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Murrieta Shocks the Conscience of the American People

Democracy Now  |  Issue: September 2014
Southern California communities welcomed refugee children

Southern California communities welcomed refugee children. This is one event among many. San Bernandino, CA July 2014 | 22 year old mother with her son. They were transported to Texas by immigration authorities to California. She answers questions at a news conference in San Bernardino, Calif. July 2014
PHOTO: Chuck Parker


What follows is taken from Enrique Morones, director of the Border Angels in San Diego on July 11 on news show, “Democracy Now.”

What I observed was the freedom of speech in action, which everybody supports. The protesters were on the sidewalk, yelling their chants and so forth. Then I saw the three buses approaching.

I want to make it very clear those buses were turned back by the Murrieta police, not by the protesters –because as the buses were approaching, the Murrieta Police stepped in front of the buses, and blocked the buses, which made absolutely no sense because they could have just kept on driving and went into the Border Patrol facility.

When I asked the police, “Why are you doing this,” some of the protesters came out into the street, too. Eventually about 25 of the 50 protesters came into the street, as did 25 to 30 media people.

Of the 50 anti-immigrant demonstrators, about half were from Murrieta, and about half were ex-Minutemen, Neo-Nazis, and members of the rightwing American Federation For Immigration Reform – people who have been practicing hate for a very long time. They are very dangerous because hate talk leads to hate actions.

Regardless of how you feel about this issue, what side of the political aisle you are on, these are children and we need to embrace and love our children. A society is judged on how we treat our children.

What we saw that day was the worst of the American spirit, and I believe that that moment will live in infamy, but it can become the turning point in this immigration issue. The whole world saw that hateful display of those 50 people; and the conscience of the American people is saying, “That is not who we are.”

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