Category Archives: Immigration

New immigration reform posters from Shepard Fairey


Shepard Fairey has designed a series of screen prints that will  be sold to raise money for materials for May Day marches and immigration reform organizations.

Collaborating  with Ernesto Yerena, an Obey associate, and with the support of Zack De La Rocha of Producciones Cimarron, an East LA-based independent multimedia organization dedicated to helping immigrants form a supportive community and lobby for humane and sensible legislative solutions, Fairey made two images based on Yerena’s photographs of the historic May Day march in 2006.

Editions of 450 screen prints measuring 18″x24″ will go on sale for $45 each on Thursday, April 30th at noon at

Both and have free downloadable versions of each poster available “to spread the word and post the images in windows, on street poles, offices, and wherever you think the message will reach people.”

LA City Council Settles May Day Melee Lawsuits for Cool $12.85m

Remember the May Day Melee?  In a visible display of What Happens When LAPD Gets Scared of Large Gatherings, the police on duty monitoring the 2007 May Day rally in MacArthur Park launched an out of control, freaked out display of force in response to “agitators” who allegedly threw bottles at them.  As a result, nine separate lawsuits were filed against the city.  The LA City Council voted today to settle all nine for $12.85 million.   That is a lot of money.  In even worse news, it still has to deal with 27 other lawsuits stemming from the incident.  In even worser news, this settlement comes right after the City Council approved $20.5 million to settle a Rampart-related case brought by officers who claimed they were falsely arrested and otherwise mistreated.

In case you’re one of those types of people who think that immigration rally-goers deserve whatever punishment the riot-geared cops dole out, lest we forget the clip that forever erased all feelings of annoyance I’ve ever had towards one Ms. Christina Gonzalez of Fox 11, circa John Beard:


ISO Sweat-free discounted t-shirt: Is this a mythical beast?

American Apparel is too goddamn expensive.

I remember when American Apparel first started up and they were all up in that “fair wages, fair day’s work” thang. Then the whole thing transitioned into cracked-out seemingly-underage models posing with that pouty, poufy “I just got hit in the face by a brick” look, and seems like people forgot a lot of the labor issues. I hear a lot about how AA is no longer such an industry leader in terms of fair labor practices, and now that I’m looking for reasonably priced tees, I’m quite stymied.

You see, inspired by recent crafty things like Felt Club & Unique LA, I decided to get back to handpainting tees like I did a long-ass time ago. But I need shirts. Shirts I can AFFORD. American Apparel is not affordable–not in any volume, at least. There are these shirts from No Sweat, but they’re still too pricy for me, unless I plan on selling these shirts for a fricken’ mint.

Now, I used to hear about there being one day a week when you could go down to the AA plant on Alameda and root through their slightly-wonky seconds: you know, the color was a little off, or a seam wasn’t perfectly straight. And these were discounted. Dear lazyweb, does that day still exist?

Or are there, somewhere out there, low-cost sweat-free shirts, just waiting for me to discover them?

Halp, Los Angeles! Halp! I ask here because I know there are a lot of other crafty ladies out there who’ve asked the same question, and also because I want sweat-free operations to have a chance to sound off in a public forum if they can offer me a good solution.

LA Sheriff expanding ID and Deportation of undocumented immigrants

The Pasadena Star News is reporting that the LA Sheriff Dept is going to be increasing their participation in the Federal 287(g) program.  The program in its simplest terms is local law enforcement being trained in the questioning of suspected criminals they have detained in jail to determine their legal status in the country.  Those that fail are handed over to Immigration with many often deported.  Many of those deported wind up back in LA county jails after they re-enter the US and caught doing a new crime.

They report that County Supervisor Antonovich asked for and received support to increase the number of trained officers in 287(g) by 5 officers.  It was approved, with the total officers trained to be 12 by September 1, 2008.

Is it just me or does this seem like throwing more money at a problem without addressing the underlying causes?  Some commenting on the Star News Groups Topix link seem to think so.

Word to the wise: Avoid Downtown tomorrow

I just walked down the street to a shop on the corner of 4th and Main and was in line behind an LAPD officer who was advising another customer to avoid Downtown if at all possible. As you might be aware tomorrow is the scheduled May Day Protest and the offer suggested that all of downtown will basically be gridlocked from 10am to 6pm at least. The other customer noted that she had an appointment downtown around 10am and asked if the other people trying to get there would be more than an hour late and the officer corrected her noting “hours” were more like it. So, that said, if you are planning to pass through Downtown tomorrow you might want to push that off to another day if you can. And if you work Downtown, I’d say forget the car and look for other ways to get in and out.

Friends, Angelenos, Hungry Drunk People–Lend Me Your Collective Rage

tacotrucksTHIS IS A TRAVESTY. Taco trucks eliminated in LA?!

While the new law that requires the trucks to move every hour may result in an exciting scavenger-hunt style city rampage for those who enjoy the thrill of the chase, I tell you, THIS SHALL NOT STAND.

“Led by District 1 County Supervisor Gloria Molina, the L.A. Board of Supervisors has pased new restrictions that will effectively eliminate taco trucks from our streets. Under Supervisor Molina’s new rules, taco trucks will have to change location every hour, or face a misdemeanor charge carrying a $1000 fine and/or jail. Yes, jail.

Taco Trucks are a special facet of Los Angeles, and something we don’t want to lose.

Let’s send Gloria Molina and the L.A. Board of Supervisors a message that we cherish our local vendors and don’t want to see them move away. Go to to sign the petition!”

Petition?!? This requires more than a petition. This requires riots in the streets! Class issues, race issues, personal freedoms (shouldn’t I be able to eat on the razor’s edge of tepid mystery meat if I effing want to?) and issues about the diversity of foodstuffs in this city figure into this argument. Please pass the word: a petition isn’t enough. This requires serious media scrutiny & public outrage. Besides, without taco trucks, 1/3 of all LA-based blog subject matter is immediately wiped from the slate!

Happy Birthday, César Chávez!

Migrant Farm Workers

Well, Angelenos, you restored my faith in you. You decided that the term “illegals” is worse than “illegal immigration” itself. Perhaps you learned from Oklahoma’s economic missteps.

In honor of all the people who pick your grapes, wash your dishes, and blow your leaves, tomorrow is César Chávez Day.

The holiday is recognized by the state of California, and all state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are going to be closed. Schools, however, will not be. Be aware that some schools will have student-staged walk-outs; many students will simply not show up.

As for me, I will celebrate by wearing traditional Mexican clothing. Instead of leading a walk-out, I will stage a teach-in. Instead of typical math lessons, we will have a lesson on the economic impact of “illegal” immigration, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, along with a mini-bio of the main man himself.

Oh, and I won’t be eating any grapes.

Image from Flickr user Bob Jagendorf under a CC license

Illegals costing LA County $444 million in welfare and food stamps

Illegal residents in Los Angeles County collected more than $37 million in welfare and food stamps in November – up $3 million since September – for an estimated annual cost of $444 million dollars, reports the Daily News citing statistics from the LA County Department of Public Social Services.

On a slightly related note, I visited my family in Connecticut over the holidays and made a point to visit Taco Bell because I just can’t resist me some churros and apple empanadas. But guess who was working there? High school kids! White high school kids! And then I met some family friends who made a living doing house cleaning. Also white. And middle class. I was reminded of the jobs I held before moving to Los Angeles – bagging groceries, bussing tables, and working as a barback. Friends made decent money landscaping and working construction and even babysitting.

All jobs that “nobody wants,” per the mantra in LA and other areas that benefit from cheap, illegal labor.

Back to the point: $444 million dollars a year spent on what amounts to fraud from the illegals who apparently didn’t even work at the jobs nobody wants. I don’t fault anyone for wanting to move to the United States for a better life, but these illegals are falsifying or stealing Social Security numbers, and leeching off money that could be spent better on police services, public healthcare, or any number of things… or better yet, possibly lowering California’s record high sales tax.

Jobs nobody wants? We’re also in a recession. The country’s unemployment rate is 5%. Maybe we can use some of that $444 million to help us afford to pay enough to make those jobs more attractive and, ergo, jobs legal residents will want and need.

“ICED” the video game launches soon….

iced.jpg. (image borrowed from the msnbc/AP page).

Set to launch in October, “ICED” the immigation game where you get to be the illegal immigrant trying to stay in the USA and run the maze of laws that affect your ability to stay. The full article can be read here on MSNBC .

I found also a tidbit on the break through web site that you may just want to bookmark for the future.

I wish there was a way to get a sample copy and let you know how it works and the level of propaganda involved. It is a novel way to reach a small segment of the population…18 to 20-something-or-others into gaming and get their message across. Not a big enough group to impact the whole immigration reform on either camp but potentially a nice educational tool.

In the event you are one of those Los Angelenos on the fence on the topic of immigration reform you may want to consider looking at the Border Patrol. I strongly suggest you NOT dig further into that website unless you are ready to swim in the bowels of humanity.

News from Far East LA….

Don’t shoot the messenger but Orange County is statistically speaking part of the Greater LA Metro Area and it pays to know what’s going on. How I get on some of these mailing lists totally befuddles me, but I share with you to make you think a minute.

Immigration Reform (or Rights depending on your rhetorical point of view) has been a problem for many years. Knowing what the extremes are thinking and doing helps one sift through to find the truth.

I have to thank El Chavo for noting the Indy Media a few weeks back. Its an interesting source that once you understand its agenda you can put into perspective why they report the way they do. Between how they and the established news sources report the news, it makes it easier to see how the mainstream is coming to its opinions. I stop to check to see what BBC is reporting as well for an additional view of our internal politics.

I googled Tancredo and there is so much to digest I’ll leave it to your own curiosity to google and read up on him and his book.

I think I’ll pass on this event…too cheap and not curious enough. Just leave it as its always good to keep your friends close and your enemy’s closer. You decide where this falls in your quest for knowledge.

Immigration rally tonight, Wilshire to Macarthur Park

Boi from Troy may’ve been on to something with his whole “Two LAs” theory.

Maybe I’m the only who didn’t know that Wilshire was shutting down between Catalina and Vermont for what looks to be another immigration rally, complete with TONS of police, news cameras on platforms and American flags aplenty. Things are still getting set up down there but should be underway shortly.

LA Indy Media Center has the scoop.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez are among those expected to join immigrant-rights activists Thursday for a march and rally to denounce the actions of Los Angeles riot police at a May Day rally at MacArthur Park.

The event will begin with a town hall-style meeting at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, followed by a 10-block procession to MacArthur Park, where organizers will hold a candlelight vigil and a series of performances.

More photos after the jump.
Continue reading Immigration rally tonight, Wilshire to Macarthur Park

Children forced to march in downtown L.A.? we all agree that this past weekend was probably the busiest the city of Los Angeles has ever seen? Music fests, cowboy fests, book fests, presidential fundraisers, and more.

What you may have missed was yesterday’s “Children’s March Against Racist Deportations and Immigration Laws”. LA Indymedia has pics and extensive coverage:

Hundreds of Mexican and “Central American”-descent children marched through downtown Los Angeles Sunday afternoon to protest “racist immigration laws and racist deportations.” The children and their families marched approximately four blocks, from Olvera Street to City Hall.

The children — the vast majority who are U.S. citizens due to the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — wore white t-shirts with the message “Legalize My Parents.”

While I empathize with the movement, I find there’s always something distasteful about using children as instruments to promote a political agenda, no matter the cause.
Continue reading Children forced to march in downtown L.A.?