Category Archives: Protests

[Photos] HISTORIC: Pacoima has its first LGBT pride march

Arnulfo Cervantes was selling used tools from his driveway Saturday afternoon when a crowd of more than 50 people including parents and teenagers passed in front of his house. In the 41 years he has lived in Pacoima, he had never seen a march like this before in the community. More than 50 people including parents, teenagers, and children were waving rainbow flags, carrying signs in support of immigrant and queer rights, and chanting for unity.

It was a historic moment for it was the first LGBT pride march in Pacoima.

“Everyone has the right,” Cervantes said, although he did seem surprised when he discovered the purpose of the march. When asked if it was odd to see a gay pride march in Pacoima, he preached acceptance.

“People look at those type of people as if they are weird, as if it was something out of this world,” he said. “But we are all the same: we come from the same place, we are in the same place. But people don’t understand that.”

The march, which started from Laurel Canyon Boulevard to Alicia Broadous-Duncan Senior Center on Glenoaks Boulevard, was a collaborative effort of the community.  Somos Familia Valle, a San Fernando Valley LGBT support and activist group and AnswerLA, an anti-war and peace coalition, organized the march. Helados Pops donated ice cream to the crowd as they reached the senior center, where a conference was held after the march.   Local youth program Heroes of Life provided the sound system and a community member from Reseda the food.

The Los Angeles Police Department also showed support by providing four police cruisers to escort the marchers up to their final destination.

This is the second pride march and conference held in the San Fernando Valley organized by Somos Familia Valle; last year’s was held in Panorama City. Pacoima was chosen this year because of the issues the march was raising are relevant to this community.

“We won’t stand for the assaults on the Latino community, the LGB community,” said William Seegmiller, an AnswerLA organizer. “We have been [especially] doing a lot of work this summer with the trans liberation movement because that is a crisis. It’s an epidemic of violence murders, police brutality, and indifference to violence that trans people face, especially here in the valley.”

According to the Human Right Campaign, at least 21 trans people have been murdered this year in the United States. In February, a trans woman was murdered and her body lit on fire in her Van Nuys apartment.

Assemblymember Patty López, whose district includes Pacoima, was also in attendance.

“This is what Pacoima needed,” she said, applauding the youth.  “I grew up in Pacoima, and I would have liked that was a movement then, like that of these youth, who are no longer afraid to take to the streets to express their needs.”

López said that as a legislator and member of the Public Safety Committee in Sacramento, she was there to hear her constituents. But as a mother and Pacoima local, she was there to learn.

Despite support from the community and local organizations and even police presence, at least one participant was weary of her environment. Jocelyn Silva is from Lake View Terrace but she says she grew up in Pacoima, having attended Guardian Angel School and has many friends in Pacoima. For a moment while on the march, she remembered Pacoima’s bad reputation.

“I literally felt someone was going to start shooting at us just, this feeling” she said. “’Cause there is so much machismo and gang violence in Pacoima it’s scary to put a rainbow flag and yell, at least for me.”

But she said it was her obligation as a member of the LGBT and Pacoima community to be there to bring raise awareness about her community needs, noting the distance of resources and treatment centers in the other parts of the valley that are non existent in the northeast valley.

“It’s amazing,” she said with optimism. “Pacoima doesn’t need to get gentrified for it to improve. People in the community are already doing the work and it’s really beautiful.”


Pacoima supports Baltimore?

There is a rally scheduled tonight in Pacoima in support of the Baltimore uprisings, yet not many people are happy about it.  The event was created on Facebook this afternoon and shared through various community pages related to Pacoima.  However, many of the comments are condemning the event.  Some say what is happening in Baltimore has nothing to do with Pacoima.  Others are afraid the rally my encourage violent riots here like those similar in Baltimore.


Here are some of the comments from one particular thread.


These users accuse the organizer of the event of instigating a riot:



This particular user heeds a warning.


This user wasn’t the first to mention the disturbances during the 2014 World Cup:

This user was the only one in this thread supporting the rally, reassuring everyone it is a peaceful rally:Baltimore6

Yet not many were buying into it, like this user:Baltimore7

Very few, like this user, were trying to be understanding:


The event is scheduled this evening at 7 p.m. on the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard.  The Facebook event page says 19 people will be there.  The organizer for the event was not immediately available for comment.

Protests have broken out in Baltimore, Maryland since the death of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injures while in police custody.  The nation has focused their attention to Baltimore after riots broke out Monday following Gray’s funeral.

Ojo: Manifestación mañana por Laurel Canyon

Susie Aguirre y Justan Torres en la esquina de la calle Osborne y San Fernando Road el 22 de octubre 2014 durante una manifestación en solidaridad con los afectados por la brutalidad policial. Foto de Ana Rosa Murillo / El Boletín

Susie Aguirre y Justan Torres en la esquina de la calle Osborne y San Fernando Road el 22 de octubre 2014 durante una manifestación en solidaridad con los afectados por la brutalidad policial. Foto de Ana Rosa Murillo / El Boletín

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Se está gestando activismo en el noreste del Valley de  San Fernando y lo celebran a propósito para tú beneficio. Este fin de semana en Pacoima habrá una manifestación para el evento Saliendo de las Sombras el sábado y un Entrenamiento Para Prevenir Acoso Policial el domingo.

El sábado, 21 de marzo ojo al acaecimiento anual de Saliendo de las Sombras, un evento que comenzó hace cinco años en Chicago que alienta a los jóvenes indocumentados a declarar públicamente ser “sin papeles y sin miedo.”  Desde entonces, los activistas han manifestado eventos similares en muchos rincones del país, incluyendo el Valle de San Fernando.

Este año, sin embargo, está organizado por tres organizaciones independientes- el San Fernando Valley Dream Team, La Coalición Jóvenes Inmigrantes del Valle de San Fernando, y Somos Familia Valle– por lo cual no es una colaboración exclusivamente para gente sin papeles. Así que en lugar de sólo centrarse en la juventud indocumentada, este manifestación contará con un espectro más amplio de temas, como los padres que no califican para cualquiera de los programas recientes de inmigración, una hija que habla sobre el proceso de deportación actual de su padre, y la experiencia de un madre latina con un hijo gay.

“Lo que nosotros queremos hacer es seguir construyendo un movimiento de derechos civiles en donde no solamente hablemos de una poblacion en especial,” dice Ronnie Veliz, director y organizador de los derechos civiles para Somos Familia Valle, una organización cuyos esfuerzos tratan de unir a las comunidades no tan reconocidas en los círculos de activistas.

El evento comenzará al mediodía en una de las intersecciones más transitadas de Pacoima, Van Nuys y Laurel Canyon Boulevard, y marchará al parque de Ritchie Valens.

Al día siguiente, Domingo, 22 de marzo, El Hormiguero facilitará el taller Entrenamiento Para Prevenir Acoso Policial en el Centro Comunitario de Pacoima. El taller se centrará en cómo los civiles pueden supervisar la actividad de la policía y reafirmar los derechos cuando se enfrentan a ellos.

“Observar y documentar la actividad policial en las calles es una forma de prevenir el acoso policial y la mala conducta, así como recuperar el poder para proteger a nuestras comunidades,” el grupo publicó en la página del evento en Facebook. “Esta formación repasará estas y otras estrategias que podemos utilizar para protegernos a nosotros mismos y en nuestros barrios.”

El taller comienza a las 3 p.m. y se llevará a cabo en inglés y español.

Pacoima, ¿qué piensan de estos eventos?

Watch out for this rally tomorrow on Laurel Canyon Boulevard

Group of informed citizens rallying on the the corner of Osborne Street and San Fernando Road Oct. 22, 2014 in solidarity with those affected by police brutality.

Susie Aguirre and Justan Torres on the the corner of Osborne Street and San Fernando Road Oct. 22, 2014 during a rally in solidarity with those affected by police brutality. Photo by Ana Rosa Murillo/ El Boletín

Haga clic aquí para español.

Activism is brewing in the northeast San Fernando Valley and it is meant to be in your face and for your benefit. This weekend in Pacoima there will be a Coming out of the Shadows event on Saturday and a Cop Watch workshop on Sunday.

On Saturday, March 21 look out for the annual Coming Out of the Shadows, an event started five years ago in Chicago that encourages undocumented youth to publicly declare themselves “undocumented and unafraid.” Since then, immigration activists have manifested similar events every year throughout major regions in the country, including the San Fernando Valley.

This year’s event, however, is being organized by three organizations- the San Fernando Valley Dream Team, the San Fernando Valley Immigrant Youth Coalition, and Somos Familia Valle– making it a collaboration not exclusively for undocumented folks. So instead of focusing only on undocumented youth, this rally will feature a broader spectrum of issues, such as parents who do not qualify for any of the recent immigration programs, a daughter who speaks about her father’s current deportation process, and the experience of a Latina mother with gay son.

“What we want to do is continue building a civil rights movement where we not only talk about a population in particular,” says Ronnie Veliz, director and civil rights organizer for Somos Familia Valle, a grassroots organization whose efforts try to unite overlooked communities in activist circles.

The rally will begin at noon on one of Pacoima’s busiest intersections, Van Nuys and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and will march over to Ritchie Valens Park.

The following day, Sunday, March 22, El Hormiguero is hosting Cop Watch Workshop & Know Your Rights Training at the Pacoima Community Center. The workshop will focus on how civilians can monitor police activity and reaffirm the rights when confronted by them.

“Observing and documenting police activity on the streets is a way to prevent police harassment and misconduct as well as reclaim the power to protect our own communities,” the group posted on the Facebook event page. “This training will go over these and other strategies we can use to protect ourselves and neighborhoods.”

The workshop starts at 3pm and will be conducted in English and Spanish.

Pacoima, what do you think about these events?

[Vídeo] Residentes del Valle marchan en Pacoima en memoria de dos mujeres asesinadas la semana pasada

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Tras la muerte de dos mujeres en la área la semana pasada, alrededor de dos docenas de residentes del noreste del Valle marcharon por Van Nuys Boulevard desde Arleta al Ayuntamiento de Pacoima el jueves exigiendo el fin de la violencia contra las mujeres.

María Ontiveros fue apuñalada fatalmente al cruzar la calle de la estación de policía de la División Foothill por la tarde del 28 de enero.  Tres días más tarde, Yazmin Vash Payne, fue asesinada y su cuerpo encendido en llamas por su novio en su apartamento en Van Nuys el 31 de enero. Los sospechosos en ambos casos han sido arrestados.

En la página de Facebook para el evento, los organizadores escribieron: “No estábamos seguros de lo que debemos hacer en respuesta a estos actos de violencia sin sentido, pero sentimos que teníamos que hacer algo.”

Con cánticos en inglés y español, los manifestantes marcharon hasta el  Ayuntamient de Pacoima, donde se celebró una vigilia para las víctimas.

[Video] Valley residents march into Pacoima in memory of two women killed last week

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Following the deaths of two women in the area last week, about two dozen northeast Valley residents marched up Van Nuys Boulevard from Arleta to Pacoima City Hall Thursday demanding an end to violence against women.

Maria Ontiveros was fatally stabbed across the street from the Foothill Division police station the evening of January 28.   Three days later, Yazmin Vash Payne, was murdered and her body lit in flames by her boyfriend in her Van Nuys apartment January 31.  Suspects in both cases have been arrested.

In the Facebook page for the event, the organizers wrote, “We were not sure what we should do in response to these senseless acts of violence, but felt we had to do SOMETHING.”

With chants in English and Spanish, the demonstrators marched to Pacoima City Hall, where they held a vigil for the victims.



[Fotos] Activistas pacoimeros protestan el abuso de policias cerca de la división Foothill

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Click here for English Mientras cientos de personas marchaban en el centro de Los Angeles y otras ciudades del país el 22 de octubre para reconocer el Día Nacional de Protesta Contra el Abuso Policial, una pequeña manifestación se realizó aquí en Pacoima. Casi … Continue reading