco. He was walking backwards and sideways on the side looking back at the marchers. We were on the second to last block of Mission before turning west and left to go to the City Plaza. We were on the side of the street with one way traffic only and all traffic was stopped on the street. We were all marching legally within the boundaries. The young man was very dark with curly black hair dressed in a brown shirt and dark jacket, maybe brown suede. He looked like he could be a student.

There were about four young Anglo-American looking men or older boys who were taken by officers and lined up against a low wall with a cyclone fence. They were sitting there or being taken there. The young dark man was walking alone with a backback and carrying another bag, like a camera bag. There was nothing else in his hands. At no time was he threatening or aggressive in any way. He was marching peacefully with the others.

A police officer ran up behind and pushed him violently, attempting to knock him off his feet. At the same time he grabbed his arm by the wrist, twisted it and pulled it up behind the young man. The young man screamed in pain and yelled, "Hey, I didn't do anything! I'm not doing anything!" as the officer proceeded to pull him by his arm and grabbed him around the neck with his other hand attempting to knock hm to the ground. The young man was crying out in pain, repeating that he "didn't do anything" and to "wait" while the officer slammed him against a tree. Two other officers ran up and grabbed him by the other arm. I could see that he was being pulled backwards by his twisted arm while another officer was pulling in the opposite direction, apparently for no other reason than to inflict pain. The young man was not resisting but he was trying to free his arm from the officer. Two other officers rushed him and knocked him to the cement where he hit his head as another officer fell on top of him with full force. At this time I could see that he was bruised and bleeding and looked very scared, on the ground with four officers on top of him. He was silent and not resisting. Another officer began pulling items out of his backpack which the officer opened. This did not appear to be a legal search with due cause.

Other officers appeared with billy clubs out and one pushed me violently from the curb. I hadn't moved during this time. I was about 3 feet from the young man from beginning to end. Another officer began pushing me off the curb so that I lost balance. I hadn't moved. I had a right to stand there. I had a right to march there. I was being pushed for taking pictures of the apparently unlawful arrest. The first officer who pushed me placed his face in front of my camera blocking the view of the arrest and screamed at me to "Get out of my face" as I was moving my camera away from him but he kept pushing his face and chest into me in an intimidating manner. At the same time, another officer was pushing a young woman, another witness to the arrest and force and she pushed back and the exchange became heated. I explained to the officers that I was not only an eye-witness to arrest and brutalization of an innocent unarmed citizen and possibly a minor, but that I was also a published writer and a professor. I also explained that I was within my rights to take photographs of the arrest of a fellow protester.

While this was going on, some people were urging people to clear the street and join the march. I gave my contact information as an eyewitness to one of the event monitors and joined the march which by that time had reached the rally at City Plaza. About forty officers were present, on bikes, motorcycles and on foot, lining the street and blocking the view as they lead about five young men away. The other four or five were Anglo American looking and were not brutalized in the same way as the young dark Latino -- at a legal march for immigrant worker rights and human rights for all.

I kept thinking of the march on the anniversary of Roe v.s. Wade, the "well dressed" young white man who was screaming at me that he wanted to kill me for my race and for my views. Where were the police then to deal with that assault and unlawful offense? Where were four officers knocking his head against the pavement? Can't imagine it, can you? I kept thinking of a young lawyer for an anti-nuke protest who was pushed, grabbed and knocked to the ground by four police officers who broke his glasses and had him in the same arm-hold and fear of having his arm broken, how he said that from that day after if a client says to him: "I didn't do anything" he would believe it.

The march was also very emotional for me. I'm glad I was wearing sunglasses to hide my tears the entire length, remembering marches in those same streets and in Berkeley 40 years ago. I was 15, same age as many of those around me. The families were so beautiful, the orgullo was so powerful, the gente obreros are so brave and the lucha is so just. As an educator who teaches on border issues besides creative writing, it is painful to me that so many do not know their own history. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ought to be standard reading and test material for obtaining a passport or drivers license or any other "proof of citizenship." As a Native American, I say, know your history; act right or GIVE IT BACK!

And, Officers, please, unlearn your fascist ways. Another way of keeping the peace is possible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All I could think of is that my son would have been there, walking along at the same place as this guy, the same height and weight and look. He could have been tackled from behind and had his arm pulled out of the socket and had his head knocked against the pavement -- which could have killed him, all for doing nothing! All because he was there and looked Mexican while exercising his civil and political and moral rights.


Lorna Dee Cervantes
May 1, 2010
by Lorna Dee Cervantes
Monday May 3rd, 2010 12:58 PM
The young men/boys I saw lined up against the steel fence detained and taken along with the young dark Latino-looking man/boy I saw unlawfully arrested with undue force are on the second part of the May Day march video at 6:25-6:29. You can see two guys with green shirts and bikes and then a line of about 6 or 7 blond youth jostling and pushing through the crowd past them. I noticed them because I'm also in the shot. Among these kids were the 4 or 5 I saw sitting quietly alone against the fence and in no way treated as roughly as the Afro-Latino kid pulled out of the crowd, although I did not see their arrest. I assume that's what the Latino guy was looking at right before he was jumped from behind by the officer.
by Lorna Dee Cervantes
Monday May 3rd, 2010 1:03 PM
The video is Bill Carpenter's Part Two video of the march in San Francisco, the other youth pulled out of the march and detained but not arrested or roughed up like the one I witnessed are seen at 6:25-6:29 in a line pushing through the crowd past two guys with bikes and green shirts in the middle of the frame.
by wes vasquez
Monday May 3rd, 2010 1:29 PM
we are asking that folks who saw this disgusting police action happen please write a letter of support on the student's behalf.
we will be sending these letters to his lawyer, who will in turn present them to the judge.
his arraignment is at 850 bryant at 9am on wednesday.

if you have any questions or would like to write a letter of support, please email them to
cfountai AT sfsu.edu


lorna dee - it would be appreciated if you could write that letter up and email it to me so i can forward it to the lawyer. we need as many eye witness accounts as possible.
this young man is a student at SFSU and is a dedicated, PEACEFUL community organizer.
by wes vasquez
Monday May 3rd, 2010 1:31 PM
he is being charged with a felony of possession of potential weapon.
fuck the pigs.
by j
Monday May 3rd, 2010 1:49 PM
We are still trying to figure out exactly what happend, but most accounts of his arrest have the march security telling the cops to arrest them because they "might cause trouble". Of course our brown comrade takes the fall in this situation.

Fuck the pigs and those who collaborate! There is no difference between them!

ANSWER if the accusations are true, then your actions speak for themselves.

-Comrades of the accused from SFSU

by forrest
Monday May 3rd, 2010 5:10 PM
The charge that ANSWER collaborated with the police is baseless. ANSWER never has nor will we ever collaborate with the police. We don't point marchers out to the police.
ANSWER security people have taken pepper-spray, fists, kicks, battons, rubber bullets, arrests and flying wooden dowels from the police, while defending people at many different demonstrations large and small.
The cops and the system they serve are always looking for ways to devide growing movements agaist themselves. Cop baiting does alot of damage to the movement. We should have our facts straight before making such accusations.
by sfsu comrade
Monday May 3rd, 2010 5:39 PM
Hi Lorna,
Is this the boy who you saw get arrested? http://www.flickr.com/photos/sangroncito/4569877332/in/set-72057594122548611/

Also, do you have a link to the video?

Thank you very much for sharing what happened.
by anon
Monday May 3rd, 2010 6:03 PM
Folks from ANSWER did in fact assist the police in this mans arrest, many people who were in somewhat special positions in that march (such as the vest wearers) were acting in such a manner which I and many others consider counter revolutionary.

To regulate comrades and sell them out to the police is unforgivable and counter revolutionary and supportive of this capitalist state. We should all show up in solidarity with this man if we dont have solidarity we dont have a movement based on true revolutionary community, just a new self policing system which will work with the capitalists and snitch to the cops, which happened in this situation on May Day.
This is in responce to an accusation that " March Security Snitches" or had in some way assisted in the arrest of one of the participants in saturdays San Francisco International Workers Day/March in Defence of Immigrants Rights. I headed the security team with the yellow/green reflective vests that was in front of the march and unfortunatly did not witness the arrest of the individual who WAS apparantly arrested at Mission and South Vanness on saturday and to my knowledge there were NO people with the green reflective vests,security, who were part of my team which was the ONLY team handling security in this march, at that location at the time of the arrest.(ALL SECURITY WAS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MAY 1ST ORGANIZING COALITIONnot ANSWER- the vests came from ANSWER but ANSWER was not responsible for security,they were part of the coalition but the coalition was responsible as we have been since 08) I dont know how there could have been as unfortunatly we did not have enough people to cover more than the front point to help lead and safely guide the march and make sure that no participant got to close to the wheels of the lead truck. after the truck there was just yours truly running the length back and forth trying to get a look at every thing i could see and was not able to cover the entire passage down mission to the civic center as i was stopping to deal with whatever came up and unfortunatly I wasnt there when the arrest happened. The accusation you make is more probably concerned with the fact that I and another Security worker were in a photo of the SF Chronical during the time we were trying to get people away from giving the Tea Party its only moment of satisfaction, when their presence set off some rightious truth yelling in their direction, that made the police nervous and when that happens we get between the police and the people and try to insure the cops settle down and everyone goes in to where the assembly is to hear how to get the work done to stop the fascist law in Arizona from spreading around the country. we didnt get the people back there into the grass and in front of the stage and the cops cant take credit for it-the marchers told their brothers and sisters to leave the flakes alone and get to work. When Fasciasts left and were chased out by immigrant/worker defenders, security followed to see the cops didnt get nervous again and we gave the fascist supporters a rightious send off. Never do we forget what our job is -Its to get the Work Done-not to get the workers arrested-youre false accusations dont help the work
Our job is to see that the march moves safely to the end point with no interferance from the police or from people wanting to provoke violence of any kind during the march. our primary concern is saftey and assembly Next time if you have a cool head we can use you but--we dont take snitches
Matt Klein
by matt Klein
Monday May 3rd, 2010 7:29 PM
I have to add to my earlier post that during circut of the march during Saturday May 1 in San Francisco that I was lucky enough to find one of the organizers of the march and two of her aids and asked them to help minitor the back.I gave them vests but in my mind they were bonuses not part of the initial team. as it turns out i was lucky to ask them to help. After the completion of the march she found me and did tell me of the arrest that had occured- She in no way assisted the police but rather assisted the people who may be vulnerable away from the scene and found a lawyer for the person who was, by the witnesses to this arrest brutalized by the police.
i also,encourage any witnesses to this event to show up at 850 bryant on wed morning for the hearing ill be there too.
matt klein
by the Anti-Haterade
Monday May 3rd, 2010 7:31 PM
hey folks,

We are glad folks stayed and did engage in cop watch. it is our belief that the youth were most likely detained because of their punk style of clothing and no other apparent reason.

Our Response was two part:
1. To get the march moving along so specifically all undocumented persons, and there were a lot of families present, moved away from the area. The situation could have escalated quickly. In San Francisco, any police contact results in an immediate deportation and we could not allow for that risk given the large number of immigrants in the crowd. We instructed some folks to mediate, help get the crowd moving and others that were shouting at the cops, not "let them go," but more confrontational language, we asked these folks to remember that undocumented families were right behind them. Of course out of the four youth, the only Latino was locked up and we feared additional confrontation would mean additional arrests.

2. We asked an attorney ally of ours to accompany and continue to monitor the situation. She not only did this, but went to the police station and stayed there for hours. Afterwards she contatced NLG, who sent someone to meet with the youth. If the May 1st Coalition was into snitching, we wouldn't have so quickly ensured that the young man had legal representation. We are also open in supporting him at his court date and in further circumstances, but do not appreciate the attacks.

The reality is instead of hating, which we often do, how about helping next year in the March. We are all angry about Arizona-especially those of us who have family there-but at that moment we could not allow for a fight with the cops. It meant those undocumented families that entrusted us with a peaceful march would have gotten swept up in the chaos.

Se puede, pero no sean tan enojones!

Sincerely and with much love













by forrest
Monday May 3rd, 2010 9:37 PM
I don't know who "anon" is but s/he seems really intent on sowing divisions through falsehood. I've done movement security many times. I'm posting with my actual name and puting my credibility on the line. Matt coordinated security. He posted with his name and is putting his credibility on the line.
We know exactly what happened. We know who the activists were who were present when the racist cops brutally and unjustifiably arrested someone. Nothing the activists did could have been interpreted as "snitching" or "collaborating". In fact it was the opposite.
Pople who didn't have to, stepped up to keep others safe and make sure that the guy would get legal representation.
"j" I hope you stop spreading harmful info that's been proven untrue.
"anon" why are you slandering ANSWER, the May 1st Coalition, and hard-working grassroots activists that took some resposibility for International Workers Day?
The cops and capitalists are the enemy. Don't do their work for them.
The chant goes 'the people united can never be defeated!'
Let's put that into practice. Si Se Puede!
by Voltarine DeClyre
Monday May 3rd, 2010 10:04 PM
So to clarify a couple things

To my knowledge:

1. I am not a lawyer and was the first one at the courthouse and I am the one who went to the NLG and they sent the lawyer to meet him after I talked to them...he was actually the first person to call them about his case
2. there was no legal representative at the court house for hours
3. there was a person from the Asian Law Caucus who was very supportive and helpful including filing a witness report and a letter to the DA, but she is not representing this person and did none of the things mentioned

I feel that false claims should be disspelled, sorry if it comes off as snarky, and correct me if I am wrong

As far as the blame game goes...I do not think it's helpful, and the rage that I feel, and that his friends and loved ones and witnesses feel should be directed at the officers who arrested him and at a system that maintains him behind bars for what will now be his 3rd night in jail...please send him your strength and love and channel your hatred into making this place better

by Lorna Dee Cervantes
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 10:21 AM
Yes, the foto is the young man that I saw, and you can clearly see how the first arresting officer has his arm in a painful hold. The young man was not resisting arrest, he was trying to release his arm from the painful hold. He, also, was not a part of the group of young punk anarchists (btw, I consider myself to be an anarchist) white youth who can be seen in the Bill Carpenter video posted to this site with pictures of the May Day march, Part Two at 6:26-29. You can see them pushing through the crowd. These were the four or five youth I saw sitting against the fence. In the foto link you can see him just before they slammed him into that tree. His jacket, backpack and other bag have already fallen from him when the other officers jumped on him and knocked him down. You can also see that the arresting and brutalizing officers appear to be Anglo.

My account is also posted at my main blog, just google the title and or my name: http://lornadice.blogspot.com is the main blog, at present it's the first entry. I would email it to you, but at what email? I also have a couple of pictures. I sent them and my account to El Tecolote newspaper in the Mission. They will be running it in the online version but not until next week. I am trying to disseminate this account. I will try and attend the morning hearing. I have been very concerned about this young man.

I noticed no one who appeared to be monitors until the end. They certainly were not assisting the arrest. At one point I was surrounded by cops with billy clubs out who were pushing me at all sides, telling me to move but not allowing me a space to move. It was a very scary situation, especially when the march had moved on and traffic started up and we were outnumbered by highly agitated cops. I was glad for the monitors who were taking eyewitness information (someone took a video of the arrest), although they didn't seem like "official" monitors and I don't recall seeing a green vest on anyone.

What I saw was a cop flying out of nowhere at this guy from behind and pulling him out of the march by the arm, for no apparent reason.

(The pics on my phone have to sent to someone's phone number. I can't access them any other way.



by Lorna Dee
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 10:30 AM
By the way, he was marching right next to me. He had NOTHING in his hand, no weapon. He was not acting aggressive or menacing in any way. He was a part of the march as I remember him towards the beginning of the march next to me chanting. You can see from the Bill Carpenter video of the white kids, he's nowhere around or a part of them. With at least four cops sitting on him, they opened his backpack and started taking things out of it. It did not appear to be a legal search with just cause. Heck, it could have been me. I always carry my swiss army knife in my backpack. I never know when I'm going to want to cut an apple.
by wes vasquez
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 4:52 PM
His court date is tomorrow (Wednesday 5-5-10) at 9am. Please come out to support!

by wes vasquez
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 9:09 PM
he is being released tonight and all charges are being dropped! thanks to everyone for their support.


fuck the pigs. we'll sue the shit outta the city for this.
by deanosor
( deanosor [at] mailup.net ) Tuesday May 4th, 2010 11:56 PM
How many people were arrested in and around the Mayday immigrant rights march? My count is 3. 1 on the march -the person that this story is mainly about- and 2 after the march, being charged in conjunction with beating up some anti-immigrant counter-protestors. Is that correct? Will the march monitors unequivocally claim that they had nothing to do with the arrests of any of these people? And what evidence do others who dispute that have on this subject? Are all three (or more) people being charged? Are all three (or three) or more out of jail? Do they all have lawyers? Is there any way they can helped (bail money, court watching., etc.)?
by Lorna Dee
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 8:53 AM
That's good to know. I take it I don't have to come into the hearing today, since I didn't witness any other arrest. I was planning to attend. I hope the fact that there were witnesses made a difference. We need more legal observers. Thank you.
by Lorna Dee Cervantes
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 9:15 AM
By the way, thank you to whomever was there and helped diffuse a tense and scary situation. I was surrounded by agitated cops as the march had gone on ahead. You all helped to get us back to the march and their clubs off my head.

I have signed my real name and left my blog link. I am easy to get a hold of should you (ANSWER, May Day Coalition, SFSU where I taught...) need me to volunteer for monitoring or legal observer. I do have extensive non-violence training and a lot of experience. What I saw was very disturbing. Some things don't change. LA LUCHA SIGUE SIGUE!
by Matt Klein
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 7:20 PM
This is in reference to deanosers question "will march -monitors- unequivocally claim they had nothing to do with the arrest"
In answer to youre question The May 1st coalition and its members/member organizations or volunteers(we are all volunteers)had NOTHING to do with any arrest on Saturday 5/1 or to my knowledge has any other member of the coalition or any other coalition involved with the Anti War-Immigrants Rights-LGBT Civil Rights-No ON 8-No On 187 (remember that?) EVER knowingly assisted the City-State or Federal Govt. in any arrest of an individual involved in Civil Rights Demonstrations. -We The May 1st Coalition, consist of 1)Press and Outreach 2)Program (whats on the stage at the initial rally and end point rally 3)Logistics which includes getting everything from sound to stage permits, bathrooms to the site-operating and when its over, cleaning up AND March Security/Saftey.
No Member promotes violence-hence-no member is an agent provacatuer. If you get angry when i get between you and a Cop- Think about what Im trying to do- Im trying to Keep You From Getting Arrested
Now that is that- Unequivocally -
by brope
Tuesday May 25th, 2010 7:45 AM
The police had information that some of these youth may be carry weapons, when the youth in question did not cooperate like he was told to do he was taken down, after searching his back pack, it was found to contain a container of acid and a length of 2x4 with nails extruding out of it. Not being from San Francisco and not knowing the protocol for a rally like this, I highly doubt that its typical that people in these rallies are carrying 2x4's with nails extruding out of them for fun - it was and is a potential weapon to be used on someone. The police kept this young man from potentially harming someone, perhaps even you Lorna.
by sfsmurf
Tuesday May 25th, 2010 2:15 PM
Brope, do you have a link to back up your claim of the protester carrying "weapons", or did you invent that to discredit the protesters? The local media in S.F. had no reports of protesters with weapons.