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For Andres Raya... ...And For All of Us
by socialwar info (info [at] socialwar.net)
Tuesday Feb 1st, 2005 10:12 PM
On January 9, 2005, outside a Ceres, CA liquor store, Andres Raya ambushed the police. Raya had earlier fired into the air, hid his assault rifle, and rushed into the store requesting police assistance. Raya shot and killed arriving Ceres police Sgt. Howard Stevenson, and seriously wounded officer Sam Ryno. Raya then fled. He died later following a cop stakeout and another confrontation, where he was shot eighteen times.
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FOR ANDRES RAYA… …AND FOR ALL OF US

On January 9, 2005, outside a Ceres, CA liquor store, Andres Raya ambushed the police. Raya had earlier fired into the air, hid his assault rifle, and rushed into the store requesting police assistance. Raya shot and killed arriving Ceres police Sgt. Howard Stevenson, and seriously wounded officer Sam Ryno. Raya then fled. He died later following a cop stakeout and another confrontation, where he was shot eighteen times.

Raya was nineteen years old. He had spent seven months of 2004 as a Marine with the 1st Intelligence Battalion, assigned to Iraq. While there, Raya earned three medals and a ribbon for his service. Raya was on family leave in California, set to depart again for duty.

One account of Raya’s attack on the cops gives the gunman’s words to local residents as he ran from police: “Don’t worry, you’re a civilian. You won’t get hurt.”

The Ceres police have denied that the action had any connection to Iraq. They ignore eyewitness testimony. Gangs, drugs and rap music are instead put forward as probable causes. According to autopsy reports, Raya had cocaine in his system. It is hard to know whether to trust these reports - authorities have every reason to skew them. Few in Raya’s community believe that he was a gangster, even if he may have had friends in gangs. No amount of empty talk from our rulers can cover up the essential truths. Andres Raya did not want any more medals. He wanted nothing more to do with US society. He fought in the way he knew how to, as a soldier. Raya’s final enemy was Uncle Sam.

Andres Raya may not have been a hero, but he was not a villain either. He was a Chicano working class teen who acted as he could. He was a Marine who went to war against America. He played his role in society, and then he tried to break out.

According to the newspapers, Raya and some accomplices broke into a local school on December 28. Video footage from the burglary allegedly showed Raya smoking pot, flashing gang signs and tearing up US flags to leave a “Fuck Bush” message on the floor. Despite the “gang” nonsense in the news, there’s only one thing to say about the school incident: in a sick society, such rebellion is healthy. Raya clearly understood that school, work, poverty and war are all part of the same problem. Between his time in Iraq, and his upcoming military assignment in Japan, Raya realized that there was something terribly wrong about the system worldwide. After attacking a school, Raya targeted the police.

The cops always symbolize raw, naked power against impoverished communities. Perhaps Raya saw connections between his military role in Iraq, and the role of police in US cities. In America, cops fill up prisons that are no better than Abu Ghraib. In both Iraq and the US, patrols target whole communities, because everyone there could potentially be an insurgent. Most folk have every reason to refuse poverty and brutality. They’re right to cast off the roles they’ve been taught. The cops exist to prevent resistance. When police are attacked, that makes sense.

Raya must have known that he was killing himself when he struck out. He was furious, not ignorant. Raya’s despair was reasonable. From US police getting away with murder – like the nearby Modesto police killing of Sammy Galvan in August 2004 – to the US massacre in Fallujah, it’s hard to know what to do with a catastrophic society. We lead tragic lives at school, work and home, because there doesn’t seem to be any other way. We put up with everyday humiliation, even as it takes its toll on us. Andres Raya did not accept the disaster of our lives. He struggled, killed, and died.

The tributes to Sgt. Stevenson disgust us. Cops never deserve our tears. As long as police terrorize communities – that is, as long as police exist – cop funerals should be spat upon. We are saddened that Raya is no longer around, though. We hate society with the same intensity as he did. Unlike the gunman, however, we do not see our refusal of society to be suicide. What would have happened if Raya met more who were like him? Could we not have come up with a plan? We can all say “no” when ordered to eat shit. We can fight back in ambitious ways, and with all our strength. Let’s get together, not just lash out one by one. Respect to Ceres taggers, who write better than every journalist. RIP Andy - Fuck the police - Let’s start to live.

Comments: info [at] socialwar.net

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by A WORRIED FRIEND
Saturday Feb 19th, 2005 1:39 AM
I THINK THAT EVERYBODY JUST MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT THIS AND WHAT NOW ALL OF US HAVE TO PAY FOR IT ANDY WAS MY FRIEND AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY HE DID IT SO FOR ALL THE COPS TO BE SAYING HE WAS A GANGSTER IM SORRY BUT IF U WERE AT HIS FUNERAL AND SAW WHAT I SAW U WOULD HAVE SEEN FRIENDS CRYING FOR A SOLDIER NOT GANGSTERS AND THERE WAS ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE THAT WERE THERE AND THEY CANT JUST CLASIFY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE THERE NORTENOS BECUSE I WAS THERE AND I DONT SEE MYSELF AS A GANGSTER AND JUST BECAUSE THERE WAS THAT ONE INCIDENT DOESNT MEAN THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE ANOTHER ONE SO DONT ACT LIKE U CARE NOW AND OH YEAH IF U LOOK AT IT HE WAS SHOOTING JUST HOW THEY TAUGHT HIM IN IRAQ SO THINK ABOUT THAT
by .
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2005 11:27 PM
my life was threatened in bellingham wa. the cops will deny their death threats and they cover up assaults of natives blacks and filipinos.the marine is a freedom fighter to me.he sais ENOUGH of attacking native and other looked down upon people.racist cops and really, the law system itself is child abusing terrorist.again i will remember forever the marine who expresed a true desire to protect his right to expressing his energies because this society does not want the black man and other resistors to live.i know, my life was damaged by police.the pain persists
by 1
Thursday Feb 24th, 2005 9:30 AM
The Policemen know their Job is Dangerous.

So if they dont want to be in the line of Danger they should QUIT.

If they dont quit they should stop their crying and go do their job.

by C.D
Thursday Feb 24th, 2005 11:21 PM
Police do a very good job thank you.

Yes some may be bad but a few bad apples doesnt spoil the bunch in my opinion.

by Crystal Clear
(crystalclearblog [at] hotmail.com) Sunday Mar 6th, 2005 2:06 AM
On my blog, I have written a great deal of my feelings and thoughts regarding Andres Raya and would appreciate any constructive thoughts or suggestions.
by Vegas Vargas
Wednesday Apr 13th, 2005 11:36 PM
The police are lucky he was such a bad shot. The dude had flaws before he went in andwould have cracked even if he hadn't went in the Marines. He used and lived by excuses and decided to "check out of reality".

Why do some people blame others for their position in life? Why is it there are groups who choose not to take responsibility for their own actions?

There is no excuse for his actions. I am thankful they killed him before he killed anybody else. He chose not to take control of his life, rather he lost control of it.

Vegas Vargas
Former Marine



by me
Wednesday Jul 20th, 2005 2:22 PM
dude you didnt kno andy the marines messed with his head...he was such a happy person b4 he left and kno he was just depressed and didnt wanna go back..we all could tell hiz attitude he changed...andy we love a miss you...
4-17-85 - 1-9-05....r.i.p. my love...
by YOU LIARS
Saturday Jul 23rd, 2005 6:22 PM
YOU ARE LIARS. MURDER IS MURDER AND IT IS NOT OKAY. EVER. AND NEITHER IS GANGLIFE. YOU ARE LIARS. PERIOD.
by curious
Thursday Aug 4th, 2005 11:40 AM
i think raya was affected by the war even if he did not have combat experience. its sad that the marines disowned him after he went off. its also sad the cops are trying to portary him as a gang member instead of a iraq war veteran who did not want to deal with war anymore. I think the way the police responded in the area is ridiculous.
by One Race for All
Friday Sep 16th, 2005 11:32 AM
He dishonored the Marines, and dishonored himself. In the end, he was nothing but a nameless coward.
by Fuck the marines
Friday Sep 16th, 2005 11:53 AM
The long arm of the military industrial complex.
by Like it or not
Monday Sep 19th, 2005 8:07 AM


"This much is true about Raya: The 19-year-old man did in fact serve with the Marines' 1st Intelligence Battalion's motor transport unit as a driver in Iraq.

But contrary to the impression left by initial media reports, Raya had never seen combat. And he was not headed back to Iraq. He had been transferred to a new unit scheduled for deployment to Okinawa. "During our investigation, we found he wasn't due to go back to Iraq, never faced combat situations and never even fired his gun," Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Woodman said.

Raya was high on cocaine at the time of the ambush, according to police reports. He was reportedly affiliated with the prison gang Nuestra Familia. Investigators found photos of Raya wearing gang colors and a shopping list in his bedroom safe that included body armor, assault rifles and ammunition. Authorities also discovered a video showing Raya smoking what appears to be marijuana and making gang sign gestures. The tape showed desecrated pieces of the American flag laid on a gymnasium floor to spell out expletives directed at President Bush.

Family members deny Raya's gang ties and blame the military. Meanwhile, Raya's neighborhood was decorated with anti-cop graffiti such as "Kill the Pigs" in his memory. And militant Hispanic residents celebrate Raya. Ceres resident Hilda Mercado told The New York Times that Raya "died like a true Mexican: He died standing on his feet."

The question isn't what got into Raya when he entered the military. The question is why and how Raya -- who police say had a propensity for violence well before he joined the Marines -- got into our military in the first place.

And now you know the rest of the story. "

Michele Malkin


by MARINE SGT
(PLAYRWAY007 [at] YAHOO.COM) Friday Oct 21st, 2005 6:13 AM
I'M OFFICIALLY REVOKING HIS TITLE AS A U.S. MARINE. HE DOESN'T DESERVE IT. I HOPE HE BURNS IN HELL AND IF HE WERE STILL ALIVE I'D PUT A FUCKING BULLET IN HIS HEART. I DON'T BUY ALL THE DRUGS AND RAP TRASH THIS ARTICLE CITES. I ALSO DON'T BUY THE PTSD CLAIM EITHER. I WAS IN IRAQ AS WELL AND DID SEE COMBAT AND WE ALL HAVE ISSUES AFTER COMING HOME. GET OVER IT! HE WAS JUST ANOTHER SHITBAG WHO SLIPPED THROUGH THE CRACKS AT BOOT CAMP AND COULDN'T HACK IT. HE PUSSED OUT. IT'S AMAZING HE REMEMBERED HOW TO ESTABLISH FIELDS OF FIRE AND SET UP A DECENT AMBUSH WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF FIREPOWER TO TAKE OUT THOSE POLICE OFFICERS. I FEEL FOR ALL THE FAMILIES IN THIS CASE, BUT CERTAINLY DON'T FEEL THE SLIGHTEST BIT BAD ABOUT THE OUTCOME FOR RAYA. LET THAT BE A LESSON TO THE ARMED FORCES. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRAIN BECAUSE IT MIGHT COME BACK TO GET YOU LATER......
by Shut up, nutcase jarhead
Friday Oct 21st, 2005 7:00 AM
Take the nutty all-caps off for starters, take you meds.
by annonymous
Thursday Oct 28th, 2010 11:18 AM
ey get this. i was watching the whole thing from sequoia and when homie ran in the alley come on tho 18 muh fuhkn shots home fa real doe? get dis i dont know his fam but i knew hym and he was a coo ass nigga i aint got much to say but that so peace. RIP ANDY! love and miss you everyday boo<3