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Related Categories: East Bay | Immigrant Rights
Immigrants' Rights Protesters Attacked in Fremont AGAIN
by Corrie Westing
Friday Jul 28th, 2006 11:12 PM
About 75 anti-racists confronted anti-immigrant racists in Fremont. At this bi-weekly counter-protest against the anti-immigrant hate group, Bay Area Coalition for Border Security, 5 Latino/Latina activists were assaulted by racists and arrested by Fremont Police--and taken to Santa Rita prison.
Immigrant Rights activists gathered tonight at Fremont and Mowry Blvds. tonight to counter the bi-weekly rally called by the racist "Bay Area Coalition for Border Security," which is looking to become an affiliate of the vigilante group, the Minutemen. Starting at 4:30pm, about 75 protesters claimed the intersection that in previous weeks, the racists had used to draw attention to their message of hate. By 5:20 or so, a couple of them showed up on a different corner, in front of the Valero gas station, holding signs and US flags. When the immigrant supporters realized we could overwhelm them, we crossed the street, and they decided to leave. We escorted them off the sidewalk and they shamfefully drove away. There were no cops present.

As more locals showed up, we found out that this victory would be short-lived, since they reported having seen a sizeable crowd (10-20) of Minutemen a couple miles away, at Fremont and Washington, in front of the Blockbusters at that intersection. As people got in their cars to drive down there, other folks decided to take the crowd on a march there.

It was on this march down Fremont that we ran into a carload of Latino/as who had been part of our protest, and who had been pulled over by the cops on some bullshit charges of "registration," which we only found out later, since the cops wouldn't let us near them. Of course some car registration problem requires no less than 6 pigs to resolve, when you're talking about racially profiling people headed over to protest racists in their own town. We heard reports that the cops were very calculated and may have arrested at least one of the men for some warrent, except that there were no less than 50 people witnessing the whole thing, taking pictures, recording the badge numbers of the cops doing the harrassing, and chanting, "Migra, Policia, la misma porqueria" (INS/Police: The same reason) and "Let them go!" and "The Cops and the Klan Go Hand in Hand!" There was a debate among the protesters about if you could call it "brutality," since no one was obviously being physically assaulted. You ask me, racial profiling and forcing them all to sit on the ground like criminals is brutal.

So our second victory of the evening was that they let those guys go, so they got back in their car and kept driving toward the other site of the racists' rally. We kept marching but stopped at one point so people could get their cars, since we realized the march still had quite a ways to go to get there.

I heard the next things that went down second hand, but I can tell you that while I rode my bike ahead, I heard all the cops in Fremont on their bikes and cars rushing ahead, so I knew something was happening, and it wasn't good. By the time I got there, they had--not surprisingly--some of the same guys that got pulled over earlier about to be arrested at that intersection. All I know is that one of the lead Minutemen, with NAZI TATTOOS, an open racist, had brought a lead pipe and had beat up some activists. You better believe he was confident since he beat people up last time and didn't get arrested then, so he went for it again this time--yeah, he wasn't the one arrested! So the racists instigated the violence, and they arrested 4 young men, some of them under 18. I saw them arrest the woman they were with, too. It was outrageous. They're charging HER with assaulting a cop because she got in the crossfire as they were hauling her friends off.

All the other folks then caught up, after all the people had been detained in the paddywagon. We rallied for a bit, yelling at the few remaining bigots across the street and the cops they were hanging out with, with our side getting lots of support from people driving by, happy to see a pro-immigrant presence in their town. Then we made plans to go to the jail we thought they would take them, about a mile or two away, on Stevenson St. It was there that we found out that the National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers who had stayed with the arrested folks that this is what the effing cops did: they took the activists out of the paddywagon, one at a time and PARADED them in front of the racists, asking them what these Latinos did TO THEM. the NLG folks tried to intervene, saying they had witnesses too, but of course the cops didn't want to hear our side of the story, because it would implicate the violent racists.

Once the NLG folks saw that the paddywagon was leaving, with our folks inside, they met up with us at the jail, but we heard from a (the lone) reporter that showed up that the cops told her they had taken the folks to Santa Rita jail, and they wouln't be likely to be relased until Monday. We have legal representation on it, and updates will be posted about their legal status, so we can stand with them at the araignment. We won't leave our brothers and sisters out to dry.

And come out next time, on August 11, to stand against the racists, both those in uniform and not.
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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The role of the police in a just societylisa roelligSunday Aug 13th, 2006 9:57 AM
Stop the Slander!AnannsulSaturday Aug 12th, 2006 3:23 PM
"police brutality"my confusionSaturday Jul 29th, 2006 4:22 AM
Skewed outlookFremont ChrisSaturday Jul 29th, 2006 12:31 AM

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