Posted in City Council, City Council, civil liberties, Costa Mesa, free speech, Huntington Beach, Orange County, tagged ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, chiling effect, Christopher Shawkey, constitution, Costa Mesa, day laborers, employment, free speech, harassment, Hecto Villagra, police, protest, solicit, street signs on May 5, 2009|
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By JOHN EARL
Note: This article was originally published in the OC Voice Oct. 2007 print edition. It is reprinted here because it relates to Joe Shaw’s column about the banning of street signs by the Huntington Beach City Council. His column focused on the economic consequences, this article focuses on the related constitutional issues at they played out in the city of Costa Mesa. Also read Shaw’s column here.
Costa Mesa day laborers looking for work on street corners at two separate locations in the city, Placentia Avenue and 17th Street, and Placentia Avenue and Victoria Street, say that city police are routinely harassing them and making it difficult for them to find employment.
Almost without exception, workers at both corners who were interviewed by the OC Voice on three separate occasions during September claimed that police routinely—from once in a while to several times a week—approached them while they were standing on sidewalks or in parking lots and told them, sometimes without giving a reason, that they had to leave the area, sometimes threatening them with tickets or even arrest if they returned.
Costa Mesa Chief of Police Christopher Shawkey says that his officers are only enforcing a city ordinance that prohibits anyone from soliciting employment, commercial, or charitable transactions on public streets in a manner that distracts motorists and creates a potential safety hazard, and that prohibits the same types of solicitation in private parking lots where the owners have posted signs banning those activities. (more…)
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Posted in City Council, Costa Mesa, Immigration, Uncategorized, tagged Allan Mansoor, Costa Mesa, Humberto Caspa, ICE, Immigration, Martin Millard, Minuteman, Terror in the Barrio, terrorism on July 7, 2008|
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By John Earl and Scott Sink
Increased deportation raids conducted at gun point by “La Mirgra” in work places and homes across America are terrorizing documented and undocumented immigrants alike.
Multinational corporations operating under the banner of “free trade,” and xenophobic hate groups like the Minuteman Project, are the main beneficiaries of what a recent article in Nation magazine calls the emergence of Juan Crow, a reference to “Jim Crow,” the past practice of institutionalized racism used against African Americans.
Against that background, “Terror in the Barrio: The Rise of the New Right in Local Government,” a new book written by former Daily Pilot columnist Humberto Caspa, is both an informative and flawed history of Costa Mesa’s slide toward fascism.
Oddly, although “Terror” is part of the book’s title, there isn’t a single personal case history of that terror present in its pages. This could lead the reader to wonder why, since examples have been plentiful for the past several years in Costa Mesa (see “Chilling Effect,” OC Voice, Oct. 2007).
The specific proposals that marked the city’s right-wing turn, presided over by former mayor, Allan Mansoor (a member of the Minuteman Project), former Pro-tem Eric Bever (they have since switched roles) and former Councilmember Gary Monahan included disbanding the city’s Human Relations Commission, closing the Job Center after 17 years and using the police to enforce federal immigration laws on the slightest pretense. (more…)
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