The following statement by Georgine Scott-Codiga was published on the site for one of the rallies occurring this Monday in front of Live Oak High in Morgan Hill, CA. The situation has gotten tense and ugly. Online evidence contains threats of violence against students. Scott-Codiga and the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots (GMHP) claim that other rallies are not associated with them, but previous statements by GMHP have done little to address those threats. The school district did inform parents that it is concerned for the safety of students and one parent who is organizing a unity rally alleged that GMHP is threatening students.
Here is Scott-Codiga’s full statement (we have not edited it for spelling or grammatical errors):
Last nights meeting at the MH Community center can be characterized as a self-serving, shameful, disrespectful attempt to use all means possible to keep this group from “exercising our Fist Amendment rights” by exercising our First Amendment rights (rally).
The meeting was comprised of about 75 predominantly Hispanic community members, The police Chief, Superintendent, a few supporters of our rally and 7 of the GMHP members. The meeting began with Julian Mancias recapping the previous weeks meeting where they ALL were in agreement (notice I said they) that “We agreed we don’t want anything happening near “our” schools. Nice to know they’ll accept “our” tax dollars to run “their” school.
Julian went on to say that we have a disagreement of the 9th circuit court of appeals. We “heard” there was a group who was going to be attending the Cinco de Mayo school day at Live Oak High protesting the decision of the 9th circuit court. Julian then said he didn’t know if this was the case, so if someone wanted to correct him apparently they could, but this is what he heard.
So instead of “someone” contacting the Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots to verify that the information he “heard” was correct, (which would be the responsible thing to do) a lot of community members got together assuming the worst, “decided they didn’t want to deal with a disruption of the school day, or see their children’s safety compromised, or their children’s education compromised”, so they met a week ago and said “What can we do to put a stop to this if we possibly can and any activity that would be disruptive to our schools to our children to our education and for safety.”
Now lets take a moment to recap. They “heard” a rumor, they decided the rumor would cause the students harm and would be disruptive… so THEY all agreed THEY don’t want anything at THEIR SCHOOLS. Does anyone see a problem with this?
Next Julian went on to say “We all agree that the first amendment rights are part of our blood, part of our constitution, we are all supportive of the American flag 100%.” But just don’t have your rally where we say you can’t have it.
Mancias went on “Tonight the one key word is respect.” They were then so respectful that they started the meeting with a “concerned citizen” (on their side of course) expressing how “they” feel about the 9th circuits opinion and how “they” feel about a group protesting it. Wow, they were so respectful to hearing about how “they” were feeling that they totally forgot we even had feelings, let alone how we felt about them trampling all over our rights.
I stood with my hand raised for several minutes waiting to speak. I finally felt the need to interject Don’t you think we should be able to clarify how what you just said was incorrect about us before you open it up to misconceptions? To which Mancias replied, “Yes you’ll have a right to ask that question in a minute.” Again, wait your turn and shut-up and we’ll get around to giving you an opportunity to talk when we are ready. Yes, respect.
The rest of the meeting was spent listening to person after person disrespecting our answers and projecting fears that our group was violent and disruptive. Even though we reiterated numerous times how we weren’t violent, and didn’t make the hostile remarks found on someone else’s website, the same remarks continued to be made. Yes, respect.
We were all sitting in a circle during the meeting passing around the microphone. At one point a student got up and made her way over to me and stood directly in front of me as she made her remarks. She wanted to know “why at Live Oak”. I responded, “It started at Live Oak.” She then went on to show us how much respect she really has for us by totally dismissing our promise that we would not be disruptive saying “it is disruptive”. When she was done ranting I asked her one question. I said “will you respect my answer if I say no?” She started to ramble. I said it’s an easy answer, yes or no? To which she replied “I will respect you but…” Which we all know means no.
A former teacher of mine from Gavalin College went so far as to say “Georgine, these are your daughters and their asking you not to do this”. Then he commanded me “Look at them, Look at them!”. They even had a student get up and cry begging us not to exercise our first Amendment rights by rallying in front of their school.
Respect? Respect? There was no respect at this meeting. It was just a ploy to try and manipulate our group into giving up our rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment to free speech and to peaceably assemble. How ironic that they would ask us to give up the very thing we are rallying in support of.
By the way, Scott-Codiga’s post also linked back to one of our stories, saying that we are “anti-rally.” Actually, we are not. You can wave all the flags you want, even though your sense of history is skewed. We are just concerned for the safety of these kids. Maybe Scott-Codiga should learn a little bit about respect. Have the rally, but not in front of the school. Condemn the truly racist and violent comments being directed at these kids. That is respect.