What happened Tuesday at TUSD?
To begin with, my phone battery died at around 5:30, as the meeting was starting.
No email/text/facebook until now, 8 hours later. 60 text messages and 66 facebook alerts.
I was inside the TUSD board room capturing video and didn’t know what was going on outside until I was debriefed afterwards. Well, I knew a little bit from those around me who still had juice on their phones. In addition, I went through two camcorder batteries.
Preliminary thoughts: John Pedicone royally messed up tonight. There was about a hundred cops there, all armed, some in riot gear, and one would think they were at a G8 meeting, not a local school board meeting.
Not even top elected officials like Richard Elias could get inside. Full pat-downs, metal detectors, and cops after cops after cops.
There was cops in the back board room, a wall of cops of about 5 in front of the board, another wall of cops at the back, more cops in the lobby, and more cops outside to get in, and several dozen outside protecting a barricade of the building.
Helicopters, riot gear, and police everywhere you looked.
This is what a leader from Oro Valley, where John Pedicone lives, thinks of Tucsonans. All a bunch of thugs and criminals. The cops were not there to protect and serve us the community, they were there to arrest us the community.
There were arrests, there was police brutality, and there were other extreme violations of rights.
All of this I will cover more in depth tomorrow. It is still surreal to me. John Pedicone actually ordered the arrest of Lupe Castillo, one of our most loved professors, elderly and disabled. The cops brought her to the ground. Her crime?
This is an example of how Pedicone and Stegeman do not understand the community. Treating her like they did was like beating up our abuelita, our loved grandmother.
Pedicone crossed the line tonight. Lots of veteranos were there tonight that were involved in the student walkouts in the 1960s. They said this is the worse they have ever seen it, even worse that the civil rights movement of the 60s.
And all of this created for no reason. It is a crisis that need not exist, but exists solely through the stubbornness of Mark Stegeman and the evil leadership of the Vice President of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. For myself, SALC’s reputation has been forever tarnished, and I want nothing at all to do with anything they do. From urban renewal and destroying La Calle, to destroying Mexican-American Studies today, this is not the kind of “leadership” I want leading us.
I have many thoughts, and I will explore them in more detail tomorrow, but I will leave this with one final thought for tonight.
John Pedicone needs to resign.