VENTURA COUNTY STAR – Authorities continue to investigate Oxnard police shooting

 

Excerpts:

  • Fatally shot were [Alfonso] Limon, whose sister said he was jogging in the area, and Jose Zepeda, 24, of Oxnard, who was one of the two who ran from police, officials said. The other person who ran, Justin Villa, 24, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

….“It is also important to note that our officers have been impacted by this incident, as well,” [Chief Jeri Williams] said. “We send our heart­felt concerns for those officers and their ­families.”
Elliott Gabriel, 28, is a member of Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective, a local group that has rallied this year against what it calls Oxnard police brutality. He said some neighbors saw police shoot ­Limon as he was trying to cooperate. He said people are traumatized and angered by the ­incident.
“The rage is palpable,” Gabriel said. “You can feel it; it is very ­heavy.”
The group plans to hold a rally at 5 p.m. Monday at Del Sol Park in La ­Colonia marking the National Day of Protest to demand that those involved in the shooting be brought to ­justice.
“If I seriously messed up in my job, I would get fired. In the case of Oxnard police, they go on paid administrative leave,” ­Gabriel said.
He accused Oxnard police of corruption and a ­cover-up.
“We feel it is something that is deeply ingrained in the department,” ­Gabriel said. “It didn’t start with Jeri ­Williams and it will not end with ­Jeri ­Williams.”
Gabriel and some other members of the collective took their cause to Tuesday night’s Oxnard City ­Council ­meeting.
During the public comment period of the meeting, Gabriel drew applause from some attendees and a terse warning from Mayor Tom Holden during a strongly worded three-minute statement. The statement included references to one man being “torn apart in a hail of gunfire,” the dead men having encountered the “wrong set of sadistic cops” and police being in the pocket of the city’s elite “like a set of keys.”
Holden, who generally officiates calmly, sounded tense when he warned the audience, as Gabriel spoke, that they’d have to leave if they applauded again. Council rules don’t allow applause during the ­meetings.
Members of the collective have been attending some council meetings over the summer to protest the June death of Robert ­Ramirez. The 26-year-old died in June after a brief struggle with police while he was apparently over­dosing on meth­amphetamine.
Ramirez’s parents were among those in the audience at the ­council ­meeting.
Others at the meeting spoke in support of the ­police.
The Rev. Edgar Mohorko, president of the Oxnard non­profit the National Police Clergy Council, read a statement from his organization in favor of Williams and said the group hoped it could help “defuse tensions” on the street.

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OXNARD October 22: PROTEST to Stop Police Brutality/22 de Octubre: Protesta para Parar la Brutalidad Policial Public Event

‘Since 1996, communities throughout the United States have marked October 22nd as a National Day of Protest bringing together those under the gun and those not under the gun as a powerful voice to expose the epidemic of police brutality. October 22 is a day of resistance by those who reject humiliation at the hands of the police, and refuse to be subject to violence & profiling because of their ethnicity, country of origin, or working class econo

mic status.With the struggle of Oxnard residents to gain justice for police brutality victims such as Robert Ramirez finally coming to light, the Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective is proud to mark the very FIRST October 22 Protest in Oxnard and the Ventura County region.

• We demand respect, dignity, and peace – abusive officers, off our streets!
• Justice for our community – crooks & killers step down!
• Our streets are not a military zone – end the checkpoints and injunctions!
• Stop “inSecure Communities”– no to police-migra collaboration!

Across the U.S. on October 22, 2012, WEAR BLACK! FIGHT BACK!

Stay tuned for more information: http://www.TodoPoderAlPueblo.org/

Desde 1996, las comunidades en todo Estados Unidos han marcado el 22 de octubre como el Día Nacional de Protesta que reúne a los que han sido victimas, al igual que los que aun no lo han sido, en una voz poderosa para exponer la epidemia de brutalidad policial. El 22 de octubre es un día de resistencia de aquellos que rechazan la humillación a manos de la policía, se niegan a ser víctimas de la violencia y del perfil racial, país de origen o estatus económico de clase trabajadora.

Con la lucha de los residentes de Oxnard para obtener justicia para las víctimas de la brutalidad policial, como Robert Ramirez que finalmente se ha logrado reconocer, el Colectivo Todo Poder al Pueblo orgullosamente marca el primer 22 de octubre como Protesta en Oxnard y la región del Condado de Ventura.

• Exigimos respeto, dignidad y paz – OFICIALES ABUSIVOS, FUERA DE AQUÍ!
• Justicia para nuestra comunidad – LADRONES Y ASESINOS, ¡RENUNCIEN!
• Nuestras calles no son zona militar – PAREN LOS RETENES y INTERDICTOS CIVIL!
• Alto a la ley “comunidades inseguras” – NO A LA COLABORACIÓN POLI-MIGRA!

En varias comunidades por todos los EE.UU., el 22 de octubre de 2012, VISTE CON ROPA NEGRA. LUCHA Y RESISTE!

THE CA TRUST ACT AND THE BATTLE FOR JUSTICE FOR WORKERS, CAMPESINOS AND UNDOCUMENTED RAZA

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Barack Obama designates a memorial tribute to Cesar Chavez one week after California Governor Brown Vetoes a Series of Pro-Migrante, Domestic and Agricultural Workers Bills

On Monday, October 8, 2012, President Barack Obama arrived in California to deliver a thirteen minute speech at Villa La Paz, the burial site of Cesar Chavez, the pioneering United Farm Workers (UFW) organizer and icon of the farmworkers’ movement. Crowds of hundreds inundated the searing Central Valley as they lined up excitedly and patiently waited to be allowed inside. The program commenced as Arturo Rodriguez, current president of the UFW, introduced President Obama who approached the podium with the phrase “Sí se puede”, “Yes, we can.” Obama opened his presentation thanking all of the Democrats who assisted throughout the project and contributed to the establishment of the Chavez monument. We are certain that Cesar Chavez turned over in his grave when, in a rushed mumble of an introduction, Obama awkwardly thanked Governor Jerry Brown.

This same Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) vetoed a series of pro-migrante and pro-worker legislation days before with a cold stroke of a pen, on Sunday September 30, 2012. In an 11th hour decision shamefully carried out in in the dark of the night and hidden from the public, Brown vetoed bills that would have brought minimal protections to the state’s most vulnerable population: undocumented and working-class Raza of California. The governor dared not host a large daytime press conference, fearing what he would have undoubtedly faced–an outpouring of rage from the public.

The bills vetoed by the governor had attempted to ensure basic reforms to agricultural and domestic workers’ rights. One such bill, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights AB-889, aimed at providing overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, as well as adequate sleeping conditions for live-in workers (including house-keepers, child-care providers, and caregivers). Other bills blocked by Brown, SB-2346 and AB-2676, aimed at ensuring that campesinos obtained the right to sue employers and would make it a criminal misdemeanor punishable by jail, including fines of up to $200,000, if employers failed to provide access to water and shade for farm workers across California.

TRUST ACT Blocked Signaling the Continued Expansion of Poli-Migra Collaboration and the Consolidation of Mass Detention and Deportation Programs

A fourth bill, AB-1081, known as the TRUST ACT, aimed at restraining the infamous (In) Secure Communities Program (S-COMM) by curbing indiscriminate “detainers,” of undocumented individuals who were suspected criminals, at local city or county jails. Despite massive state-wide pressure from grass-roots organizations, moderate political forces, as well as several supportive law enforcement agencies, the TRUST ACT was vetoed by Brown.

In various counties across the state community and activists mobilized in an attempt to publicize before state-level legislators, that local police collaboration with S-COMM has continually terrorized migrante communities and led to unjustifiable separation of families. For example, Los Angeles Assemblyman Gil Cedillo—despite being a ‘co-author’ of the TRUST ACT—rather than actively support the TRUST ACT, opted to concentrate the end of his term on advocating for a limited-scope “Driver’s License Bill”—a  bill that would grant licenses for students and youth who qualified under Deferred Action (DACA). However, even organizing leaders from the Dreamers’ movement  have identified Cedillo’s bill as a ‘fake’ and empty bill, since these students would already have access to drivers’ licenses without the pathetic handout that the Democrats, including Cedillo and Brown, tossed at our community with this bill.

Another example is the struggle that took place in the central coast, during which community and activists organized on the streets to pressure Assemblyman Das Williams (34th District) of the Ventura/Santa Barbara County region to support the TRUST ACT. Not until there were amendments that included the ability for local law enforcement to detain ‘suspected criminals’ (read: Not tried or convicted) did Assembly Williams finally voice support for the watered-down version of the TRUST ACT.

In the end, Governor Brown sustained his support for the prison/detention/mass-incarceration industrial-complex and with the Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS-ICE). As of August 22, 2012, the ‘Secure Communities’ project has nearly reached full ‘jurisdiction Activation’—with 3,074 out of 3,181 jurisdictions (97%) and 58 out of 58 (100%) jurisdictions in California. This allows the ENDGAME mass deportation mandate to establish the infrastructure and all resources needed for “removing all removable aliens.” We can only expect rapid acceleration of the amount of deportations through poli-migra based operations, sweeps, etc. The worksite E-Verify documentation inspections or ‘silent raids’ will continue as will the militarization of the U.S./Mexico border and our communities in general.

What is there to be done? Community Organizing for Resistance and Self-Defense

Despite a glimmer of hope for the passage of the TRUST ACT, most—especially independent community resistance forces—were prepared for the worst. History has taught us that we cannot solely rely on politicians to act in defense of our communities. During Obama’s 2008 bid for presidency, many pinned their hopes on the Democratic Party’s promises of reigning-in a so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” Yet four years later, the president has earned and surpassed his title of Deporter-In-Chief, breaking historical records by deporting 400,000 undocumented workers annually for the past two consecutive years.

Even with the prospect of four more years under Obama, the promise of an ‘immigration reform’doesn’t appear on the horizon. His administration has already proven this to our community, and we cannot simply settle for the ‘lesser of two evils’ as we ‘hope’ for a difference. We must prepare by increasing the quality and quantity of community organization towards the purposesof self-defense and resistance. As the mission statement for the Colectivo Todo Poder al Pueblo notes:

“We must always practice accountability to the communities we serve. The Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective is a community-based and Action-oriented group organizing demonstrations, fundraisers, workshops and trainings. Whenever possible we will network, collaborate, and dialogue with allied organizations on the basis of principled unity. While we welcome strategic engagement with lawmakers and public officials, our demands for justice can only be won if they are backed by an organized social force working tirelessly and deliberately to secure meaningful change. Engagement and communication with those forces that oppress and attack our community are inevitable – but our dignity is non-negotiable.

A goal which we will consistently work towards is the general participation of our communities in the broad undertaking of common defense, preparation, and mutual aid. As such, our goal is the development of organized, independently-led networks and “Barrio Defense Committees” which are capable of looking out for one another on a neighborhood level.”

It is clear now more than ever that, as difficult as it may seem, we must take on this obligation. We, the people, will build our own capacity to defend ourselves outside of the grip of the status-quo party establishment. This means working independently of the Republicans and the Democrats. Not only have the politicians from these parties turned their backs on our communities, but they were never walking with us to begin with – unless it was to advance their own careers.

In his speech at Villa La Paz on Monday Barack Obama addressed Helen, Cesar Chavez’s widow, and stated, “Helen, today we are your guests. We appreciate your hospitality, and you should feel free to kick us out whenever you want.”

Helen Chavez and our community should have never let these opportunists in!

VCReporter – A victim of police brutality speaks

By Ventura County resident 10/11/2012

Re: Police brutality and the facts, editorial, 9/6

Although I agree that facts, and not emotion, must be the driving force of rallies, demonstrations and calls for change in our local police departments, I amicably differ with you on how the facts stand. And I certainly differ on the need for a disciplined, regulated police. I am a law-abiding citizen and victim of crime who was nearly shot by a police officer who erred in thinking I was breaking into the residence I live in. Luckily, I am alive today to write about it…

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