Ron Thomas at CSUF Social Justice Summit: Defend the Homeless

Categories: School Daze
RonThomas.jpg
Yasmin Nouh/OC Weekly
Ron Thomas on OC homelessness.
"Here's that beautiful picture of Kelly on the right," said Ron Thomas, as he pointed to a portrait of his smiling son toward the end of his PowerPoint presentation on homelessness at Cal State University Fullerton's eighth-annual social justice summit on Saturday, April 14. "Right here, [Kelly] is greatly disabled with mental schizophrenia. And how would you know it?"

On July 5, 2011 six Fullerton police officers confronted Kelly Thomas downtown, repeatedly shocked him with a Taser, and beat him to death.  Thomas was speaking to a crowd of nearly 70 in Titan Theatre. His message to the students: don't be afraid of the homeless.

Ron concluded his hour-long workshop with a call to action, urging students to show respect and compassion for the homeless, volunteer at food banks, and donate, even the simplest items. "The homeless love socks," he said. "Have you ever given a pair of socks to a homeless person? They love them."

The one-day summit featured two dozen other workshops in CSUF's Titan Student Union hall, where approximately 600 students, faculty, and community members attended. During the day, attendees could choose to attend from a diverse roster of workshops on topics ranging from higher education, Mid-East policy, Occupy protests, the immigration system, organic foods, the struggles of the LGBTQ community, racism, and the U.S. militarization of Latin America.

The summit opened with sociology professor Dr. Jeb Middlebrook and ended with Santa Ana-based, community activist Abraham Medina, who performed spoken word on Arizona's SB 1070 legislation and Joaquin Luna Jr. - a troubled, undocumented student who left a suicide note saying he'd never accomplish his goals. "To get to heaven, you don't need papers," recited Medina, in his piece reflecting on Luna's death, and how it hit home for Medina, himself an undocumented immigrant as well.  

Project director and student Harpreet Singh Bath said the summit provided a platform for students and community members to foment tolerance for victims, regardless of their race or identity. The popular workshops this year included Ron Thomas's homelessness workshop, "Women of Juarez," and "Human Trafficking 101" which opened fifth year student Jiotzi Gutierrez's eyes to an issue she hardly knew existed in California.

"Everyone thinks [human trafficking] only happens in third-world countries," she said, "when it actually is one of the worst here in the United States."

Other students, like first year Cindy Manzo, couldn't fathom the violence they learned about in another workshop on the border town of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. For the past two decades, murder and rape have rocked the town that lies just south of El Paso. It compelled Cindy to write a letter to state senators demanding that they address the brutality, and put an end to it.

Her friend, Mixtitlan Vasquez, said she was upset to discover the gravity of human trafficking, violence in neighboring Mexico and poverty in the United States when she attended the summit.

"It reminds me of that saying," Mixtitlan said. "What is it? We've got money for wars but we can't help the poor."

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6 comments
Fullerton Business Owner
Fullerton Business Owner

Kelly lived behind my shop for more then two years. I saw him everyday. Do you know how many times his loving father showed up there in over two yeras? ZERO, NONE! Not once did Ron show up with a sandwhich or a blanket!! People say he could not do anything and I agree he could not force meds etc but he could of showed up with food or anything!! Since day one it has been all about him not his son!! He said he didnot recognize Kelly because of the beard. Kelly had that beard for over a year which proves my point more. I support Kelly but Ron has turned me off so much from this issue..People like myself who cared and saw Kelly everyday get disgusted when we see his bs and self absorbed, ego-maniac behavior!! If you cared about your son you would of stopped by atleast ONCE in two years to see him, to hold him, to feed him. Now you just feed your ego!! REAL talk... 

Timewilltell
Timewilltell

Where his dried up crack hoe guppies also in attendance?

Joseph Zrnchik
Joseph Zrnchik

The young people know the truth and are beginning to open their eyes to wake up to police tyranny.  Once you tell a cop he is overstepping his authority, when he is, he will then arrest you for disorderly conduct. When you finally get the police incident report you will suddenly read about how you became violent and went berserk while calling the cops names, using profanity and threatening them. They will then claim they told you repeatedly to be quiet which covers their lies for being able to charge you with Disorderly Conduct. If you go to a bench trial you will have as much chance of winning as you do a traffic ticket. Then you must pay $3000 for a jury trial and hope the people on the jury understand how cops engage in tyranny every single day and then commit felonies by engaging in systematic perjury that is excused, condoned and encouraged by the judges and prosecutors. It has happened to me twice when I told they police they were wrong and were acting outside the scope of their authority in illegal searches or in making threats that had no basis in law. The false charges they levied had nothing to do with anything regarding the initial situation but instead became a made-up crimes in which false witness and perjury were the only basis for the prosecution of a crime that never occurred. They then all stuck together and coordinated their lies. Americans need to start defending themselves from police, prosecutorial and judicial tyranny and realize the police are power-hungry liars that spitefully and tyrannously bring false charges as a form of domination and forced submission to their oppression. Find police guilty in civil cases! Find them guilty in criminal cases. They do this stuff all the time and get away with it 99.9% of the time.

Skallywag
Skallywag

We all know how I feel about Social Justice......(and Gays)

Mike TardifJuniorSkalleywag

Carlashworth
Carlashworth

Fullerton police officers beat to death Kelly Thomas because he was homeless and this meets criteria for a hate crime. . The Friend For Fullertons Future blogsite has uncovered  legal documents that show city of Fullerton has made numerous legal  settlements to plaintiffs who have legally proven  the Fullerton PD has a pattern/history of excessive force, false arrest, molesting female detainees, perjury, suspicious jail suicide and now murder of a homeless man, Kelly Thomas. Most of Fullerton PD's civil rights abuses occurred when Pat Mckinley was Fullerton's police  chief and the only member of law enforcement on Fullerton resident and executive director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission(OCHRC), Rusty Kennedy. The irony is Rusty Kennedy's OCHRC mission statement is to act as a clearinghouse and mediator for any of OC's communities complaints of police abuses. How odd that Fullerton's police chief and Rusty Kennedy were colleagues during the FPD's abuse of the community and yet the OCHRC, a well-funded county social justice commission, never seem to get complaints from Fullerton's community about their police force abusing them.

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