Mr. Jones will be happy to know that a lot of those folks don’t want to be here anyway. That includes an impromptu welcoming party of Mexican immigrants and labor activists who showed up at the Capitol on February 13 to show their disapproval of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who dropped in on Gubernador Schwarzenegger last week.
At the rally, Upfront met Sac City College student Guambry Santillan, a 20-year-old aspiring union organizer whose family came to California when she was a kid.
“NAFTA is why I’m here,” said Santillan, explaining that U.S.-owned factories and big-box stores have wiped out local businesses and jobs in her hometown of Ciudad Juarez.
“We have a right not to migrate. We have a right to a healthy economy,” Santillan said, criticizing Calderon’s efforts to pitch Schwarzenegger on a new bracero program.
As Calderon emerged from the Capitol and ducked into his motorcade—parked right on the plaza outside the east-west Capitol entrance—protestors jeered him as “El Espurio.” Calderon is supposed by many Mexicans to have stolen his election in 2006, and he ordered a crackdown on striking teachers in Oaxaca that resulted in dozens of deaths. The demonstrators also shouted “Abajo Calderon, abajo el raton,” which does rhyme but oddly translates to “down Calderon, down mouse.” Isn’t he more of a rat, or rata? Look, this is America. If you’re going to hit the streets to protest against your lying, murderous, incompetent, fraudulent president, maybe you should just do it in English. Like the rest of us. Right, Jonesy?