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Act Now! Police File Charges Against Watsonville Brown Berets for Peaceful Protest
by Watsonville Brown Berets (brownberets [at]
Sunday Mar 26th, 2006 9:48 AM
Watsonville Police charge Brown Berets for peaceful action!

Open letter To The Community: Help the Brown Berets Get Charges Dropped for Peaceful Action on March 25 in Watsonville, CA

On Saturday, March 25, 2006 Watsonville saw the largest March for Peace and Justice in the history of the city. Documented and Undocumented Workers, families and allies marched in total solidarity with Anti-War Activists, led by Fernando Suarez Del Solar, Pablo Paredes and Medea Benjamin in a 2,000+ citizen, strong & peaceful march though the city of Watsonville. It was beautiful.

The route had been pre-planned and sent to the police. Crowd security was provided by the Watsonville Brown Berets. The Berets also are part of the nationwide coalition, “The Alliance for Human Rights,” the group which decided to make March 25 a national day of action against HR4437. This new, abusive, immigrant-bashing legislation is heading for the Senate on Tuesday which, among many awful things…would make simply being illegal in this country a felony. There have been marches, walkouts and various actions across the country over the past week in practically every state. The momentum to Saturday’s march had been building.

With so many people, we could never have taken the sidewalks solely. We marched down one lane on four lane roads…with two lanes heading in each direction. We marched in only the furthest right hand lane and on the sidewalk. Traffic was still moving in both directions. People stayed inside the line of the one lane the whole time.

Yet, after the march, the Watsonville Police Department targeted one organizer (a Brown Beret) and wrote him a citation with 8-10 counts against him, including criminal charges. We are still waiting for the ticket to arrive in the mail, what we know we have learned from one policeman and the news. They will also be charging the Brown Berets for police overtime. This was an effort to show people that “…they can’t do whatever they want to,” in the words of the Watsonville Police.

The people wanted to march in the streets, they have that right. The extent of the crowd demonstrated the power of the immigration issue and the passion of the people. The Brown Berets did not expect or bring that many people. Residents came from everywhere to use the opportunity to be heard. This has been a silent population until now. Silent because they are working 12-16 hour days in the fields, hotels, and factories so Americans can enjoy the lifestyle and economic privilege we are accustomed to.

As concerned and compassionate citizens, it is our duty to ensure that no one who organized or participated is ever a scapegoat or vilified on behalf of the powers that be. It is our responsibility to stand up and demand the Watsonville Police view their job that day as one of public service. That service being to protect the people in the streets. We had peaceful demonstrators, our own security yet the Watsonville Police insisted on assigning 10 cops and various vehicles to our march. This was not requested or necessary. We marched in Salinas right afterwards with NO POLICE SECURITY and we were fine.


ACT NOW!!!! Call Captain Manny Solano: (831) 768-3300 (leave message) or (831) 750-2943 (cell phone) and tell him to simply, DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST THE BROWN BERETS, financial and criminal. Also, his e-mail is: msolano [at]

Write letters to the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Register Pajaronian immediately, they have both covered the story. Condemn the Watsonville Police Department for charging us with fines and citations for simply leading the people safely on a very emotional issue.

We have no money, we do everything through volunteers and small, in-kind donations. Please help us.

In Community Solidarity,
The Watsonville Brown Berets
brownberets [at]

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
To the new majority...politically incorrectTuesday Apr 11th, 2006 2:22 PM
Charges and Overtime Charges Against A Peaceful Demonstrator Are A DisgraceJohn ThielkingMonday Apr 3rd, 2006 11:21 AM
The Emergence of the Watsonville Brown Beretssupport the Watsonville Brown BeretsSunday Mar 26th, 2006 2:46 PM
Brief email and phone message to Captain SolanoRicoSunday Mar 26th, 2006 12:42 PM
ACLU ContactedRicoSunday Mar 26th, 2006 12:38 PM

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