Posted on May 12, 2005

Monument Draws Fire

Christina L. Esparza, San Gabriel Valley Tribune (Los Angeles), May 10, 2005

An anti-illegal immigration group that pressured a Spanish-language TV station to take down billboards referring to “Los Angeles, Mexico,” has now set its sights on a monument at the Baldwin Park Metrolink station.

Members of Save Our State, a Ventura-based activist group, have scheduled a protest at the station Saturday over one of the monuments with the words “This land was Mexican once, was Indian always and is, and will be again’ engraved on it. Another passage reads, “It was better before they came.’

“I consider the two passages to be incredibly offensive and seditious in nature . . . and it’s something we won’t tolerate,’ said Joseph Turner, executive director for Save Our State.

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Turner argued the passages encourage the idea of the reconquering of California by Mexico, as was the case with the billboards.

Clear Channel erected many billboards in Los Angeles County that stated “Los Angeles, CA’ with “CA’ crossed out and replaced with “Mexico.’

Clear Channel soon took down the billboards after heated protests from Save Our State.

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However, it is not in the city’s jurisdiction to remove the monument or alter it in any way, Olivas said. It is in the agreement with the artist that she has to approve any alterations.

Also, removing it will open the city to lawsuits, he said.

Mayor Manuel Lozano said he’s received about 60 derogatory e-mails from residents outside Baldwin Park, which he believes were spurred by debate on KFI-AM radio.

“Personally, I think this is un-American,’ Lozano said of the e-mails. “We should be working together. They’re perpetuating racism.’

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E-mail Mayor Lozano at [email protected]

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