Protests planned for Anaheim City Hall Today at 4 p.m.

Take Back Anaheim has called for a protest rally outside Anaheim City Hall for 4 p.m. today to demand justice and accountability in the wake of the shooting of Manuel Angel Diaz on Saturday afternoon. Diaz was unarmed when he was shot twice by police. Later that afternoon officers used non-lethal measures (rubber bullets) to push back the crowd demanding a reason for the shooting. A police dog escaped from his handlers control and charged into the crowd, biting at least two people. Individuals lit trash bins on fire and blocked streets on Saturday and Sunday nights in the Anaheim neighborhood where the shooting took place.

The Orange County Register reported this morning:

A third day of protests began about 9 p.m. Monday when a group of 70 to 100 demonstrators, including the parents and other family members of those killed in the police shootings, marched through the neighborhood surrounding Anna Drive and La Palma Avenue. Organizers were advising participants to remain peaceful after a pair of drivers were “doing donuts” with their vehicles on La Palma.

The march ended about 9:45 p.m. after an emotional speech by Diaz’s mother.

Here is the release from Take Back Anaheim:

Take Back Anaheim Rallies on Steps of City Hall for Justice and True Representation!

When:  Tuesday July 24, 2012; 4:00 PM
Where:  200 South Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim.

In the wake of yet another questionable fatal police shooting of a fleeing minority youth, Take Back Anaheim – joined by residents of Anna Street and fighters for justice across the county – will rally in support of THREE closely related demands, two of which will be voted on at the City Council meeting directly following:

  1. Accountability and reform in a Police Department that seems to have gone out of control;
  2. Reform of our City Council to a ward elections system, as the ACLU has been demanding, so that neighborhoods like Anna Street will have as much representation on Council as the wealthy Anaheim Hills area;
  3. and allowing the people of Anaheim a voice on the “Let the People Vote” initiative, to ensure that any future corporate subsidies will be attached to guarantees of LOCAL JOBS and INVESTMENT in the COMMUNITY.

Our second and third demands will be voted on shortly after this rally by the Council, as Council decides whether to put on November’s ballot both the Let the People Vote initiative and the question of changing to Ward Elections.  It is also easy to see how accountability for the Police Department is much more likely to follow from better representation of all Anaheim neighborhoods.

While I understand the outrage at the actions of police, I am a bit confused how the shooting on Saturday is in any way related to the proposed Let the People Vote initiative, or the lawsuit demanding ward/district level elections for members of the City Council. It appears that the Take Back Anaheim organizers are trying to capitalize on the community outrage about the shooting of Manuel Diaz, to promote their own agenda.

It is unlikely that the Take Back Anaheim group has the votes on the Council to place their proposed Charter Initiative regarding taxpayer funded developer incentives. The group failed to gather the required number of signatures to get their proposed initiative on the ballot in November and a Council majority is opposed to the idea.

On the matter of holding a charter vote to settle the legal question of whether the current city-wide election process violates the California Voting Rights Act is something that should be decided by the courts. Civil rights should not be controlled by who can raise the most money to support or oppose an initiative. The idea of holding a vote on whether the city should have district level elections is a ruse to distract from the legal questions in this case.

I commend the organizers with Take Back Anaheim for their creativity, and their demands for justice on behalf of Manuel Diaz and his family. People can justifiably demonstrate on each individual issue, and they should. But there is no relevant linkage between the three issues.

  6 comments for “Protests planned for Anaheim City Hall Today at 4 p.m.

  1. July 24, 2012 at 8:05 am

    It is all linked, Joe. Indirectly but deeply.

    The neighborhoods like Anna Street which the APD have declared war on are never represented in the city government. Ward elections, such as the ACLU is pushing Anaheim toward, would remedy that. Republican Mayor Tom Tait agendized putting that question onto the November ballot; Lorri G is a yes; and we are going to try to convince Gail Eastman, the most reasonable of the three corporatists on council.

    It’s not far-fetched to think that the police would do a lot less murders in an area that was represented politically, is it?

    The “Let the People Vote” initiative is also indirectly connected. The council corporatists cut a deal with developers letting them off the hook for hundreds of millions without getting back anything in return – which SHOULD have been guarantees for LOCAL jobs, and investment in the community. The kind of jobs and investment which would over the years make the gang lifestyle less tempting in poor neighborhoods like Anna Street.

    Take Back Anaheim’s “failing to get signatures” isn’t the complete story. It was a failure of the city that caused them to miss their goal. They were told they needed 15,000 signatures and they got that many; THEN they were suddenly told they needed 22,000 signatures, when it was too late to get to that new goal post.

    An honest mistake perhaps, but it was the city’s mistake, and the city is capable of remedying it by putting it on the November ballot themselves. Again, this was agendized by Mayor Tait, supported by Lorri G, and we hope to convince Gail Eastman. Not a sure thing, but not impossible, and certainly worth the try!

    Otherwise it’s gonna take an expensive special election early next year, which the council could just avoid by putting it on the ballot now. Have I mentioned it polls at 85%?

    • Cynthia ward
      July 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      How many signatures were finally verified?

      • July 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        I don’t think they were even put through that process, as there was no way they had the 22,000. Activist Larry Larsen did wheel them all up on a dolly at the last meeting, just as a demonstration of the community support.

        And here I am after all this, stranded in another county. At this point I couldn’t get to Anaheim till 7 or so, so I won’t be there after all. (sad face emoticon)

  2. Debbie Tharp
    July 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Who can tell if it was an honest mistake Vern. Truth be told, evidence points to the contrary. There is a lot of effort to subdue the initiative process from the top down to the bottom up, and these people are capable of pulling some very underhanded stunts. We just passed the number of signatures necessary to qualify the Costa Mesa issue today, despite the interference of many, many public officials. :)

    • July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Congratulations Debbie, that’s great & unexpected news! You’re not exaggerating with that claim of interference and underhanded stunts are you? They even threw you in jail.

      In Anaheim, it seemed to be an honest mistake by the city clerk, whom the people of Take Back Anaheim have known a long time and trust. But still it was a city error, and the city council should remedy that by putting the initiative on the ballot. It’s easy to see they could have got the required number of signatures if they just knew what that was from the beginning.

  3. HEF
    July 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    It trully sadden’s me to read this and so many other articles and new’s stories on this subject. I live within the same neighborhood were this happened I can see the light post’s in Anna street from my bedroom window at night. It is also why I feel I must write and tell how wrong this and so many other articles on the shooting incident are.

    Anna street is a well known gang neighborhood around here, cops are forced to respond there quite often. Almost everyone one who is a teenager or young adult there is a gang member. They tag this neighborhood and commit robbery’s and violent crimes constantly. It does not surprise me that this happened, what has is the flip flop of what happened.

    This article fails to mention that Mr. Diaz has tie’s to gang’s, was running from the police(usally a sign of one having committed a crime). That other known gang members, including one wanted for murder was within the protesting crowd. That the not to peacefull protester were throwing rocks, and bottles at the police, has well has setting those trash bins on fire(I could hear all of that going on that night).Instead the people af Anna street have turned themselves into victim’s of police brutality and racism.

    There is a school not far from Anna street, Sycamore Junior High. I went there when I was young and meet a number of kids who lived on Anna. Nearly all were racist at such a young age, “niger this, chink that, gringo’s suck, viva la Mexico fuck America.” Many barely spoke English often stating proudly they and there families were not legal in the United States. While rap songs like “Fuck, Fuck, Fuck the Police” were popular, has was the hope among most of joining the Anna Street Crew when they got older. Most of the problems at that school are still atributed to the kids coming from Anna street.

    The entire neighborhood is safe to say all Latino, with multiple families living in the same apartment, with English not the primary language, or even spoken at all. One would best guess that half or more of the people living there are illegal imigrants to the U.S. Without legally being able to vote could explain why Anna street is not represented much in the city elections.

    For Diaz’s mom I am sure she is grief stricken at the loss of her son. However she must come to terms with the fact that her son may have just been a criminal. No parent would like it, no one wants to know their son is the school bully, or their daughter is the school slut but it happens. If Manuel Diaz had not been killed by the police that night it would be some other night, or in a gang shooting across town, or by some liquior store attendant.

    There are many examples of police force being excesive and unjustified, however sometimes the police are acting accordingly. I encourage anyone who reads this to question the apparent innocence of Mr. Diaz and the actions of his neighborhood. But what do I know I just live nearby.

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