Ban MEChA Protest 3-31-06

Most Americans have been sitting on their sofas watching hundreds of thousands of illegal alliens marching on their television sets. Now that anti-American protests are happening at their children schools they are ready to take some action.

Many parents attended this protest so it was great for Save Our State and Minuteman recruitment. It was also all over the local news and CNN. If the Minutemen and SOS didn’t show up and get the ball rolling the parents wouldn’t have been there.

It time to stand up and fight for your country, young and old!

To learn more about MEChA, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s involvment with this group, visit the UCLA Bruin Alumni Assoc.

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Daily Bulletin

RIVERSIDE — Jurupa Valley High School senior Josh Denhalter asked the school board to remove MEChA student groups from all campuses in the district Monday.

“I don’t think our school board should promote or allow a program on our campuses that promotes or advocates violence against America,” Denhalter said.

About 20 supporters of Denhalter’s cause, including members of the Minuteman Project and Save Our State group, held a protest outside the Jurupa Unified School District offices at 5:30 p.m.

Monday’s demonstration followed a protest Denhalter staged outside of his high school Friday, after he was suspended for promoting the event earlier in the week.

Denhalter said he originally wanted to hold a “pro-America” rally on his campus in response to recent walkouts at schools all over Southern California opposing stricter immigration legislation.

During public comments at the board meeting, Denhalter read from MEChA’s national constitution and plan of action, citing portions that he said were inappropriate for a campus club.

The 17-year-old said one of his major objections to the group is that its constitution calls for the reclaiming of portions of the southwestern United States purchased from Mexico during the treaty of Hidalgo Guadalupe in 1848.

“MEChA is an organization that pledges their allegiance to another nation besides the United States. They believe America is an occupied state; they have declared a war on America,” Denhalter said.

He said taxpayer dollars should not be spent to support MEChA in public schools.

Several speakers followed Denhalter on Monday, some in support of MEChA and others denouncing the group.

Both Jurupa Valley and Rubidoux high schools have MEChA organizations on campus, said Superintendent Elliott Duchon.

Duchon said all student groups must have their constitutions approved by the school principal and obtain a faculty adviser.

He said no groups have been banned from the district, and Denhalter’s request is the first of its kind that he can recall.

Duchon said the board only has the power to ban groups that restrict members based on race or ethnicity, that promote the denigration of others or that engage in gang activity.

The board was not able to act on Denhalter’s request Monday because it was not on the agenda, but board president Carl Harris said it would not be out of order to ask the staff to review all clubs on campus.

Graciela Larios, chairwoman for MEChA at UC Riverside, said many people misinterpret the group’s founding documents the way Denhalter has.

“These people that read it and want to attack it, they go into the document reading it with a closed mind,” Larios said.

She said it is quite common for people to criticize MEChA’s charter documents, especially the phrase, “Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada,” which in English means, “For the race, everything, outside the race, nothing.”

“The race for us is the community,” Larios said, explaining that MEChA is not exclusively for the betterment of Mexicans.

“If they would go to the meetings they would see the diversity of the people there,” Larios said.

MEChA is an organization that grew out of the Chicano student movement of the 1960s and is now present on many college and high school campuses in the United States.

Larios said MEChA’s purpose is not to reconquer the southwestern United States, but rather to educate and empower the youth.

“Our motive is to clean up our backyards, the barrios where there is violence and no jobs. Being a part of the U.S. and strengthening our communities doesn’t mean reclaiming the states. It means being a part of the nation and becoming a part of it in a way that our voice is heard,” Larios said.

The five-year MEChA member attended the protest at the district office Monday but said she was there only to listen.

“Arguing back and forth is not going to do anything,” Larios said.

She said she is not afraid that the school district will ban her group from its campuses because they have not done anything wrong. Larios invites those who oppose MEChA to attend a meeting or an event.

“Everyone is welcome and our actions speak louder than our words,” Larios said.

Denhalter said he has not met with the president or any members of MEChA on his campus.

Like Larios, he does not expect the board to ban the group from campuses but said he will attend every board meeting until MEChA is banned or until groups on district campuses disavow themselves from MEChA as a whole.

“If they are really just out there to help educate a group of people and provide a place for people to go, it’s not a bad thing,” Denhalter said. “But when they go out into `the physical liberation of our land,’ that is not something that should be on campus.”