(This posting is from SURJ-VC)
City Hall Incident: “At last week’s city council meeting, several people called in to provide comments about intimidation and violence they experienced last weekend when a Trump caravan passed by and circled them at City Hall and one of the vehicles intentionally rammed into an indigenous person, and then bragged about it online. The police chief’s response during that meeting was that they only received 2 calls that day, and both were reports of vandalism to vehicles by supposed “protestors”, and he also explained that they have been investigating all reports of this type of violence that has come in over the months. This narrative is not accurate and needs to be challenged by those of us who feel safe enough in our privilege to do so!
Voter intimidation at Ventura County Government Center: There have also been reports very recently of community members of color who have been intimidated while dropping off their ballots at the VC courthouse by the same Trump caravan. This violence has been increasing over the past few months, and several people have been injured by people in vehicles, and some were physically assaulted. Unfortunately, these incidents were investigated poorly and some have been waiting for months to hear back from investigators on their reports. Others have not felt safe enough to come forward to make a report, which only has led to these people being emboldened even more to keep committing these crimes and for it to continue to go unchecked by law enforcement who claim they didn’t know or no report was made.
Public Safety item added to agenda: After last week’s council meeting, the city councilmembers (pushed/led by Lorrie and Sofia) agreed to add an item to a future meeting agenda to discuss public safety and these acts of violence, which will most likely be in the next two weeks.
Tonight, they are going to read a statement that denounces white supremacy and these acts of violence at the beginning of the meeting.
The asks for public comment are:
- Share your stories of similar violence of being attacked or witnessing attacks by people with cars and motorcycles, particularly people in this Trump caravan, (this could also include any online harassment if it is tied to someone who is in this caravan, Trump supporters, or white supremacists) and demand that they take action to prevent further violence towards community members of color and also protestors.
- You can also give a comment to support others who have already given their testimony and stand in solidarity against these acts of violence and intimidation.
- Pressure the councilmembers (especially the white ones!) to not just give another statement denouncing white supremacy and these acts of violence, but to really outline and commit to concrete actions that will create safer communities for us all.
Attached at the bottom, you will find a statement from the city denouncing these actions, which you can use to hold them accountable with their own language.
Below are instructions for ways to provide public comment, either live during the meeting (which will be at the very end of the meeting) or via email (must be submitted by 4pm): PUBLIC PARTICIPATION OPTIONS to help reduce the spread of COVID-19: 1. Join a WebEx meeting LIVE: https://cityofventura.webex.com/cityofventura/onstage/g.php?MTID=ed9cc8b15256139451f73bc894170c056 NOTE: WebEx link only works while meeting is LIVE. After meeting has ended, use the Archived Video link to view the meeting. You must join the WebEx Meeting to provide Public Comment – #5 below. Join with only an “audio” connection: 1-408-418-9388 / Access Code 126 380 9034 WebEx recommends using Internet Explorer or Edge when provide live comment at the meeting. 2. Watch live streaming or an Archived Video https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/718/VideosCable TV – Channel 15, live and replayed as listed on CAPS media schedule. 3. Submit your comments via email by 4:00 p.m. on the City Council meeting day. Please submit your comment to the City Clerk using this form www.cityofventura.ca.gov/publicinput or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (up to 1000 characters) When sending an email, please indicate in the Subject Line, the Agenda item number (i.e. Item No. 8A). Your form/email will be read by City Council and placed into the item’s record at the meeting. 4. When watching the live stream or WebEx meeting, submit a Public Comment (item 7) for items not on the day’s agenda or comments on a specific agenda item as it is being heard, submit your comment to the City Clerk using this form www.cityofventura.ca.gov/publicinput or send an email to email@example.com (up to 1000 characters). Every effort will be made to read your comment into the record, but some comments may not be read due to time limitations. All comments received by the conclusion of the agenda item will be made part of the record.