Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mexican Fiesta 2014 Giving Refunds To Victims Profiled As Gang Members

Mexican Fiesta 2014 organizers once again engaging in the violation of people's rights on City of Milwaukee grounds.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 24, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - Once again, Milwaukee Police Officer Alexander Ayala representing the Latino Peace Officers Association (LPOA) has confirmed that those festivalgoers kicked out of Mexican Fiesta in 2013 were active gang members and some weren't kicked out for having tattoos on their face, according to a CBS 58 news report on Friday. Ayala, the Milwaukee Police Department, which uses its Intelligence Center to identify past, present and future gang members and the LPOA have not provided any proof that those kicked out last year and even this weekend are active gang members. They don't keep statistics or data of those believed to be gang members and have been kicked out. Once festivalgoers are labeled gang members, they are restricted from entering the three-day festival, even if they are not actual gang members. 
Last year, those kicked out from Mexican Fiesta 2013 weren't given refunds, CBS 58 reported. But this year according to Ayala, refunds will be given to those profiled victims who are kicked out. CBS 58 also reported that the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF) Board members who sponsors Mexican Fiesta have approved for LPOA, its volunteer Fiesta security and police to kick out "suspected" gang members without actually providing a recourse for victims profiled as gang members. 
The Summerfest grounds where the three-day festival takes place are owned by the City of Milwaukee. Officer Ayala, LPOA and Milwaukee police have definitely and continue to violated the civil rights of those people kicked out of the festival. 
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) broke the story in 2013 and found none of those kicked out were actually gang members at all. Some were also kicked out for undesirable tattoos. None of the victims have filed a lawsuit as of yet, but the CBS 58 news report, HNNUSA, WHSF and Officer Ayala have provided the needed legal recourse for the victims to move forward in suing WHSF, Mexican Fiesta, World Festival (Summerfest), the Milwaukee Police Department and the City of Milwaukee for violating their rights. Which Ayala also confirmed, their policy to kick out "suspected" active gang members this year is in effect regardless, if in fact they are not gang members.
Last Friday, several people were kicked out, according to some festivalgoers who saw the incident. Another incident, police attempted to kick out a group of teenagers with blue hair and black clothing, but numerous festivalgoers began to shout at police that the teens weren't doing anything wrong and to leave them alone. As more and more people surrounded police, they decided to leave the teens alone, according to witnesses who learned last year that people were being kicked out from Fiesta for nothing.
On Saturday, several fights involving intoxicated people were reported. They were kicked out by police.
The WHSF Board, Summerfest (World Festival), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, the Milwaukee Common Council have learned of the gross violations its own officers on-duty and off-duty engaged in at Mexican Fiesta 2013 and have done nothing to prevent innocent tax-paying citizens from being labeled as gang members when they are not. Ayala even confirmed that the police used the Milwaukee Intelligence Center to profile present, past and future gang members for none criminal investigations on tax-payers money. Those targeted are never given a recourse to contest the allegations and HNNUSA has challenged Ayala and the police department to prove those kicked out during Fiesta at Summerfest grounds in 2013 were active gang members. One thing for sure, they can't prove it, because they don't keep any data of who gets targeted and kicked out as an alleged gang member.
It's not illegal to belong to a so call gang, only when those members engage in illegal activity does it become a clear violation of the law.
None of those targeted victims by Officer Ayala, retired and former Milwaukee Police Lt. Ruben Burgos, LPOA and police have actually committed any illegal acts or violated any rules of conduct while at Mexican Fiesta. Ayala, Burgos, LPOA and police have violated the rights of Latinos who were never given any refunds in 2013. 
Shameful, Mexican Fiesta is the only festival in Milwaukee that discriminates its own people. 
On Friday, Asael "Chico" Ruiz, a WHSF Board member publicly told festivalgoers on the grounds and in front of my family that I was "Mexican Fiesta's number one enemy" and that the people he was talking too should actually physically beat me to the ground. Chico then just walked off. Was Chico talking in behalf of the WHSF Board? All I'm guilty off and proud was that last year I exposed that out $2.5M in scholarships that have been given out to students in prior years by the WHSF, none were ever given to undocumented students residing in Wisconsin. At least one thing came out for the good of the community, WHSF and National LULAC began to accept scholarship applications from DACA students after HNNUSA reported that undocumented students were left out from scholarships. They finally changed their discriminatory policy and this year, they only accepted scholarship applications from DACA registered students (DREAMers). Which now, WHSF and the National LULAC halfway discriminate by leaving those undocumented students who do not qualify for DACA, but reside in the state continue to be left out from getting scholarships. Even though, their parents and family members volunteer for hours at Fiesta and do fund Mexican Fiesta by spending at the event. 
The illegal acts by Ayala, Burgos, LPOA and police at Mexican Fiesta operate on a backwards politics mentality. It's not the alleged labeled gang members who were actually none gang members they should worry about, but those festivalgoers who over consume beers and margaritas at the event. Beer and a family environment festival that Ayala was trying to promote on Friday's CBS 58 news don't mix or does it?
Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee is a rich cultural and tradition experience for the Midwest and should be preserved, but the inside politics overshadow its continued success.
Most of the year, Chico resides in Mexico. He should know, even though police have become militarized, the State of Wisconsin and the United States of America still have their Constitutions and Bill of Rights intact. Does the WHSF Board have the same sentiment as Chico, that I'm Mexican Fiesta's number one enemy? I'm certainly am flattered.
But lastly, what happens to the annual profits and why have less and less scholarships been given out? WHSF promotes that they have given out about 100 scholarships every year, but last year and the year before, it didn't even come near that amount. Also, how many scholarships were given to DACA DREAMers this year? Questions the public should know and the WHSF under their non-profit status should make public as a courtesy.
Mexican Fiesta ends on Sunday. Viva la Raza!, important note, immigrants from Mexico do help finance Fiesta! 
Also noted, Milwaukee police and the LPOA have a reputation of providing state of the art security at Fiesta and have a rapid response to any trouble reported at the event, but have over stepped their limits by mislabeling people as gang members for having tattoos. 

The current Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF) Board of Directors who operate the annual Mexican Fiesta are;

● Antonio Guajardo Jr. (President)
● Gregorio Montoto (1st Vice President)
● Ricardo Ruiz (2nd Vice President)
● Arturo Martinez (Secretary)
● Ernesto Baca (Treasurer)
● Teresa Mercado (Executive Director)
● Ray Bacalzo
● Frank Gonzales
● Woody Welch
● Marjorie Cervera
● Oscar Cervera
● Julio Maldonado
● Luis Gonzalez
● Julio Guix
● Lupe Martinez
● Ruben Burgos
● Jason Hyland
● Diana Moreno
● Asael Ruiz
● Darryl Morin

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