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Don’t Let Them Tell You That You Can’t Talk Back Local leaders are taking a more confrontational approach to activism, and we respect them for it

L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin joined local activists and clergy in blocking the doorway of an immigrant detention facility last week, an act of civil disobedience that resulted in his arrest Before marching bands took to locking them up. Before his they’re not welcome anymore, the streets and fireworks lit up arrest, Bonin told fellow anywhere.” the sky to celebrate Indepenprotestors and observers that This is what she said a week dence Day, Los Angeles City “we need, by the millions, to be later, after a barrage of threatenCouncilman Mike Bonin and coming out and blocking the ing letters and phone calls: “I firebrand area Congresswoman entrance to federal detention have no fear. I am in this fight Maxine Waters were making centers … [and] surrounding the … And I know that there are national headlines in the House of Representatives and those who are talking about emerging cultural debate about the U.S. Senate and the White censuring me, talking about the social etiquette of political House,” reported the Los kicking me out of Congress, protest. Both elected officials Angeles Times. talking about shooting me, have taken a firm stance that The Saturday before Bonin’s talking about hanging me. All I confrontation and disruption are arrest, Waters spoke defiantly at have to say is this: If you shoot a necessary response to the the Families Belong Together me, you better shoot straight. Trump administration’s forced rally in downtown Los Angeles There’s nothing like a wounded separation of immigrant families about death threats she had animal.” and other political controversies received in response to her Is this really what America has that fall under the umbrella of advocacy for verbally confrontbecome in the Trump era? human rights. ing Trump administration Last week a letter to the editor On July 2, Bonin and a small officials in public places — and took issue with both Waters’ group of local activists allowed a tweet from the president June 23 comments urging themselves to be arrested for warning her to “be careful,” confrontations with Trump blocking the entrance to an which she has interpreted as a administration officials and immigrant detention center in not-so veiled threat. Trump’s chilling public redowntown Los Angeles. In a This is what Waters said during sponse. The writer argues that television interview with HLN a June 23 immigrant rights rally rather than pouring gasoline on anchor Michaela Pereira, (co-organized by Bonin) at the a fire, “We need civility in formerly of KTLA News, Bonin West L.A. Federal Building: “If politics or our nation will be spoke of being emotionally you see anybody from the torn apart.” shaken and morally outraged by cabinet in a restaurant, in a Journalism can be a dangerous what he called a “sinful and department store, at a gasoline job — on June 28, the LAPD’s evil” practice of taking immistation, you get out and you Pacific Division sent two grant kids from their parents and create a crowd and you tell them officers to check on The PAGE 8 THE ARGONAUT July 12, 2018