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Protest calls for boycott of businesses

February 02, 2006|By By Alicia Robinson

"I walked outside my door and got called an ... [expletive] four times in 15 seconds.... This is not an educational protest; it's confrontational, and if they think they're going to convince this council member that what we did was wrong, this is not the way to do it," he said.

He was unconcerned about a possible boycott.

"My customers are loyal," he said. "This will not scare them away."

Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce President Ed Fawcett said he hasn't heard any concerns from local businesses about the possible boycott.

Fawcett does not support the city's immigration enforcement proposal, which was led by Mayor Allan Mansoor, but he said a boycott would unjustly punish businesses.

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"This approach to solving the problem is not productive," Fawcett said. "I'm opposed to it just as strongly as I'm opposed to Mansoor's plan."

Mansoor dismissed Lopez's protest as "just trying to stir the pot."

The protest effort may increase the workload for Costa Mesa Police Chief John Hensley, who has been meeting with community groups to explain the immigration plan. Failing to cooperate with police won't help victims of crime, he said.

"I'm going to constantly get the message out that we do not want to be enemies of the community," Hensley said.

To Councilwoman Katrina Foley, an open and honest debate is exactly what's been missing since the council voted to pursue the immigration plan in December. Foley was one of two council members who voted against the plan.

"It's a political stunt that the mayor has pulled, and we're all suffering the consequences of it," she said.

"There's no dialogue going on; there's been no committee set up to vet concerns and come up with a fair, compassionate, responsible plan; there is no discussion. There's basically a lot of attacks and controversy."

Councilman Eric Bever, who voted in favor of the immigration enforcement plan, and Councilwoman Linda Dixon, who opposed it, did not return calls for comment.

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