March 25, 2005

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

Peligro! Warning! Call to Action!

The domestic terrorist vigilante Minuteman Project has announced plans to apprehend Mexicans/Chicanos in Arizona at the U.S./Mexico border. [In] support and solidarity of Armando Navarro, coordinator of the National Alliance for Human Rights (NAHR), we submit the following letter:

Armando Navarro, NAHR Coordinator,

You and the National Alliance for Human Rights (NAHR) have our organization’s complete solidarity and support to in your upcoming efforts to counter act, expose, confront and “pull the sheets off” the domestic terrorist vigilante Minuteman Project who plan to apprehend Mexicans or Chicanos in Arizona at the U.S./Mexico border.

  History repeats itself; In 1977 when the KKK announced plans to patrol and apprehend Mexican looking individuals at the US/Mexico border in San Diego, California, a united Chicano/Mexicano community demonstrated and marched at the border and issued the warning that our people would not stand by idly while.

• Vigilante right wing, racist extremist groups took the law into their own hands, and

• That any violence directed against persons of Mexican ancestry would bring an immediate response from our communities.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it:

The political situation with the immigration issue is worst today than in 1977. Shamefully, most of the Hispanic leadership has been silent and provided little if no leadership on the issue. Regardless, history demands that the Chicano/Mexicano position be the same in 2005 as in 1977. Vigilante racist right wing groups must understand that they will be sadly mistaken if they think for one minute that they can do to persons of Mexican ancestry, as they did to Afro-Americans in the segregated U.S South!

As in 1977 the real issue in 2005, are not the “nuts” of the political right, but  the Bush’s administration and U.S. Congress failure to resolve the simmering immigration ”problem” a problem that has given impetus to extremist groups to promote and carry out violent acts with a sense of perceived impunity against persons of Mexican ancestry. We wish you and the NAHR success in your upcoming efforts to stop the attacks on our people in Arizona. I will forward this correspondence to all concerned persons and organizations to attempt to help and assist your efforts.

Herman Baca
Committee on Chicano Rights
National City

As you may know, the vigilante group The Minutemen Project and the Civil Homeland Defense (CHD) are planning a major operation in April in Arizona, inviting vigilantes from around the country to join a massive civilian border program in April to arrest and detain migrants on the Mexico-Arizona border. CHD’s web site compares migrants entering from Mexico as possible “terrorists, criminals, child molesters.” Their goal is to deter “illegal aliens, drug traffickers and terrorists from entering the United States by physical presence along the immediate U.S. Mexican border.” The program states that it will give “priority” to vigilantes who are “current or former members of any U.S. law enforcement organization,” “ U.S. military veterans,” “attorneys of any discipline; preferably with backgrounds in protecting U.S. citizen’s First Amendment rights, and protection from abuse of power by governmental agencies,” “Licensed HAM radio operators,” “pilots with aircraft.” The Minuteman Project web sites states that it already has “over 1,000 [volunteers] in number from 50 states across the nation, [who] will converge on Cochise County, Az. under the colors of their separate state flags for the purpose of bringing national awareness to the illegal alien invasion crisis currently threatening the sovereignty, prosperity, and governance by the rule of law of the United States ... Although we anticipate an attendance of at least 1,000 participants as of March 20, 2005, that number may double or triple by April 1.” 

In light of these disturbing developments, we are forwarding today (March 21) letters to the following Government officials and vigilante groups placing them on notice of their legal obligations to protect migrants’ rights: Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona; Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard;  Robert C. Bonner, Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Officer In Charge, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Tucson, Arizona; all members of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors (the County where the vigilante program will take place); Sheriff Larry A. Dever of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department; and the leaders of the Minutemen and the Civil Homeland Defense.

We also will remain in close contact with attorneys and community organizations in Arizona border communities during the April vigilante operation to protect migrants to the maximum extent possible.

Peter A. Schey
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
Los Angeles

30-day public comment period for the Proposed CPRC Operating Procedures

South Bay Forum (SBF) has been closely monitoring the National City Community and Police Relations Commission (CPRC) prior to but more specifically since the November 14, 2003 incident at the J.C. Penney store located in National City. Urging a full and transparent disclosure of all the facts related to the incident and the development of the CPRC, SBF has addressed the City Council various times, December 2, 2003, March 16, April 6, and May 4, 2004. Additionally, in August 2004, SBF submitted a written response to the CPRC’s June 2004 final report of the Public Forum on the J.C. Penney Incident.

At that time we concluded that the Final Report lacked merit due to its failure to address witness complaints and recommendations made at the public forum and for its un-responsiveness to the public’s outcry for accountability of what occurred at the J.C. Penney store. In our August 2004 communication, SBF concluded:

“In the aftermath of this unfortunate outcome, South Bay Forum remains firm in our belief that the CPRC must be replaced with a newly constituted Police Review Board comprised of a body that is gender balanced and ethnically representative of National City and that is vested with full subpoena authority. We strongly believe that until the Mayor and City Council carries out the original intent of Proposition L, mandated by a 69% vote, errant police conduct will continue to go unchecked and citizens will continue to lack confidence and trust in the National City Police Department.”

After reviewing the Proposed Operating Procedures, SBF unanimously concluded to stand firm with its rejection of the CPRC as it currently operates. The outlined procedures confirm that the CPRC has absolutely no power and ironically (but not surprisingly), the “DEPARTMENT” (NCPD) has the ultimate say as to the disposition of a citizen complaint of police misconduct! We will again reiterate, until the Mayor and City Council act to give this commission full subpoena authority, the CPRC will not serve as a deterrent to police misconduct nor will it be able to hold the NCPD accountable for any misdeeds.

Norma A. Cázares, president
South Bay Forum

No Military recruiting in our schools

I am writing to voice my concern with the military recruiting in our schools. While I support the troops and the rights of a volunteer military, I do not support the rights of institutionalizing involuntary recruitment practices! Under the No Child Left Behind Legislation, our military is automatically entitled to take students’ private information without any form of parental permission! This practice needs to stop and students’ information should stay private for only students teachers and parents to worry about. There is an opt-out provision in the legislation and I encourage students and parents all over our state to simply send in a basic letter to their schools administrators to keep their information private!

Jamin Cooper

Nine milles worth of transmission Towers to be added to Chula Vista neighborhoods.

SDG&E is trying to sell us the idea that they must have more transmission lines going through our city so that there will be enough electricity to serve the city’s needs.

SDG&E does not want to have to spend extra money putting up the new kind of tower which is slimmer, and esthetically better looking. They want to continue with the older, lattice-type tower. They also want to add more of this type of tower to suit their profitable growth.

Citizens should be opposed to the old towers, and should write letters to the agency at the bottom of this page. Your letters should ask for:

1. Undergrounding any new transmission lines being put along the SDG&E right of way along the bayfront.

2. Using the new towers in the new 9 miles of installation. Why Should Chula Vistans have to put up with this ugliness?

3. We want the new type monotowers that could reduce the possible health affects of electro-magnetic fields (EMF’s) We already have high rates of asthma because of the toxic pollution from the Power plant. We can’t eat the fish we catch out of the San Diego Bay because of the poisons in the fish meat. Now we have to put up with 9 more miles of old-fashioned towers! Enough!

You have until April 15 to write your letters to: Ms. Billie Blanchard, Dudek & Associates, Inc., 605 Third St., Encinitas, CA 92024.

Lupita Jimenez, Vice President
Crossroads II

Letters to the Editor Return to the Frontpage