Yesterday evening, Alex Vega gathered several family and friends and staged a protest at Alfredo Amezcua’s office. As everyone knows, Amezcua is running against Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido this fall. I drove down Broadway and noticed an all Latino crowd protesting and holding signs, all in Spanish claiming to be “victims” of Amezcua. I noticed that Alex Flores, the Associated Students President of Santa Ana College and Michelle Martinez‘ sidekick was walking alongside the protesters. I contacted him earlier today to get his side of the story. He had a very interesting story to tell.
Just as I thought, he happened to notice the protesters while driving on Broadway and stopped to find out what it was all about. He told me that they were not the actual “victims” of Alfredo Amezcua but family members. All were either “aunts, brothers, sisters, etc” of the people supposedly “screwed” over by Amezcua, but no actual “victim” was present. Alex Vega, noticing he had an “audience” began to lead the protesters in asking them to chant the name of the “victim” they were related to. They all yelled out a first name only and they were all very common names such as “Juan” or “Maria” or “Rodrigo”. Alex Flores seemed just as disturbed at the tone of this protest as I am.
What I find suspicious about the timing of this protest is how “out of left field” it was. Usually events like this have press releases or some sort of e-mail about the planned protest, in hopes of getting more supporters out. Even the Barbara Coe/Lupe Moreno anti-immigrant protests are known beforehand. One has to wonder, was this “protest” meant only for a cheap photo op to be used as a hit piece against Amezcua in the future? Was this completely staged for Mayor Pulido’s benefit? This definitely was not your run of the mill protest, which leaves all this suspect.
What is disturbing is the tone this race is taking. If Miguel Pulido was so rock solid, why are these actions happening? If he raised such an amazing amount of money a week and a half ago, why the need to pull stunts like this? These actions are very similar to the actions of the PRI when they ruled Mexico for 71 years, gathering people from the poor, showering them with gifts and money and telling them to go and harass a political opponent of their’s.
It is shameful that instead of using their brains to come up with ideas to fix the city, they are using them to tear down a man who truly wants to fix the city. Shameful indeed. Above are some pictures from the protest.