Caesar Chavez, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesse Jackson and countless thousands of
well-known and unknown individuals who made a very conscious decision to
defy a law in an effort to either draw attention to that law or to
The Glendale News-Press would have that conscious decision reduced to
a "surprising development fueled by the intensity of the moment during
the protest" -- in other words, an essentially thoughtless act based on
immediate circumstances. It is not. In fact the Glendale News-Press's
definition better describes the acts one would expect in a riot or other
Let's put it even more simply: "Wildman, Romero, Goldberg and the
rest" knew they were going to be arrested. They volunteered along with a
couple of dozen other demonstrators. In keeping with the "rich tradition"
of civil disobedience, they made a conscious decision based on an
awareness of the meaning and ramifications of their act. While I'm
confident the Glendale News-Press' editorial writers do not remember the
brutal beatings many janitors received under similar circumstances in
June 1990, I can assure you every individual who volunteered to be
arrested on April 14 does.
The Glendale News-Press editorial writers then asked a series of
rhetorical questions. Most of them are simply ludicrous. "Take out ads"
"Buy TV Time?" Why? Every major newspaper ran dozens of stories and every
TV station covered the demonstration and the arrests. "And where were
they when all of this started several weeks ago?" A little research would
have told you that "this" started more than 10 years ago, and that
Assemblyman Wildman has been a strong supporter of the janitors for a
number of years, both as a legislator and prior to that, as a private
This may come as a surprise to some, but there are people -- even some
officials -- who really believe that every person who works hard for a
living should be paid, at minimum, a living wage. And if it takes, as the
Glendale News-Press calls it, a "media stunt" with "political
celebrities" to help make that happen, well, so be it!