Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Don't Forget Anthony Soltero

Anthony Soltero, a 14 year old eighth-grader at DeAnza Middle School in Ontario, California, helped organize a student walkout in the week following the million-strong March 25th demonstration in L.A. against the anti-immigration legislation.
Thousands of students participated in the walkouts all across Southern California, facing harassment & abuse from the police & school officials.
For Anthony, the threats had tragic results.
Anthony was called into a school administrator's office on March 30th for questioning about the walkout. The administrator told Anthony that he could be barred from attending graduation, that his mother would be fined $ 250 for his truancy, & that he could go to jail for 3 years.
Anthony called his mother from home to tell her about the threats. Before she could make it home, Anthony had shot himself in the head. He left behind notes apologizing to his mother, & asked her to keep his younger brothers from seeing his body.
Anthony was so scared of facing 3 years in jail & the fines his mother would recieve, he took his own life. Anthony fought for his rights & the rights of all immigrants. He is a hero in my book.
Sadly, it dosen't end there. Ontario police will ask prosecutor's to charge Anthony's step-father with a felony--for not keeping his gun locked up.
The people who bear some responsibility in Anthony's death, the school district, have defended their policy of scaring the shit out of students who live the Constitution by protesting for their, among others, rights.
In honor of Anthony Soltero, students in L.A. have planned for a march for immigrant rights on April 15th. They have called on students around the country to hold events on the 15th to honor Anthony & his commitment to justice.