From Mediaite comes a report that an immigration action town hall hosted by Rep. Luis Gutierrez earlier this week was interrupted by anti-immigrant activists infamous for also having protested the transfer of child refugees in Murrieta last summer.
This particular event, billed “Keeping Families Together” and hosted by the University of Southern California and Rep. Karen Bass, was to be conducted in Spanish, and organizers made it clear from the onset that English-speaking attendees would be provided with headsets for translation. So far so good.
But, naturally, the same protestors who bravely screamed at busses of children escaping violence and death in Central America also had a bit of an issue with even one word of Spanish being uttered at the event.
Mediaite highlighted video of the event, recorded and uploaded to YouTube by the “We The People Rising” protestors:
In one video, entitled in all-caps, “AMERICAN PATRIOTS SHOUT DOWN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION PUSHING TRAITOR REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ,” the narrator expresses frustration with the Spanish-language format and having to submit questions via form — thus preventing “real questions” from being asked.
In that same video, when Rep. Gutiérrez enters the auditorium, the protestors immediately begin booing him. The front few rows, filled with supporters of the event, attempted to drown out the heckling with loud applause and chants of “Sí, se puede!” (English: “Yes, we can”).
That prompted the anti-”amnesty” activists to start loudly chanting “USA! USA! USA!” as the event’s moderator attempted to quiet down the crowd for roughly three minutes. When she informed the audience that the event will be in Spanish (around 3:49 below), one attendee shouted: “We live in America! It should be in English!” which set off another wave of chants like “English! English! English!”
Video shows that during Gutiérrez’s remarks, the protesters continued to heckle him with a smattering of real-time commentary, such as “Don’t play the race card!”
The video gets pretty ugly, with the protestors heckling event organizers, even after a police officer took to the stage and respectfully asked them to let the town hall proceed as planned.
But, considering the torrid history of “We The People Rising,” perhaps the reactions at the town hall shouldn’t have been all that surprising. The group made headlines last summer when the mostly-older, mostly-white protestors despicably blocked a transfer of child refugees with signs reading “send the illegals back,” “return to sender,” and cries of “diseases” (false claims which, we should mention, have been debunked over and over and over again).
Members of “We The People Rising” have also collaborated with nativist groups like FAIR, with Imagine2050 noting that when one of the group’s leaders wasn’t busy posing with a Confederate flag (did we miss when California seceded from the Union?), she was tormenting Muslim-Americans and the planned construction of mosques.
The group’s mere existence in California is still a bit surprising, considering how a combination of anti-immigrant legislation in the mid-1990’s and a booming Latino population pushed the state to evolve to a new era of politics and left California’s Republican Party decimated.
But apparently for this ragtag group of anti-immigrant extremists, evolving means going from attacking refugee children, to attacking immigrant moms and dads.