DROP THE CHARGES! AGAINST FRANCISCO CHAVO ROMERO!

Join The Call To DROP THE CHARGES! Against Francisco Chavo Romero, Activist And Community Organizer Targeted By The City Of Oxnard, Oxnard Police Department And The District Attorney Of Ventura County For Organizing With The Community To Fight Police Brutality!

HOW YOU CAN JOIN THIS FIGHT TO DROP THE WHACK-CITATIONS FOR THE 2013 March Against Police Brutality (5-Traffic Citations for “failing to yield and crossing against a red-light”):

CALL: 805-654-2500 and jam them up or EMAIL THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF VENTURA COUNTY:

FIRST, click onto the District Attorney Contact Email Form, HERE

(You must put your name, email, and fill in the “captcha” code. For Subject write: DROP THE CHARGES!) THEN, COPY AND PASTE THIS INTO THE EMAIL (or feel free to write your own thoughts.):

District Attorney Totten,

I am writing to demand that the five traffic citations that have been issued to Francisco Romero, Case No.2013598532, be DROPPED immediately. It is clear that the five citations are retaliation by the Oxnard Police Department, and your office, against him for being a vocal critic of police brutality and for his participation in the Colectivo Todo Poder al Pueblo (“Collective”). The Collective has been a leading force that is organizing the victims of police brutality in Oxnard.

We will hold your office accountable if you continue to pursue in leveling these charges against him. The pretext of continuing this attack, is that the he was the only “identifiable” person in the march. We understand clearly, that this is an excuse to further repress, marginalize and silence the community of Oxnard that has righteous grievances against the legacy of police brutality against the Mexican community of Oxnard in particular and against the poor working class in general.

Drop the charges NOW!

ALERT! TRIAL POSTPONED: ROMERO vs. OPD

Due to court unavailability, Trial for the Romero vs. OPD case has been postponed, tentatively set for May 20th. We will send out details. In the next few days, we will also initiate an email and phone call campaign to demand the District Attorney to Drop the Charges! This way both local supporters as well as those further out can participate in keeping up the pressure! An attack on one, is an attack on all! La lucha sigue!

TRIAL STARTS FRIDAY, MAY 8TH! ROMERO VS. OPD

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Trial begins this Friday May 8th, 8:30am, Dept. 23. Ventura County Courthouse located at 800 S. Victoria Avenue, in Ventura, Ca.

Over one year and a half ago, the City of Oxnard, and the Oxnard Police Department (OPD) – in the most cowardly and shameless attempts to silence and intimidate the local community protests against police brutality, issued five whack-lame “traffic” citations against Francisco “Chavo” Romero. El Chavo has been an outspoken critic of local Oxnard Police brutality for nearly 20 years .

On October 2013, Chavo, along with nearly 250 protestors marched for the one year commemoration of the slaying of Alfonso Limon, a young man that was shot down, as he kneeled with this hands up, by the Oxnard Police Department.

JOIN US! This Friday, trial begins, after a one-year-and-half battle and attempt to dismiss under discriminatory prosecution was denied, by a white judge, in a racist conservative court, denied the motion to dismiss, under the pretext that Chavo was the only “identifiable” protestor out 250+ marchers that they decided to prosecute. Now, the District Attorney won’t back down – and will attempt to make an example of Chavo and those that attempt to fathom the possibility of having the right to resist and dissent.

EL PUEBLO RESISTE! Despite the excuse that Chavo was the only “identifiable” protestor, since then, at least two mass marches have taken place, where the community, righteously and courageously has taken the protests to the streets, and have denied succumbing to the city-police-county efforts of repression.

The latest march, held on April 11th, in memory of Megan Hockaday – a young black woman killed in front of her children by the Oxnard Police Department, is a testament of the local community’s defiant and bold call of call of taking protests to the streets and claiming “No Justice, No Peace – Killer Cops Off our Streets!”

The city, the cops, and the district attorney, will attempt to criminalize our gente, especially vocal critics and activists – but, everyday – our community has lost its fear to fight back and resist!

LA LUCHA SIGUE!

* Photo by Revo Grafia

ALERT! UPDATE – ROMERO VS. OPD

The Raza Press and Media Association is proud to provide this update on the case of our Mesa Directiva member, longtime collaborator and militante of Union del Barrio Francisco Chavo Romero. The Oxnard Police Department is continuing its persecution because he has led a struggle against police repressiion for over 20 years.

ALERT! UPDATE – ROMERO VS. OPD – Friends, family, comrades: (Please take a minute to read) – The judge (commissioner) Anthony J. Sabo, denied our pre-trial motion to dismiss my whack-coward Oxnard Police Department charges (traffic violations) I was cited for back in October 2013 for marching with my people, protesting police brutality!

In his decision, Judge Sabo states “There is no evidence that he (Romero) was selected for prosecution based on an intentional discrimination for his membership in a class identified by the equal protection clause.” Further, he states ” There was no showing that Defendant was targeted for prosecution for any other reason other than, to the Defendant’s misfortune, officers were able to identify him and observe his actions on video.”

Law Office of James P. Segall-Gutierrez filed a motion to continue the trial set for April 8th, so that we can appeal this decision. Again, I gather, that my fines for me marching, which were $1,000 total, does not add up to the over $20,000+ in city and district attorney fees to prosecute me, the costs for having all 13 cops subpoenaed, the overtime for the march (which was about $13,000), etc.

Rest assured, the City of Oxnard, the Oxnard Police Department, are clearly retaliating against me for nearly 20 years, under the banner of Unión del Barrio/Committee on Raza Rights, and with the righteous fighters of the Colectivo Todo Poder Al Pueblo, waging struggle against police brutality. More importantly, this is an attempt to silence our community’s fight, led by the heroic families, their allies, of those slain by Oxnard Police Department to expose the structural political and economic repression, the militarization of our barrios, and the mass incarceration and criminalization of the comunidad in general.

So, now, we go to the appeal court, and if denied, we go to the state supreme court. If this pre-trial motion is ultimately denied at that level, then we head back down to the actual trial. We have several defenses there too. We will attack at each one of those. If ultimately, all of those are denied, then it means I might have to pay the fine. If means I have to spend a few days in jail in refusal to pay, so be it! The point here, is that we are fighting, existing, resisting.

This latest stage of the fight against brutality, for me, begun, when the Oxnard Police Department beat and chocked to death, of one of my former students, ruled a “Homicide-via-Ashpyxiation” which means “killing by depriving of oxygen”. Since then, there have been others – and we must, MUST, continue our fight to bring about REAL- CONCRETE-STRUCTURAL CHANGES! We must move beyond protest and mount a sustained, audacious and radical change!

ONE THAT DEMANDS, among other things, that police departments DO NOT take up 50-60++% of the budget, ONE THAT DEMANDS, that if a cop uses force in any way (beating, shooting, etc.) they are automatically detained, arrested and drug tested (no more “paid administrative leave” -aka vacation). ONE THAT DEMANDS the de-miltarization of our barrios NOW – No more war on “gangs”, or war on “drugs” – which are are really a war on the poor, working class. ONE THAT DEMANDS, that requires cities to hire convicts and felons, those that are always looking for jobs, BUT, are constantly denied because they have to “check the box”. JOBS, with dignified wages, minimum $15+ per hour, with medical benefits, UNION jobs with worker protections! Imagine. Then, after imaging, get down with us to fight for these demands!

These, among other demands is what we are organizing and fighting for. Join us. ORGANIZATE Y LUCHA! Stay tuned, an organizing Summit on this is coming up.

So, if in the end, the Oxnard Police Department and City of Oxnard get away with charging me with these Whack-Lame-Coward citations, maybe we can have a MARCHA DE LOS NO IDENTIFICADOS! We all wear masks with a FAKE $1 bill in our hands, 1,000 of us and we turn them in to this PIGS! Then, when I get out jail, for refusing to pay these PUERCOS, we will have a FIESTA! Cumbias y baile de lucha! Nos vemos en la pista del baile, y las trincheras de lucha!

Among many others, ROBERT RAMIREZ, PRESENTE! MICHAEL MAHONEY, PRESENTE! ALFONSO LIMON, PRESENTE!, MEAGAN HOCKADAY, PRESENTE!

OBAMA: Militarization – SMOKE AND MIRRORS

by Raza Press and Media Association – Editorial Board

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The recent announcement of “executive action” by the Obama Administration is being met with celebrations in some sectors of Raza and most certainly by the Democratic Party operatives in our community. We are told that Obama, in a “daring move” has confronted the Republicans and is going to “do right” by our community. We are furthermore led to believe that he wanted to do something for us all along but that the Republicans would not let him. Now, they would have us believe the most vulnerable among our people will be safe and our families will not be torn apart.

It is important to know what the action is and what its provisions are. We also need to be clear who it protects, what it means for border communities and Raza factory workers living in our barrios everywhere. We need an understanding of the reasons why different sectors of the ruling class are addressing this issue as it is now and why the media spin. Finally, we have to know what to do to defend our communities.

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First of all, in spite of the assertions by the most rabid anti-Mexican sectors of gringo settlers on Mexican land no less that this is “amnesty that threatens sovereignty” (this action does not guarantee anything but a deferral). What it does is allow for a questionable partial stop of the massive deportations Obama has been carrying out for the past six years with a Democratic Congress for most of his tenure. What we see here is some possibility for legalization and the famous “path to citizenship” that has caused so many on the extreme racist right to lose their minds. In fact, best estimate is that a small number of the 11 million plus who are under the threat and fear of deportation have any hope, not guarantee, that they will not be deported. What it does guarantee is that it solidifies and expands the functions of the Border Patrol and the militarization of the Border.

Deportations will continue and expand. What is clear is that Obama talked about speeding deportations. They will continue to deport “felons, not families”, he said What this may translate into is that felony arrests that may have happened decades ago will be used to deport people who have been in the US all their lives and have not had any other problems in years. This means that the fallout many forces have protested for years will continue unabated. A recent article “Executive Action on Immigration: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly” by Perna Lal discusses who would be eligible for removal and how it breaks down in the real world:

Priority 1: Non-citizens convicted of aggravated felonies, suspected terrorists, convicted gang members, people apprehended at the border while unlawfully entering the U.S., will be a priority for removal unless they qualify for asylum or another immigration benefit.
Most troubling here is the use of language such as “suspected terrorists” without built in civil rights protections that discourage racial profiling. Additionally, people apprehended at the border will now be a top priority, even though many are coming to reunite with family. The prioritization of people with gang-related convictions is very troubling, as law enforcement targets specific racial/ethnic groups as gang-affiliated.

Priority 2: Non-citizens convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses, non-citizens convicted of significant misdemeanors (including DUI), non-citizens apprehended who entered after January 1, 2014; non-citizens who are perceived to abuse the visa waiver program should be a priority of removal unless they qualify for asylum or another immigration benefit. Significant misdemeanors – a new legal fiction created by DACA – is here to stay, even though it has no legal foundation. The prioritization of people with a DUI, and their exclusion from DACA, is incredibly troubling, as is the prioritization of people who overstay their visas under the visa waiver program. Many of these people are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and have much to contribute to the U.S.

Priority 3: Non-citizens issued final orders of removal after January 1, 2014 should generally be a priority for removal unless they qualify for asylum, or another immigration benefit. Immigrants who dared to come to the U.S. in 2014 will now be subject to Draconian enforcement.”

Now, surely the Democratic Party cheerleaders in our community will say: “you’re just looking for an excuse to discredit this action. If we don’t accept this we get nothing.” Moreover, it may seem completely crazy to many of the Raza and families who may qualify under an expansion of Deferred Action to be condemning it. However, even in the euphoria of what it could be, we have to look at what is and what is going to be. In fact, Lal lays out some things that should make anyone who is serious about defending the fundamental human and democratic rights of our community very concerned and very vigilant of what is to come for us as a people when/if this is implemented:

“1. Increased border enforcement – DHS plans to fund an additional 20,000 CBP agents, and continue to trend towards further border militarization of the Southern border we share with Mexico.
2. Ramped up interior enforcement through existing programs such as the Criminal Alien Removal (CARI) Program, which profiles Latinos for detention and deportation, and ICE raids, which will continue under these new announcements, despite right-wing talking points.
3. Due process concerns: Expedited deportations and Operation Streamline will continue.
4. No reforms to the existing detention system: Family detention will continue as the DHS opens a brand new center in Dilley, Texas, and arriving asylum seekers at the border will continue to be detained.”

While the above can look like minor issues to those are hell-bent on thinking this is an acceptable solution, the concerns for Raza every day are all too real. Already, the “US Mexico Border”, which crossed us in 1848 and not the other way around, is a virtual war zone that has claimed the lives of thousands of Raza workers in recent decades without mentioning the countless thousands since the US annexed over half of Mexico. For border communities and Raza who are not lucky enough to have the promise of review under Deferred Action, the Obama administration is not calling for business as usual but an increase to the aggression against our gente. ICE Raids will continue, crossing will continue to be a crime; there will be more migra agents to terrorize our communities. Most important, there is no provision for a review of the so-called “Detention Centers” that house our people in concentration camp conditions. There is no promise to hold any hearings or examine the conflict of interest in privatizing this burgeoning part of the US Government’s incarceration system making money for its cronies.

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In effect, we will have only a select few in our community whose privilege it will be to be “chosen,” while the rest will remain as “illegals”. This will create what Professor Alfonso Gonzales in his book Reform Without Justice calls the “good immigrant vs. bad immigrant binary”, a classic case of divide and conquer. In fact, in one of the worst ironies, many who could be helped by deferred action will see their own parents deported under this new Executive Action. As Michelle Chen of The Nation magazine stated in an article entitled “What Will Happen to Immigrants Left Out of Obama’s Executive Actions?” she notes:

“And while the reprieve will be welcome news for millions, it contains a paradox: young people who were part of the 2012 reprieve, the DACA-mented, will see their parents excluded from the pending relief measures, because the new reforms exclude the undocumented parents of DACA recipients. In other words, the youth who have been on the frontlines campaigning for an expansion of their program now face the devastation of their parents being among the millions who the new measures leave behind.”

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So much for “families will not be ripped apart”…
Another point that gets lost in all the hoopla and euphoria is that migrants would have to pay taxes but would not get any social benefits. That means in short: no medical, retirement, or other job guarantees while it decides whether it will ultimately deport. Also, the system will “prioritize skilled workers.” That leaves those who crossed out of economic necessity and who are the backbone of this economy in the same condition.
What this action and the discussion on “Immigration” fails to address are two underlying issues. It is necessary to inject them here for the sake of truth and clarity:

1. The migration of Raza from Mexico and Latin America which has grown over the past 20-30 years in spite of the militarization of the “border ” is a direct result of US Capitalism and Imperialism’s imposition of exploitive “free trade” policies in the region which have destroyed economies, caused massive poverty, and gone out of their way to cut out any pretense of social programs and other minimum safety nets to prevent starvation and misery. In short, our people are crossing that “border” to chase after their stolen resources. They are also escaping US sponsored “Wars on Drugs,” and government death squads and repression sponsored, funded, and supported in Washington.

2. The whole discussion of “Immigration” as it relates to Raza from Mexico and anywhere else in Latin America is absurd. The “border ” is imposed by US Imperialism and Raza are indigenous to this continent. Our community is native, not “immigrants” who a settler government can “decide” who is worthy to “stay” in our own land. That is why phrases like “get to the back of the line” should enrage anyone who has any understanding of our history.
This second point must be highlighted because hardly anyone in this “debate” will address this truth. Many will tell us that this “polarizes”, but the fact is that we live in a polarized system: one in which a small minority exploits an overwhelming majority. No amount of waving US flags will change that.

THE PRIMITIVE RIGHT WING’S TANTRUM SHOWS THE CRISIS IN WHICH THIS SYSTEM IS.

Leading up to and following the Obama announcement, we saw the ultra-right Republican Party (as opposed to just the Right that Obama represents) coming out with statements saying there is a “constitutional crisis” and threatening to shut down the government. Even Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio has filed a lawsuit against Obama citing “unconstitutional abuses of the President’s role in our nation’s constitutional architecture and exceed the power of the President within the U.S. Constitution.”

The primitive sector of the ruling class and its useful idiot constituents have been predicting “doom” for the US Empire. If we look on the comments on the talk shows and on the Internet we see them calling Obama a “traitor” and a “dictator” who is causing a “constitutional crisis” and “destroying freedom.” You can hear them lamenting that “America is not America anymore” and in a total panic because their colonial white privilege seems threatened.

This debate just shows just the disagreements between sectors of the ruling class. Obama represents the more advanced sector that understands that this will squeeze maximum profits for the system, exploit our people without having to pay benefits, and will close the door to anyone who tries to escape US manufactured poverty and repression. Obama and the sector of the ruling class he represents also know that they can neutralize and confuse our people by promising the possibility of legalization which can keep that part of our community beholden, grateful, and paralyzed from struggling against the system that oppresses us.

The primitive sector and their racist settler followers see their privilege in crisis and will not make any concession, no matter how cosmetic. They think they can continue with business as usual. What is clear is that though they talk about “deporting everyone” those who do the manipulating don’t want to do that. What they want is to deport enough of our people that we are once again a “manageable number” in our own land. In no part of this debate is that historical fact present, nor is the responsibility for the situation from which most are fleeing mentioned. We are expected to accept the debate in the framework it was given us.

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RAZA’S SOLUTION
No solution proposed by this system can resolve the conditions of our community. The only solution we will accept is full legalization and an end to the militarization of our communities and the “border.” The legalization we accept goes hand in hand with an end to US Imperialism’s imposition of its looting neoliberal model in Latin America and its use of puppet governments and the War on Drugs to silence all opposition through mass murder. Nothing that deports and separates families or deems who is worthy to stay in their own land is acceptable. No “action” that militarizes our community should be met with less than ferocious opposition. Threats by law enforcement and their racist organizations must be met with a movement to defend our gente.

Our solution will come from organizing our community, in building a movement that is based on history and in our rights as an indigenous people. – Nothing else will suffice.

WE DIDN’T CROSS THE BORDER, THE BORDER CROSSED US