This is informative. The article is from the extreme right-wing San Gabriel Valley Tribune newspaper so you'll have to consider the source a bit and wonder what they're not saying and what they're twisting.

Still, isn't making blackmail threats against elected government officials and agencies simply because you want to violate other people's Constitutional rights terrorism? I would expect that it's a brand of terrorism -- more so since we're seeing these people are bringing guns out to the Campo, California desert while hunting Mexicans.


Article Published: Monday, July 18, 2005 - 7:02:35 AM PST

Orotest proves costly to city

By Christina L. Esparza , Staff Writer

BALDWIN PARK -- The first of two protests over a piece of public art that drew hundreds to the streets cost the city about $20,000 in police overtime and other expenses and pulled dozens of officers from cities ranging from Claremont to the San Fernando Valley, officials said.

Baldwin Park City Clerk Rosemary Ramirez said the May 14 protest at the Metrolink station over the Danza Indigenas monument cost the city about $16,000 for police overtime, and another $4,000 for administrative and parks and recreation employees, who were also deployed to the site.

City officials at one time estimated the first protest cost $100,000, but decreased that amount.

Figures for a second protest last month were still being calculated, Ramirez said, but about 200 officers from Baldwin Park and other agencies were at the site that day.

Save Our State, the group that organized the protest, contends two phrases on the monument "It was better before they came' and "This land was Mexican once, Indian always and is, and will be again' are anti- American and seditious.

City officials and supporters of the monument say it represents the city's history and opponents are taking the wording out of context to further their anti-illegal immigration agendas.

About 325 people were at the May 14 rally, and 500 attended the June 25 rally, said Baldwin Park police Lt. David Reynoso.

"We had all our available personnel assigned to the demonstration and working patrol during the day and the evening,' Reynoso said.

Joseph Turner, director for Save Our State, said Saturday the $20,000 price tag seemed much more realistic than a $100,000 estimate.

"That was much more in line with the expectations that I had,' he said.

He said his group focuses on creating economic hardship to bring about change. Turner said the costs to the city would be higher if the impact on the local businesses and the shutting down of major roadways would be taken into account.

The Baldwin Park Police Department was not the only law enforcement agency to dedicate personnel to the protests.

The department is a part of the area's mutual response agreement, meaning other law enforcement agencies had sent half of their on-duty personnel to help.

At the June 25 rally, the area sheriff's stations were already short-handed because several deputies were deployed to Hawaiian Gardens to assist in the investigation of the shooting death of Deputy Jerry Ortiz, a Diamond Bar resident killed in the line of duty June 24, said Industry sheriff's Sgt. Dean Scoville.

"Regardless of the incident, if it's a riot, protest, strike ... any time we have to send ... deputies, it has several different implications,' Scoville said. "It draws from our available man pool, and we don't have enough deputies.'

Fewer police and deputies on the streets yields slower response times to calls in their areas, Scoville said.

"Deputies were not able to respond to citizen complaints as we probably could have otherwise,' Scoville said. "We also have to prioritize other calls and get extended response times.

"We always do everything we can to assist our fellow emergency personnel, but at the same time, it would be far more responsible for people to engage in their protests and counter-protests as civilly as possible.'

Turner said he has no more protests planned for Baldwin Park, but that doesn't mean he won't be back.

"I haven't forgotten about Baldwin Park at all,' he said.

Staff Writer Phil Drake contributed to this story. Christina L. Esparza can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2472, or by e-mail at christina.esparza@sgvn.com .



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