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News and reports

June 16, 2006 | Pages 14 and 15

Stop the anti-immigrant bigots
We support war resisters
Fight the right

Stop San Francisco's killer cops
By Lucas Nevarez

SAN FRANCISCO--An angry crowd of 40 took to the streets on June 10 to protest the murder of 25-year-old Asa Sullivan by San Francisco police. Sullivan's crime? Being young and Black.

Police fatally shot Sullivan, who was unarmed, but for the next 16 hours, the official police version of events was that Sullivan had fired first on the officers.

Police said they were responding to a call that squatters were living in an abandoned town house. Two officers quickly arrested one man, Jason Martin, and they claimed that Sullivan took refuge in the attic and vowed he would not be taken alive. The police said that Sullivan fired at the officers through the attic floor, narrowly missing one of them, and that they returned fire, killing him.

What really happened had practically nothing to do with this initial account. First, Martin was a legitimate tenant of the town house and had committed no crime. Sullivan was his guest. Martin said that the officers never told him why they were there before handcuffing him on the floor and that he explicitly told them that Sullivan did not have a gun.

Second, police fired all the shots, yet they initially reported finding a gun at the scene. Later, they were forced to recant and admit that the murder of Sullivan had been entirely unprovoked. Yet they still tried to suggest that the unarmed Sullivan had somehow caused them to fire by waving a "cylindrical object" at them, which turned out to be an eyeglass case.

"It's unacceptable, whatever the excuse may be," said Mesha Monge-Irizarry of the Idriss Stelly Foundation, an organization which provides support to victims of police brutality. "And we're not going to take it anymore."

Protesters say the incident is another example of racism within the police department, and they're demanding an immediate investigation into all 17 murders committed by police in the last 10 years.

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Stop the anti-immigrant bigots
By Rachel Odes

FREMONT, Calif.--The East Bay Coalition for Border Security (EBCBS), a group planning to affiliate with the racist Minuteman Project, has been holding biweekly rallies here since early May. The group, while claiming not to allow racists to participate in its events, hopes to recruit and give confidence to anti-immigrant forces who want armed vigilantes on the Mexican border.

Fremont is one of the most multiracial towns in the Bay Area, and at the EBCBS' last demonstration on June 2, a handful of families and groups of high school students came from their homes to join anti-racist counterprotesters. While immigrant rights defenders outnumbered the right-wingers by a ratio of three-to-one last time, we want to mobilize even more people to their next planned action on June 16 at 5 p.m.

EBCBS needs to be exposed as the racists they are, and the people of Fremont need to know that immigrants are welcome in their town.

Counter-protesters plan to gather at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue on June 16 and every other Friday throughout the summer.

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We support war resisters
By Michael Smith

SAN FRANCISCO--A Bay Area committee to defend Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq, is forming. The committee will meet to plan rallies and other actions to show the Army and the country that there is no more honorable course of action than resisting an illegal and immoral war.

The first organizing meeting--to plan a Bay Area action to coincide with Ehren's refusal of deployment orders and to strategize for a summer defense campaign culminating in nationwide actions during his court martial--will be held at noon on June 17 at the Veterans' War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Ave.

Whether you are a member of an organization or a concerned individual, you are encouraged to attend this important meeting.

For information about Ehren's case, go to For information about the meeting, call 415-335-0953.

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Fight the right

BUFFALO, N.Y.--Some 45 people gathered at Lafayette Square June 10 to protest a planned demonstration by the National Socialist Alliance (NSA), a neo-Nazi group. The NSA's leader showed up for 10 minutes but left, and a couple more shouted anti-Semitic slurs from a van and then drove off.

While we chanted, construction workers working on a near-by building honked their horns and cheered us on. People came from as far away as Syracuse and Rochester, with signs that said, "No to racism, no to war" and "Smash fascism!"

The fact that the NSA couldn't mobilize more than three people is a clear indication of the effectiveness of confronting racists--wherever they decide to show their faces.

Brian Lenzo, Ken Love and Ream Kidane contributed to this report.

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