24 September 2007

Violence Erupts Among Day Laborers in Brentwood; Community Opposes Proposed Multicultural Training & Employment Center

Day laborers outside the Home Depot at the Rhode Island Avenue Plaza - Photo by Pouya Dianat/The Washington Post
The Washington Times - perhaps because of their NE home base - have been closely following the controversy over the proposed multicultural training and employment center in Brentwood. They recently reported the only mention I've found of a brawl erupting Thursday, September 13th among the day laborers:
Community leaders scheduled a public-safety meeting in a Northeast neighborhood after a bloody clash among a group of Hispanic men that residents said began in an area where day laborers gather looking for work.

As many as 200 mostly Hispanic day laborers congregate each day at a shopping plaza in Brentwood looking to link up with area contractors for jobs....

The incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, when police found a Hispanic man lying on a sidewalk and bleeding from his head near 10th Street and Rhode Island Avenue in Northeast — only a few hundred feet away from the shopping plaza.

Police said the victim — who was identified only as "John Doe" in police reports — also had a stab wound in the center of his back.

Mr. Chandler said his constituents who live in the area told him the man was assaulted during a fight involving a large group of men that began behind the Bank of America at 915 Rhode Island Ave.

The clash then spilled over from a hill behind the bank onto 10th Street, where [ANC Commissioner Raymond] Chandler said men were "rolling over people's cars" during the fight....

Mr. Chandler and other residents adamantly oppose constructing the center, saying employment services already exist in the area and that city money should not be used to fund a center for day laborers, many of whom are illegal aliens.

The incident caused Mr. Chandler to organize a public-safety meeting for community residents and businesses to voice their concerns to police.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 at Isle of Patmos Baptist Church [1216 Saratoga Avenue NE/1200 Isle of Patmos Plaza NE] in Northeast.

The same day they also ran one of Tom Knott's "insightful" columns, where law-abiding citizens get screwed at the expense of "lawbreakers":
The good folks of Brentwood have made it clear to D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. that they do not want a day-laborer center in a Northeast shopping center on Rhode Island Avenue....

But Mr. Thomas, Ward 5 Democrat, presses forward, because he thinks on a higher plane than the good folks of Brentwood. He knows many of the day laborers are illegal aliens, and he knows many of them urinate and defecate on the properties belonging to the good folks of Brentwood, and he knows that if impotent lawmakers at all levels of government merely enforced the existing laws, there would be no illegal-alien mess in this nation....

But our lawmakers, who purport to be in the public-service business, are not heeding the words of those who elect them to office. Mr. Thomas is not unlike so many other legislators at the local, state and federal levels. He blames the illegal-alien problem on some other part of the bureaucracy. He is merely trying to address a situation in the Home Depot parking lot, even if he is dead wrong, even if his constituents in Ward 5 do not want public funds being spent on an illegal-alien center....

I could hang out at the day-laborer center and read Spanish-language materials. And if anyone ever objected to my illegal existence, I would shout racism and bigotry, because that always works, especially around pathetic, whiny white people who have this profound sense of guilt.

Our useless lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are showering our dollars on illegal aliens, who turn around and wave the silly-looking flag of their country. Sorry. I forgot how it works. If they wave the flag of the country they abandoned, it is called pride. If Americans wave their flag, it is called jingoism.

Mr. Thomas undoubtedly expects the legal residents of the city to follow every last law. But there he is ready to reward lawbreakers. While he is at it, he might as well appropriate more of our tax money to equip the illegal-alien center with a health spa.

It is crazy.

As are you, sir.

» The Washington Times, 9.20.07, "Melee spurs calls for action on day laborers"
» The Washington Times, 9.20.07, "Note to Brentwood: Don't doubt Thomas"
» Previous community workshop, 9.8.07
» Previous town hall meeting, 8.15.07
» WaPo, 6.17.07, "As Plan for D.C. Day-Laborer Center Idles, Anger Over Workers Grows"
» The Washington Times, 7.5.07, "Day laborers shower us with culture, irrigation"
» The Washington Times, 7.16.07, "Two sites eyed for D.C. day-labor center"

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