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Acquittal in Pennsylvania Killing Sparks Nativist Rally

By David Holthouse on May 26, 2009 - 4:18 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Three weeks after an all-white jury in Shenandoah, Pa., acquitted two local high school football stars of beating to death a Mexican immigrant — a verdict that many observers called a blatant act of jury nullification — pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant forces alike are using the murder of Luis Ramirez as a rallying cry.

Last week, pro-immigrant forces cheered news that the U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into Ramirez’s death and the way local authorities handled the case. Earlier this month, a Schuylkill County, Pa., jury found high school football stars Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak not guilty of homicide, ethnic intimidation and aggravated assault. Both were convicted of simple assault.

A few days later, a coalition of immigrant-bashing groups announced plans to hold a rally against illegal immigration in Shenandoah on Saturday, May 30. The groups include United Patriots of America, a nativist extremist group based in Linden, N.J., that’s known for conducting surveillance of day labor centers, and You Don’t Speak For Me!, a group created and funded by the Federation for American Immigration Reform that purports to represent Hispanic-Americans. “My main concern is getting these illegals off the streets, out of this town, and bringing forth the legal Mexican-American community,” rally organizer Joe Miller told The Republican & Herald, a regional newspaper.

Saturday’s rally will mark the second major nativist rally in Shenandoah since Ramirez, a 25-year-old father of two, was kicked to death in July 2008 by white teens shouting racial epithets. Six weeks after Ramirez was killed, the nativist extremist group Voice of the People held a “pro-immigration enforcement” rally near the site of the murder. The attending crowd of roughly 50 included several members of the Keystone State Skinheads, a Harrisburg, Pa.-based racist skinhead gang.

The New York Times reported last week that racial tensions in Shenandoah intensified after the verdict, with racist threats, vandalism and fights on the rise.

  • GENO

    I’m wondering how the jury came up with a “no guilty” verdict? Usually, men who are alone with their girlfriend or just by themselves, such as in the case of Ramirez. Do not “pick fights” with a crowd that could easily overcome him and possibly kill him. You gotta either be crazy like a maritial arts movie star to try and take them all on, or you’re retarded. But naturally you don’t “pick fights” with a crowd, instead they try and pick a fight with you. I don’t think Remirez was dumb enough to walk up to them to fight. Instead he was provoked, instigated and harrassed because he was outnumbered 10 to 1. I think the jury made an obvious and clear mistake in this case.

    I don’t support neither side, for obvious reasons. But I can easily say that it is wrong to kill someone regardless of their citizenship status. Illegal immigration is a continueing problem and so too, is white supremacy-nativism. Independent-Individual Americans need to refrain from joining either side and take back America from the illegal invaders and white supremacists. Or they can simply sit back and watch these 2 fight it out to end.

    I praise the U.S. Justice Depts for opening an investigation, because I believe the white supremacists involved with the murder of an illegal immigrant may have gotten away with it. If they wish to disolve some of the “racial tensions”, at least, let Justice be served for the people relating to the illegal alien and give the culprits hardtime behind bars. Its all fair game, after all, those white supremacists killed someone, so where’s the Justice in all of this?

  • carrisima

    A lawyer once told me that jurys are crap shoots. I remember the jury regarding Diallo acquitting the policemen of criminally pumping 40 plus bullets into the innocent African immigrant. My understanding is that there were even blacks on that jury. So, go figure. Prejudice against immgrants is a terrible thing. We are ALL human beings and by providence we are born into whatever race and creed God wills. No one is better or worse than his human counterpart. Prejudice is so dumb.

  • neoconsarecommies

    “Fambly man” Ramirez was a “father” in as much as he also had a 15 year old paramour.
    Did he pay child support? That was rhetorical. No.
    So some drunken shlub met his end picking a fight with some other drunks cause they hurt his “chicano pride”, his ego.
    “Hate crime”? The jury thought not.