Photograph by John Cocozza
Antifa was in town to thwart the “Patriot March,” a pro-Trump rally and concert on January 9.
Cringing towards P.B.
I’d like to remind you that it's really easy for regular people to check sources and follow events live because of the internet and social media (“San Diego’s anti-fascists turn fascist,” Cover Stories, February 24). On twitter it's very easy to follow events live as their happening when all I have to do is set notifications for different hashtags and both sides are posting live videos in real time.
I feel like the author of this article didn’t even spend the time to go through and watch them. This becomes even more obvious when the author of this article chooses to use Andy Ngo as a source. The man has admitted to blatantly being on different conservative organizations’ payrolls and has admitted to peddling inaccurate information to push an agenda because its what he is paid to do.
One of the people you named wasn’t even at the event at the time of the incident and this could very well have an effect on their livelihood.
I felt pretty embarrassed for the publication just reading the amount of obviously wrong information as a publication. It was cringey honestly. I don’t even usually get that involved in things like this, but I do try to pay attention to what is happening in my community, and this was just blatantly off the mark and it completely felt like it was done on purpose with how not just incorrect the easily attainable information was but how one sided it was as well. It genuinely felt like you didn’t even try to scratch the surface of what you were looking into but instead chose to push a narrative. I’d gently like to encourage you to do better next time.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified one of the mob who harassed Jill Barto as being South Bay Union School District trustee, Marco Amaral. We regret the error.
I would like to commend SD Reader and Eric Bartl in particular on producing excellent articles of actual journalism. I have been reading the various articles of all sections for quite a while (including the restaurant reviews), and I am genuinely impressed and thankful for the real, in-depth, investigative articles produced for both digital and print. You truly deserve a broader readership than that other local paper with LA writers. Please keep it up, and I will keep recommending your product to anyone and everyone.
Not present as charged
I wanted to reach out and make you aware that your recent article claimed that Marco Amaral was present at the Counter Protest in Pacific Beach & stood by while a man who was attempting to attack a counter protester with his dog was sprayed.
This is false & very damaging to Mr. Marco Amaral. He was not even present that day & the person photographed was in fact, another person entirely. He is my friend who wishes to remain nameless; however I truly hope that you remove or update your article to reflect this now that you have the truth.
I do not believe that this mistake was intentional, but it is very important to change it to reflect true journalism. To leave it would not only reflect poorly on yourself but on the San Diego Reader magazine as a whole. I hope you can make these changes in a timely manner in order to repair any damage this mistake has caused for Mr. Amaral. Thank you in advance!
I just wanted to tell you what a fine job a reporter did. Eric - I don’t remember his last name - he just did the article on the PB incident. He is a dynamic reporter and I wanted to let you guys know that he did an amazing job. I’m getting the truth out there about what really happened versus innuendos and lies and I’m blessed that he’s part of your publication.
I think the decision to feature the story written by Eric Bartl regarding the clash in Pacific Beach was in poor taste. Bartl’s article reeks of political bias and should not be given a platform as far-reaching as the San Diego Reader. Please be more careful in the future about which members of the community you lend a digital voice to. Nazism and Fascism have no place in our American society, and to overlook this truth in the name of “freedom of speech” is blatantly pathetic. Be better.
Best read Bartl
I really just wanted to say thank you to Eric Bartl. He did a story on local anti-fascists turned fascists, and it’s one of the best articles that I read in such a unbiased report. So good for you. Thank you. We saw all the videos and what the Union-Tribune was reporting was patently false and I never thought that any of the local media would pick it up and actually cover what happened and and you guys did. I just really appreciated that you guys wrote such a good article. Have a great day.
I’m seriously disgusted with how the Reader is putting out articles calling anti-fascists fascists, when the group of people who showed up there actually were there to protest a neo-Nazi rally. You had someone walking down the street giving Sieg Heil signs, someone validating genocide of millions of people, and yet you guys decided to write about the counter-protesters? Wow, great work, Reader, great work. It’s really nice to know where you stand on these kinds of things, really nice to know that you’re supporting people who validate genocide, people who walk down the street giving Sieg Heils. Wow.
There was no mention of that in the article, no, no, none at all. It’s very interesting. Nor of any of the people who attended there. Maybe you should look into why those people got maced in the face. Maybe you should do a little bit of journalism and figure out where those people are from. What groups they’re from. Oh, nice job falsely doxing somebody who wasn’t even there. Really great journalism, really great.
I could really tell that you guys crossed all your “t”s and dotted your “i”s. That was bullshit. That was the fakest news I’ve ever seen in my life. None of it was credible, none of it was validated. So much information was left out.
No mention of a Nazi salute going down PB boardwalk. No mention of drunken Proud Boys having conflicts with passers-by on the street. No mention of someone getting beaten up in an ally wearing a George Floyd shirt, his nose got bloodied. It’s pretty easy to find. Well, okay, you guys keep making articles and keep exposing the truth. Terrible job. Very terrible job. Very sloppy. Not good journalism, check your facts before you start writing articles. Double check your facts. Reach out to people. Okay? Like I get it that it’s political times, and I get it that things are polarizing. But dude, if you’re going to write an article, swaying the opinion one way or another, look into what you’re saying. But it’s good to know where you guys stand on things.
The only difference between Faschisti and any antifaschist is that one couldn’t afford matching pants.
- Brian D Hoag
- Spring Valley
Trustee Kevin Beiser: “I remember when Gompers was not a charter school...The students were in control...They would throw their chairs and desks out the window."
View from the cleanup crew
I used to love teachers. I used to love working in the school district, but just in the last year, I have come to feel disappointment when talking about the future of education (“San Diego Unified revokes then reinstates benefits for Gompers Prep founders,” Neighborhood News, January 18).
I have been a custodian working for educational institutions for 20 years now. It has not always been as easy as that sounds. Laborers are understaffed and underpaid routinely in multiple school districts. Most of us keep punching the clock today for the same reasons we always have been: we are here to support the kids. Everyone is on that side, correct? That’s what I thought. However, it seems that the converse is more a reality now than ever.
I do not want anyone to get the idea that I have been in some way slighted or hurt by my custodial position in the San Diego Unified School District. Quite the opposite. For someone that grew up, as I did, in poverty, the job I have now has afforded me the ability to travel (before Covid) and helps pay rent to keep a roof over my wife and I’s head. For my job, I am very much thankful.
I cannot help but feel as though the teachers and the administration for the district have launched into battle against each other for returning in any manner, fought against their mutual positions on the vaccine phases, and fought the notion that online learning, although safe, is barely functional.
Let me take you back in time to last year, the setting is 1st semester of the 2020-21 school year, and all of us classified workers have been on-site the whole time, cleaning, prepping meals for the communities and checking textbooks and laptops in and out to help facilitate the online roll-out. We were all waiting for that first day when our co-workers, the teachers, would come back and teach from their rooms for online classes.
No kids, just teachers teaching from their regular rooms. Boy! We had big plans! Since vaccines were not approved yet we developed a system by which kids needing additional help could get a test for Covid-19 and upon confirmation of a negative, come into the classroom for one-on-one instruction in a clean, barrier-laden, sanitized, and well-ventilated area. That way the kids could still learn, access their teachers for assistance, and leave with some masks and some food for home (my site does weekly groceries for the families in our area).
The teachers rejected that idea with the help of the district administration because there were no vaccines at the time.
I, as a lead, and the leads in the cafeteria all test weekly and for an entire year have tested negative. The teachers rejecting this idea when they are clearly only sharing the campus (not even the same rooms) with us, common laborers. We get the message. The teachers are scared that we, their lunch ladies, and landscapers were potential sources of this virus. We are not.
And in fact, the passive suggestion that we are speaks volumes to a problem I have seen developing for years between certificated (teachers, administration) and classified (Food Service, Custodial, Maintenance) job positions. A tale as old as time never invited to teacher gatherings or end-of-the-year parties, we, the classified workers, can see you separating yourself from us. Taking credit for working in an infrastructure we create and maintain. Demanding the nation bend to teaching needs while only showing an inflexibility to any idea involving a return to campus.
Today I am waiting for a substitute teacher to show up to support 7 students in a controlled, ventilated, sanitized room with barriers. Just as I waited yesterday and the day before for the job to be “picked up” by a willing credentialed participant. The room stands open, empty, and dark. Ready to go safely, but unused over stigma and union pressure. Students showed, but no teacher was available or willing to teach them.
I really cannot understand, as I have an exceptional teacher that after he teaches on-line from his home he commutes here to the site to assist those students struggling with his lessons, or any other discipline. He does it safely and has for the last 2 months. If he can do it, why cannot his peers, the teachers of this district? I excuse those with pre-existing health conditions. I understand why those have to stay at home. Family is first, and always should be. But after spending more than half my life inside of classrooms either learning or working I have come to expand my idea of family to those I work with and the students that I support. I care about all of them and I want all of them to succeed.
People like me that do these dirty district jobs care so much we have, like grocery workers (god bless all of them, too) have been clocking in to keep the supply chains running and clean There are people taking care of campuses all over the district. Running the distribution of supplies, eye exams, counseling appointments, technology issues with students, feeding kids that are no longer on the campus.
Those people make just under $40,000 a year, while principals, working from home, maybe visiting their campus once a month, get paid upwards of $100,000 a year to maintain the same campus they no longer have to even show up at. And those Admin get all the praise, too, for the efforts made by the families and staff they have abandoned since this pandemic began.
If you believe the press releases from the school district, everything is working great! So much innovation! So many needed changes! So much hope for a return! It’s BS. 70% of our students at my site are failing one or more classes. There is no idea for a return because the teacher’s unions and the administration unions are fighting with each other over “safe” return protocol. It doesn’t exist in a functional form because the idea factory creating it has never gotten their hands dirty on the ground level before Covid frightened them all into their homes.
They ignore the reality that has been present since, before this pandemic, more custodians and maintenance people need to be hired. If hospitals can keep outbreaks from happening because they have proper maintenance and custodial laborers working around the clock, then we can make the schools just as safe.
If you ask my crew that is exactly what our supervisors in the administrative positions are afraid of. An approach from that angle would eliminate their ability to have a cushy, calm, and conflict-less job to support multiple infrastructure positions that are needed and by definition essential. Although this injection of funds for education to bolster its infrastructure will never happen.
Teachers and Admin are more likely to get a raise than schools of this nation will get as clean as hospitals, which is possible, as long as the proper labor numbers in classified positions exist. After 20 years in the business, it’s more likely that we get destroyed by a Mecha-Santa-Easter-Bunny-Godzilla than we will spend the money needed to encourage a boom in jobs needed so desperately in this economy, and with that support given to the children that need support, which benefits the teachers, and benefits the administration, and benefits our communities.
I am so disappointed that the district leaders I see on Zoom interviews on the nightly news tell everyone it is safe at schools from the security of their kitchen tables at home. The statement is correct, however, their visible inaction is a betrayal of that sentiment. Put your money where your mouths are SDUSD. Put your feet into some shoes, brush your teeth, we don’t care if you wear your sweatpants, just come back to work in some capacity.
The longer your unions remain inflexible the more the kids suffer and are set back. Find common ground and get these schools running. I am by no means saying that this problematic observation on selfishness during a pandemic is observable in every teacher and every administrator.
I have been privileged to know less than a handful of teachers, admin, and counselors that do home visits. Those people are real heroes. And although they are also as invisible as the rest of us essential workers during this pandemic, we classified staff see them, appreciate them, and look up to the example they set that more teachers should exhibit. Sincerely, -Your Classroom Custodian