The defenders of American sovereignty returned September 25 to one of the nation's toughest challenges—the loony lefty enclave by the Bay that celebrates its extreme liberalism like no other.
Organized by the Golden Gate Minutemen, the rally took place in Civic Center Plaza across from San Francisco City Hall. I was there carrying several posters remembering crime victims of illegal aliens. The purpose of the protest: to condemn San Francisco's criminal-coddling sanctuary policy for illegal aliens and demand it be revoked.
The Minutemen had appeared on the steps of City Hall with a similar mission on July 30. The welcoming committee was a squawking assemblage of leftist open-border anarchists. I call them anarchists because they were so disorganized that subgroups had dueling bullhorns that drowned out each other's "message" in total cacophony.
I attended that earlier event also. While I stood on the steps with the Minutemen holding my little sign showing victims of illegal aliens, I snapped some pictures of the howlers below. My favorite: the doofus holding a sign reading, "SF is a city for all! Minutemen, you are not welcome here!"
Unclear on logic, wouldn't you say?
The September 25 event took place in a more spacious position on the lawn across from the steps. The spot was also a little easier for police to defend, with porta-fences, against the noisy commies with their well worn Che signs proclaiming "The workers struggle has no borders."
The indymedia website announced the Minuteman event and urged resistance using the same old rhetoric:
"Hi all - below is the info about the minutemen who are again planning a rally at SF city hall's steps. PLEASE ATTEND and show these racists that SF is a sanctuary city, and continue to push demands to abolish penalties that hurt and criminalize the immigrant community, and scrap those freakin borders. OK!!! See ya'll there."
The Open Borders gaggle trooped around the perimeter and were generally loud and obnoxious. The police mercifully made them stop bullhorning, presumably since they had no permit. The commies did bring a mariachi band with tuba and drums. One charmer had a hand-made sign reading "Racist motherf**ers out of SF." She didn't bother to notice that the Minuteman speakers and audience were "diverse" by any measure.
A major theme of the Minuteman rally was the crime victims of illegal aliens, because the city's sanctuary policy remains in place. There was a large sign with photos and names of victims of foreign lawbreakers. Some participants carried photos in remembrance.
Several of the speakers who appeared before the crowd of 70 or so were people who had lost loved ones to illegal alien criminals. Army Sergeant Anita Shaw, the mother of Jamiel Shaw, spoke. He was murdered March 2 by illegal alien Pedro Espinoza, a documented member of the 18th Street gang just one day after the criminal had been released from jail.
Sergeant Shaw described in detail the horror of being told by her commanding officer that her son was dead while she served in Iraq. She had to come home to bury her boy because the streets of Los Angeles were not safe for a promising high-school youngster because murderous foreign gangsters were allowed to run rampant. One possible motive is race—that Jamiel was killed because he was black. Hispanic gangsters gain "stripes" for killing African-Americans.
Angie Morfin of Salinas told the story of how her 13-year-old son Ruben was killed by a Mexican gang member in 1990 as he walked with some friends to his grandmother's house. (Read her 1999 testimony before the House Immigration Committee about her loss.) Angie's sister Lupe Moreno spoke also about the need to bring the full force of the law against illegal aliens.
Rick Oltman from the Californians for Population Stabilization presented pertinent information about what state law requires. Article 5 of the California Constitution is quite clear that the state's Attorney General should oversee fair law enforcement and must step in when local leadership fails.
"SEC. 13. Subject to the powers and duties of the Governor, the Attorney General shall be the chief law officer of the State. It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to see that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced. ... Whenever in the opinion of the Attorney General any law of the State is not being adequately enforced in any county, it shall be the duty of the Attorney General to prosecute any violations of law of which the superior court shall have jurisdiction, and in such cases the Attorney General shall have all the powers of a district attorney. "
Furthermore, Oltman pointed out, the state penal code does not allow any wiggle room for legal fictions like "sanctuary":
"834b. (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. "
Other patriotic speakers included Ray Herrera and Al Rodriguez.
Sadly, this beautiful city has become an emblem of left-wing extremism. The expression "San Francisco values" epitomizes the city's smugly arrogant cultural beliefs, from hating the military to worshipping diversity of the worst sort and protecting illegal alien criminals.
But there have been some recent bumps on the road to San Francisco's kumbaya borderless socialism.
First there was a series of revelations in the San Francisco Chronicle about how the city had spent substantial taxpayer money to shelter Honduran crack dealers from the feds.
Then came the news that the shocking triple murder of the Bologna family were committed by an illegal alien earlier protected by the city.
Patriotic Americans might think that San Francisco is hopeless, and in some ways it is. The city is corrupt in the same way Chicago is, from decades of one-party crony government. But even ultra-liberal San Franciscans want police and jails to protect them from foreign gangsters: a CBS survey taken after the Honduran crack dealer stories appeared showed that 79 percent of those polled wanted convicted criminal illegal aliens turned over to federal authorities.
The CBS poll shows that a strong majority draw the line at protecting criminals from justice - and that survey was done before the details of the Bologna murder came out, which further increased local anger.
The accused Salvadoran murderer of Tony, Michael and Matthew Bologna was freed from custody and not deported after violent felony convictions.
The San Francisco Chronicle's online forums following articles about the crime were filled with sentiments of anger against city policies and the people who put them in place.
But how would people know what's going on in City Hall given the non-existent news coverage from the Chronicle and local television? Aside from the outstanding alien crime articles by Jaxon Van Derbeken, the Chronicle has been more interested in producing puff pieces about the Mayor Gavin Newsom's crusade for gay marriage. Coverage about the deteriorating state of civility and safety on the city's streets has gotten short shrift for years - until the recent awakening about crime.
One sign of changing winds: On September 3, Mayor Newsom put San Francisco's long-planned city identification card plan on indefinite hold. Last April, he was starring in an advertising spot urging illegals to utilize taxpayer-provided services as well as bashing legal immigration enforcement. "We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it," he declared at the time.
But since then, San Francisco has had to respond to a lawsuit against the identity cards from the Immigration Reform Law Institute and a suit brought by the Bologna family arguing the city's extreme sanctuary policy was partially responsible for the triple murder. Mayor Newsom has been trying to walk back from his extreme position, although with obvious reluctance.
The door to sanity has been pried open a tiny bit in San Francisco. The upcoming court activity may force more change at the policy level.
But responsible residents need to get involved and do a lot more to drag their city out of the gutter.
Minutemen can push the rock up the hill only so far...
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She misses the old San Francisco values of Herb Caen columns and less militant diversity.