2 Anaheim Protests: 1 Raucous, 1 Silent; 9 Arrested

Eric Carpenter et al., Orange County Register, July 29, 2012

At least nine marchers who took part in unruly protests Sunday against the city’s police department were arrested on the ninth consecutive day of demonstrations by residents and activists furious over two recent police shootings.

Two protestors—Mark Dameron of San Diego and Corbin Sobrita of Escondido—were arrested in front of the Anaheim Police Department’s headquarters on Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said, where a crowd of more than 200 was demonstrating Sunday afternoon.

A third protestor, Nathaniel Sierdsma of San Bernardino, was arrested a few blocks away, at Broadway and Clementine Street, Dunn said. All three were arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, failing to obey an order and being a pedestrian in a roadway.

A fourth protestor, who wasn’t immediately identified, was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery after she apparently wandered away from some marchers and got into a confrontation with an employee and patrons of an Arco gas station at Broadway and Anaheim Boulevard, Dunn said.

Five others whose identities weren’t immediately released were arrested later Sunday, Dunn said. {snip}

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The demonstrations unfolded July 21 following the fatal afternoon shooting of unarmed Manuel Angel Diaz, 25, in a residential alleyway on Anna Drive just east of downtown Anaheim. Police said the Santa Ana resident was a known gang member who was attempting to flee from two officers when he was shot.

A day later, Anaheim police fatally shot 21-year-old Joel Acevedo after he fired at officers during a chase, police said.

A memorial for Diaz that featured an outdoor Catholic Mass was held Sunday night in the neighborhood where he was fatally shot.

Earlier Sunday, demonstrators marched from police headquarters in downtown Anaheim to within a half-mile of the pedestrian entrance to the Disneyland Resort on Harbor.

Chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” the marchers passed police cars emblazoned with the names of cities as far away as Mission Viejo and Dana Point.

{snip}

The unruly demonstration that originated at noon Sunday outside the Anaheim police station on Harbor encompassed several political-action groups, including protesters who said they were from the groups Anonymous and Mexican Movement. A group of self-identified Communists handed out a newspaper called Red Flag.

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As TV news reporters attempted to broadcast live from across the street late Sunday afternoon, demonstrators surrounded them and screamed, “Tell the truth!” Others hurled obscenities at the TV cameras.

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The demonstrations took on a party atmosphere at times, with people banging on drums, laughing and exchanging high-fives. {snip}

Demonstrator Eduardo Perez, 21, a student at UCLA, said he came to Anaheim from his Westwood apartment because “he wanted to be part of some history.”

“What’s going on here in Orange County is symbolic of a problem with the system,” Perez said. “This wouldn’t happen to white people. This is racism—simple as that.”

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Even as Sunday’s raucous demonstration unfolded outside the city’s police station, a smaller group called “We Are Anaheim, Somos Anaheim” gathered outside City Hall at 11 a.m. Sunday for a two-mile silent march on Anaheim Boulevard.

About 100 people, mostly wearing white in a sign of peace, organized the effort on Facebook after objecting to a near-riot Tuesday that left windows smashed and local businesses looted.

{snip}

About 100 mourners gathered at 6 p.m. Sunday in an outdoor grass courtyard near the apartment complex where Diaz was fatally shot to remember the man whose death has touched off more than a week of violent protests.

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