Brent E. Beltrán

Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: September 7-13

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: September 7-13

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.21.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on punitive taxi cartels, the Chamber of Misery, poverty going up, the People’s Climate March, an interview with Alvarez, inside an outsiders campaign, a grassroots mayoral campaign in IB, corporate deserters, Falk finding rock bottom, OB plan waits until January, changes to Belmont Park, OBTC’s resolution against homelessness and much more San Diego news you may have missed. We write for free so please take a looksee.

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Thumbnail image for A One-on-One Conversation with District 8 Councilman David Alvarez

A One-on-One Conversation with District 8 Councilman David Alvarez

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.18.2014 Desde la Logan

In this first of two parts the Councilman discusses the minimum wage, upgrades to Chicano Park, Barrio Art Crawl and creating a place to be on Sunday afternoons in Barrio Logan

By Brent E. Beltrán

I woke up on Monday morning and, as I usually do, checked my email first (then Twitter and Facebook). In my inbox was an email from the Raise Up San Diego campaign stating that they were holding a press conference with David Alvarez at Chicano Park at 10am.

Feeling compelled to attend a presser across the street from where I lived I went about my morning business of getting my son Dino ready for preschool and walked him the two blocks to Perkins Elementary.

With him starting school I’ve been on a walking kick to get rid of some of the “sympathy” weight I gained in solidarity with my wife during the pregnancy. From 9am to about 10am I’d walk from Barrio Logan down Harbor Dr. — dodging traffic since there are no sidewalks — to the Convention Center stairs and then back to my barrio.

Knowing that I’d be dripping sweat, from not only walking but from the muggy weather we’ve been having, I thought I’d hang in the background of the presser once I arrived to Chicano Park. That was not to be the case.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: September 7-13

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: September 7-13

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.14.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on big lies by Dirty Energy, the costs of football, DeMaio smelling bad, an intensified minimum wage fight, the Illumina lawsuit, an oppressed Chamber, false CC premises, Obama chumping out, glutton buddies Kevin & Jerry, taxi drivers on the move, bad reality, Gloria’s living the wage challenge, Dick & Henry’s warmongering, regulating initiatives, Vets 360, lots of OB stuff and much more. Go read what you’ve missed out on this week. You’ll thank us.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 31-September 6

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 31-September 6

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.07.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on Labor Day still matters, DeMaio dissed by Chamber, fast food strike, Living the Wage challenge, the TOT, Prop 47, Flor y Canto in Logan Heights, city government run like a biz, sand sculpting, Neighborhood House, Baja lovers, the Mayor’s tax giveaway, SD Rep, fall gardening, immigration and deportation, OB Town Council meeting, seasonal lifeguards, Raglan Beach cleanup and so much more. Click the links below and read what you may have missed.

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Thumbnail image for Obama Reneges on Using Executive Action to Implement Immigration Reform Until After Midterm Election

Obama Reneges on Using Executive Action to Implement Immigration Reform Until After Midterm Election

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.07.2014 Desde la Logan

San Diegans Speak Out Against the President’s Unwillingness to Help the Latino Community

By Brent E. Beltrán

Latinos throughout the United States woke up yesterday morning to the news that President Obama had decided not to use his executive powers to push immigration reform forward until after the November election.

For months the President has said he would do whatever he could to implement reforms for millions of undocumented immigrants in the US. He kept the Latino community’s hopes up only to have those hopes crushed in an act of political cowardice.

Once again the President, whose administration has deported more people than any other President in American history (over 2.2 million!), has chosen to play politics while undocumented immigrants continue to live in fear of being kicked out of the country.

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Thumbnail image for Bay Area Poets and Musicians to Share Talents on Behalf of Refugee Children

Bay Area Poets and Musicians to Share Talents on Behalf of Refugee Children

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.04.2014 Books & Poetry

Logan Heights Restaurateur to Host Flor y Canto and Future Community Events

By Brent E. Beltrán

Flor y canto. Flower and song. Poetry. Music. Love.

This Saturday afternoon Mark Lane of Poppas’s Fresh Fish in Logan Heights is going to help share some musical and literary love. The parking lot of his small restaurant will be the site of the 3rd annual Flor y Canto where poets and musicians will share their words on behalf of the border refugee children.

Mark Lane was thrust into the immigrant rights spotlight after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, California and taking in a refugee family from Guatemala. I interviewed him recently about the hate and threats he faced from those wanting to send refugee families back to their country of origin to face possible death.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 24-30

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 24-30

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.31.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on the minimum wage battle, women’s equality, sick restaurant workers, climate change bad news, K-Faulc’s Golden Hill “improvements”, community weeklies, crawling for art in the barrio, flying home, union thug Todd Gloria, Neighborhood House, ACLU settlement, fallacy of charter city savings, drones, ocean acidification and a whole bunch of other articles. If you haven’t caught up on SDFP news then now’s the time. Get to it.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.28.2014 Arts

San Diego’s Last Bastion of Grassroots Art Spaces Join Forces for Monthly Series

By Brent E. Beltrán

On Saturday, August 30 the various arts venues in Barrio Logan will join together for another Barrio Art Crawl. The Crawl is a self-guided tour of open studios, galleries, and local businesses within the Barrio Arts District. The Barrio Art Crawl was initially created for the Barrio Arts District by the operators of The Roots Factory.

Participating venues in this installment of the Barrio Art Crawl include Border X Brewing/SD Taco Co., Chicano Art Gallery, Chicano Park, La Bodega, La Esquina, Pop-Up Art Gallery at Fuller Lighting, The Church, The Glashaus, The Roots Factory, The Yard at Stronghold Collective, Union Barrio Logan and Woodbury School of Architecture. Each venue will have either visual art, music, food or a mixture of all.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 17-23

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 17-23

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.24.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on Shamu soon getting a new cell, slimeball Republican operatives and their anti-minimum wage lies, the need to read, VofSD’s experiment, Anglo-American justice, military leftovers, need for black boys to feel free, meaning of Americanized, humanity trail video by SDFP newbie Horacio Jones, SD’s P100 program screwing a family, thumbs down for Buona Forchetta, slow death at Ft. Rosecrans, Ed Hariss’ second half issues, beach news, and OB Rag goes on vacation plus many more articles, poetry and other good stuff on what’s happening in San Diego. Now’s the time to catch up on what went down this past week at SDFP and OB Rag from our motley crew of contributors.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 10-16

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 10-16

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.17.2014 Culture

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate, $20 Koch burgers, Ferguson, anti-minimum wage increase shill Jason Roe, the mayor’s war on the poor, A Trail for Humanity, Kingmaker Papa Doc, double toons by Junco, SD’s genome, a new Cold War, remembering Robin, Sea World losing money and building a bigger bathtub for Orcas and so much more from San Diego’s community journos. Go read them if you haven’t already.

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Thumbnail image for A Trail for Humanity Comes to San Diego

A Trail for Humanity Comes to San Diego

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.14.2014 Activism

Marchers take a stand against violence targeting migrant women and children

By Brent E. Beltrán

On July 22 a group of mothers and their children began a journey from Merced, California to the U.S./Mexico border. This Saturday at 7am they will be at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan for the final leg of their pilgrimage.

After a ceremony at Chicano Park participants in A Trail for Humanity will leave around 8am and walk to Kimball Park in National City. From there they will be transported by vehicle to the MAAC Charter School in Chula Vista where they will have lunch.

After lunch and a brief rest they will continue their journey on foot to Larsen Field in San Ysidro. They will arrive at the park sometime between 3pm and 4pm where a rally will take place with speakers on immigration rights, danza Azteca and entertainment.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 3-9

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 3-9

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.10.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on our cowardly mayor vetoing the minimum wage ordinance, a Logan Heights businessman getting hated on, two Machete toons, video poetry from Ish, ACLU appealing Esco’s shelter denial, Extreme Weather Watch, the continuing story of the Neighborhood House, Who’s Running SD continues with Papa Ugh Manchester, the journey of unaccompanied minors, Wall St. redevelopment schemes, Lucas O’Conner contemplates what could have been, reverberations of OB plan vote, and lots more San Diego community journo stuff. If you haven’t read them yet then now’s the time. Get to it!

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Thumbnail image for Logan Heights Restaurateur Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

Logan Heights Restaurateur Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.07.2014 Activism

“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.”

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last week I found out there’s this restaurant owner in Logan Heights that has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 27-August 2

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 27-August 2

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.03.2014 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on the minimum wage and civil disobedience, the unjust firing of SCPA’s principal, a well spent Saturday at Comic-Con, the border refugee crisis, Kaskari’s ridiculous homeless stunt, Labor Studies at City, Sheriff Joe hating in Ramona, Escondido just hating, P100 program targeting the poor, North Pacific Dispatches, Who Runs SD, the OB plan getting approved and lots more good stuff from San Diego’s finest community journalists and writers. If you haven’t read them yet then now is the time to catch up. So what are you waiting for? Read them!

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 20-26

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 20-26

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.27.2014 Books & Poetry

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars and at-large contributors on Comic-Con, a proud day for activism, stinky SDPD, the Mayor’s climate indifference, GOP wanting to impeach, minimum wage, Obama and Cap America, Neighborhood House, for-profit colleges, who runs San Diego, bare facts, native solidarity, El Machete, OB planning and lots more.

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Thumbnail image for Spotlight on San Diego Artist/Animator Tony Washington

Spotlight on San Diego Artist/Animator Tony Washington

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.25.2014 Arts

He started in comics at eighteen and twenty years later continues his dream

By Brent E. Beltrán

There is a tremendous amount of homegrown San Diego talent that contributes in various ways to making popular culture and Comic-Con what it is. Going into Comic-Con I wanted to profile one such individual.

The person that came to mind is someone who has become part of my extended family, Anthony Washington. Tony was born in Detroit, Michigan but didn’t live there long. With his dad in the navy he moved around the country a lot and eventually settled into Imperial Beach. Though not born here Tony still considers himself a native San Diegan.

At 38 years old Anthony Washington gets to do what he loves: draw.

On Preview Night at Comic-Con I interviewed him about his background, his influences, how he got started, what projects he’s worked on, what he’s got coming up and what advice he’d give to wannabe comic book artists looking to get into the business.

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Thumbnail image for The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.23.2014 Arts

SDFP Writer Inundated with Comic-Con Related Emails

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last year I covered Comic-Con for San Diego Free Press. I wrote five articles in a series I called Adventures in Comic-Conlandia: A Nerds-eye View. You can read them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part 5. This was my first attempt at writing about something I had loved since I started attending back in 1986. Though grueling I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will cover the event again this week. I plan on being not so ambitious this year.

Sometimes Comic-Con sneaks up on you. You don’t know it is here until trolley station signs are written in Klingon or you’re standing in line for a happy hour beverage next to a Stormtrooper.

For me that wasn’t the case this year. You see, I’ve been inundated with press releases for the past month and it’s picked up even more within the last week. I’ve been sent hundreds of emails from the various media, toy and comic book companies that want to get the word out about their latest film, action figure or storyline.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 13-19

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: July 13-19

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.20.2014 Activism

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

Starting today San Diego Free Press will publish a new column every Sunday morning called Looking Back at the Week. This new column will feature links to articles from the previous week from SDFP and OB Rag’s regular and at-large contributors including Doug Porter, Frank Gormlie, Jim Miller, Ernie McCray, John Lawrence, Anna Daniels, Junco Canché, Brent E. Beltrán, and others. In case you missed their articles during the week this will be your chance to catch up on what they’ve been writing about.

This week’s edition features articles on the minimum wage increase, the Federal Reserve, immigration, DeMaio flush with Koch and Tea money, SDFP and OB Rag receiving awards, the OB community plan, two Junco toons, Jews speaking out against Gaza offensive, The Orphan of Zhao, Neighborhood House, and more.

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Thumbnail image for San Diegans Rally on Behalf of Central American Refugee Children

San Diegans Rally on Behalf of Central American Refugee Children

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.10.2014 Activism

Acceptance and Love in the Face of Bigotry and Hate

By Brent E. Beltrán

On the evening of July ninth approximately 200 people from San Diego gathered for a rally and vigil at the Federal Building Downtown to show their solidarity with the refugee children of Central America.

The rally, called Demonstration in SOLIDARITY with the National Action for the Children and a Vigil for Love, was part of a series of actions across the US showing support for the children.

The refugees came to the forefront of America’s consciousness after bigots decided to block the buses these children were riding in. The buses were transporting these unaccompanied minors to get processed at an immigration facility in Murrieta, Ca.

The blocking of the buses unleashed a moral crisis in Murrieta and across the country as angry, mostly white people, let loose their bigoted ways against children whose only crime was to escape the violence of their own countries, much of which was instigated by past US policies in the region.

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Thumbnail image for Latino Playwright Herbert Siguenza Talks Culture Clash, Perceptions and Legacy

Latino Playwright Herbert Siguenza Talks Culture Clash, Perceptions and Legacy

by Brent E. Beltrán 06.26.2014 Desde la Logan

The second of a two-part interview with the influential teatrista

By Brent E. Beltrán

I recently sat down with playwright and actor Herbert Siguenza for an interview about his work. This is Part II of the two-part interview.

In Part I we talked about his new play El Henry, a joint production between the La Jolla Playhouse and the San Diego Rep, and his next play Stealing Heaven about Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman.

In Part II we discuss the 30th anniversary of Culture Clash, him being a political writer, non-Chicano perceptions of his and Culture Clash’s work, his legacy as a teatrista and what he would say to aspiring Latina/o playwrights.

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Thumbnail image for Latino Playwright Herbert Siguenza Brings El Henry and Abbie Hoffman Into the 21st Century

Latino Playwright Herbert Siguenza Brings El Henry and Abbie Hoffman Into the 21st Century

by Brent E. Beltrán 06.25.2014 Desde la Logan

The first of a two-part interview with the influential Culture Clash teatrista

By Brent E. Beltrán

I’ve had the honor to work within the Chicano arts and culture community for over fifteen years as a publisher, curator, writer, organizer, volunteer and patron. I’ve met many wonderful and talented artists throughout this time.

One of them, Herbert Siguenza, gave me a call the other day and said he and his three year-old daughter Belen were across the street from my apartment to get a paleta from Tocumbo Ice Cream. He wanted to know if my son Dino and I were available to join them. Never wanting to miss out on a good conversation Dino and I decided to go meet up with them.

When we arrived Belen was splashing about in the Mercado del Barrio fountain and Dino quickly joined her. After the children got soaked we walked over to Tocumbo’s.

Since I had been meaning to interview Herbert regarding his new play El Henry I decided on the spot to interview him right outside the ice cream parlor. I opened my Voice Memos app on my iPhone and starting asking questions. This is the first of two parts. Minor editing was done to help the the piece flow.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Logan Residents Spoil Mayor’s Pro-Pollution Presser

Barrio Logan Residents Spoil Mayor’s Pro-Pollution Presser

by Brent E. Beltrán 05.22.2014 Activism

Desde la Logan columnist amongst “hecklers”

By Brent E. Beltrán

Oops, we did it again.

A handful of Barrio Logan residents, including artist Hector Villegas, my wife Olympia, my son Sandino and myself, gave Mayor Faulconer, ex-Mayor and current corporate shill Jerry Sanders and shipyard mouthpiece Len Hering a piece of our minds and vocal chords at a press conference against Propositions B and C and the Barrio Logan Community Plan.

The press conference took place outside City Hall and was attended by the same suits that have been speaking out against the plan for months. Except this time they didn’t bus in shipyard workers.

Having received a tip, from someone close to the No on B and C campaign, an hour before the presser Hector and my family decided to take action. Olympia made a couple of handmade signs for her and Dino to hold. I brought dust masks to wear as a symbol of Barrio Logan pollution and Hector brought the respirator that he uses while painting.

We got there a few minutes before the press conference started and saw the suits lingering around. When the Mayor showed up we knew it was about to start and we were ready.

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Thumbnail image for Street Tacos and Craft Beer Come to Barrio Logan

Street Tacos and Craft Beer Come to Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 05.11.2014 Culture

San Diego Taco Company and Border X Brewing Join Forces to Help the Barrio Renaissance

By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan, San Diego’s hub for Chicano art, culture and activism, is now a destination spot for taco connoisseurs and craft beer aficionados. La Logan has always had culinary and beer tradition with places like the ever busy Las Cuatro Milpas and the long closed down Aztec Brewery. So beer and tacos isn’t a new phenomenon to this working class barrio.

What is new is the decision of catering business San Diego Taco Company and Otay Mesa beer makers Border X Brewing to combine efforts and open a joint tasting room and taqueria on the corner of Logan Ave and Sampson St. in the historic section of Barrio Logan.

The combination of beer and tacos has been a part Mexican food culture ever since Germans brought their brewing techniques to Mexico. And Ernie Pio Becerra of San Diego Taco Company and David Favela of Border X Brewing are carrying on that tradition by serving fresh, handmade tacos and unique craft brews tailored to the tastes of mexicanos and those that appreciate our delicious flavors.

“It’s a great combination of not only the food but the beer and the art all in one place,” says artist and frequent patron Max Bojorquez.

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Thumbnail image for Cyclists Take Over Barrio Logan for a Day

Cyclists Take Over Barrio Logan for a Day

by Brent E. Beltrán 05.04.2014 Desde la Logan

Photos from the 18th Annual Barrio Logan Grand Prix

By Brent E. Beltrán

On Saturday May 3 hundreds of cycling enthusiasts from throughout the region and beyond descended on San Diego’s most historic Mexican community for the 18th annual Barrio Logan Grand Prix.

This event, organized by the San Diego Bicycle Club to benefit the Logan Heights Family Health Center, has become one of the largest cycling events in southern California.

The Barrio Logan Grand Prix coincides each year with the Logan Heights Family Health Center Health Fair that offers free health screenings, free children’s vaccinations, free pregnancy testing, food, entertainment and prizes for those in attendance.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego’s Maritime Industry Calls the Cops on Peaceful Protestors

San Diego’s Maritime Industry Calls the Cops on Peaceful Protestors

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.25.2014 Activism

Five Barrio Logan residents and supporters stand their ground

By Brent E. Beltrán

I wasn’t planning on writing a column today but since maritime industry called the cops on my two year old son, his grandma, two others and myself, I changed my mind.

On Thursday morning I got up early. The day before, I found out that maritime industry was going to hold a press conference at 10:30am at R.E. Staite Engineering near the shipyards. This was only about 6 blocks or so away from my Barrio Logan apartment.

I’ve been itching to do a protest against maritime industry and their opposition to the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update. With them holding their presser within walking distance I knew I had to do something.

With the press conference taking place on a weekday morning, and less than a day’s notice to quietly get the word out (catching them off guard would be key), I knew there would not be a large turnout. Nonetheless, I had to do something, even if it was just my son Dino and myself.

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