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Escondido Activist Files Criminal Charges Against Minutemen

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Aired 4/19/09

An Escondido activist filed criminal charges Monday against a member of the Minutemen. Activist Danny Perez says he ended up in the hospital after a Minuteman spokesman punched him repeatedly at a rally outside Escondido City Hall. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Perez was at City Hall to file a permit when he noticed about 25 people gathered outside. They were staging an anti-illegal immigrant rally. Congressman Brian Bilbray and the three Escondido City Council members who voted to prohibit landlords from renting to illegal immigrants stood by, as San Diego Minuteman leader Jeff Schwilk thanked the community for inviting his group.

Perez says he shouted, “We didn’t invite you,” and that’s when he was attacked.

Perez: They surround me to make sure they block the view of others. And this guy comes out of nowhere and he starts hitting me with the elbows and he knew exactly where to hit.

Perez blames Congressman Bilbray and Councilwoman Marie Waldron for attracting Minutemen to Escondido and creating an environment where racism is OK.

A spokeswoman at the event said illegal immigrants are making North County neighborhoods third world cesspools. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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