Anti-illegal immigrant group comes
to City Hall for raucous protest
(07-30) 12:43 PDT SAN
FRANCISCO -- About a dozen members of the Minutemen, a group that patrols the U.S.-Mexican border in an effort to
keep illegal immigrants out, stood on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall today to decry the city's sanctuary policy and
demand that Mayor Gavin Newsom resign.
They waved signs calling Newsom, District
Attorney Kamala Harris and William Siffermann, head of the city's Juvenile Probation Department, "accessories to murder" for
the city's now-reversed policy of not turning over illegal immigrant youths arrested for felonies to federal authorities for
One Salvadoran immigrant
who benefited from the policy, Edwin Ramos, has been charged with three counts of murder for the June 22 shootings of 48-year-old
Tony Bologna and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Ramos, now 21, was arrested as a 17-year-old for an assault and an
attempted robbery, but city officials did not turn him over to federal immigration authorities.
"We are asking for the resignation of Mayor
Gavin Newsom for his endorsement and support of sanctuary city status that led to the horrific slayings of the Bologna family,"
said Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist.
Hundreds of immigrants rights advocates
stood on the sidewalk yelling back at the Minutemen and chanting, "Smash the border, smash the Minutemen!"
Ricardo Avila, a 30-year-old who lives in
the Excelsior, pointed out that scores of people are killed in San Francisco every year, and said the Minutemen were unfairly
using the Bologna killings to make their point.
"To single out one case is self-serving,"
Avila said. "People are killed by people, undocumented or not. But they choose a specific case to exploit a family for a cause."
Police Lt. Michael Slade said two people
- both on the pro-immigrant side - had been arrested, one for allegedly spitting on a sheriff's deputy and one for throwing
an unknown liquid at the City Hall steps. He said both were likely to be released today.
E-mail Heather Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org