Things That Matter

Trump Supporter Caught On Camera Using Bear Repellent Against Peaceful Anti-Trump Protestors

A Trump supporter was arrested by Santa Monica police Saturday after deploying a canister of bear repellent to a crowd of anti-Trump protesters gathered at the Santa Monica Pier. The event was organized by an anti-Trump grassroots group called Refuse Fascism to show support for Trump’s impending impeachment proceedings. A sister protest, underway in New York City, successfully marched a group of protesters to Trump Towers. 

Around a dozen Trump supporters were already on the pier, donned in red MAGA hats, waving American flags, and chanting “Trump 2020” when the scheduled Refuse Fascism protesters arrived. According to organizer Atlas Winfrey, the Trump supporters were trying “to intimidate and incite a confrontation.”

Footage from the scene shows a short scuffle breaks out when a cloud of pepper spray suddenly overwhelms the crowd.

Credit: ktla5news / Instagram

Bystanders recall seeing a man with a backward MAGA hat circling the crowd when he pulled out the can and started spraying as many people as he could. According to Michelle Xai, at least four anti-Trump protesters sought medical attention for their injuries. Xai herself will be wearing an arm sling at the next rally, after being “dropped to the ground by these fascists and basically assaulted.” 

Most of the crowd starts running away from the toxic chemical, covering their faces and wiping tears from their eyes.

Credit: ktla5news / Instagram

Several people start screaming. The person behind the video can be heard coughing, as they back away from the crowd as well. Reportedly, one woman started vomiting shortly after the attack

David Nicholas Dempsey, 32, was arrested and it was revealed that he is already a convicted felon.

Credit: @kron4news / Twitter

Police arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, and the angry crowd pointed to Dempsey as the culprit. He claimed his innocence but was handcuffed and escorted away to cheers from the anti-Trump protesters. Dempsey was initially charged with the prohibited use of a tear gas weapon, assault with a caustic chemical. After learning that Dempsey carries a prior weapons violation conviction, he’s also facing an additional charge of violating his parole.

The man who bore the brunt of the bear spray is an Iraq war vet.

Credit: @hotchkiss_jon / Twitter

“As an Iraqi war vet who has spoken out against U.S. crimes, I have been repeatedly targeted with violence and death threats,” Refuse Fascism member Bo Login said in a statement. “All this demonstrates so clearly the violence Trump/Pence regime is unleashing and why people should join us to prevent a fascist America.”

Login reportedly poured a gallon of milk over his head to help ease the effects of the bear spray, which is similar to other pepper sprays.

The anti-Trump supporters were pulling off a peaceful demonstration on the beach while Dempsey appeared at the pier with a holster of bear spray.

Credit: @revclub_la / Twitter

Refuse Fascism was simply using large stretches of fabric to spell out “Trump-Pence #OutNow” to launch its #OutNow campaign, which seeks to sustain weekly protests against Trump until “the regime is removed,” according to its statement.  

Meanwhile, co-founder of the New York coalition, Dr. Cornel West was pleased with their march. “I stand with those who are willing to put their bodies on the line and make their voices heard to make sure that there will never ever be fascism in the United States of America,” he said in a statement.

RefuseFascim’s next Los Angeles rally will be in MacArthur Park on October 26 at 2 p.m.

Credit: @RefuseFascismLA / Twitter

After the bear spray attack, RefuseFascism national spokesperson responded, “We face a political crisis of epic dimension: this regime is rapidly advancing a fascist program. Trump’s “America First” is a program of extreme danger–the vicious twitter finger of Trump is also on the nuclear trigger… The attacks on the #OUTNOW! protest in LA by fascist thugs evidence again the fascist movement that is unleashed by the words and deeds of this regime. We have already seen mass murderers inspired by this regime.”

Dempsey’s social media is a laundry list of conspiracy theories.

Credit: David Dempsey / Facebook

Dempsey’s Facebook page includes a long list of conspiracy theories, including one about the white supremacist El Paso Shooter. “El Paso shooter had 1-30 round magazine, kills 20, wounds 30, it’s impossible people,” reads one post. Another read, “SHOOTER IN EL PASO IS HALF MEXICAN AND KILLED FULL WHITE PEOPLE!” 

Dempsey is expected to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court for his arraignment hearing on Tuesday. He is currently being held without bail until then. Investigators suspect that a second individual deployed tear gas in unison with Dempsey.

READ: A Group Of White Supremacist Unwittingly Raised More Than $36,000 To Help Undocumented People

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

Culture

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

paper_tacos / Instagram

Jesus Ruvalcaba was an artist looking for more creative freedom in his life. Even after getting a job as an art director at eBay and Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley, the then 36-year-old felt complacent. It was a stop at a grocery store when he went to buy his mother a birthday card that a light bulb flashed in his head. 

“I looked at all these cards but couldn’t find something that resonated with my Latino culture,” Ruvalcaba said. “I felt that an entire population group was being ignored.”

That night planted the seeds of what would eventually become Paper Tacos, a greeting card business focusing on Mexican culture and traditions. From get well soon messages that read “sana sana colita de rana” ((heal, heal little frog) to birthday cards that read “sapo verde,” Ruvalcaba had tapped into a demographic that wasn’t typically represented in the greeting card business. 

“I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like this,” he said. “This was more than just about a greeting card but seeing my culture being seen.” 

Ruvalcaba, the son of two Mexican immigrants, got most of his inspiration growing up in the Central Valley fields of California. He worked alongside his parents in the isolated artichoke fields where he learned to draw. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

Ruvalcaba knew he wanted to be an artist at a young age and says growing up he would usually be found carrying around a sketchbook full of drawings. He didn’t grow up with much as his parents were Mexican immigrants who worked tirelessly as fieldworkers in the central California valley in cities like Castroville and later in Salinas. 

“My parents didn’t really know a lick of English so my drawings did a lot of the talking for me,” he says. “We didn’t have much growing up but they would buy me art supplies and always encouraged me to keep drawing.”

Those drawings would pave the way for a career in animation as Ruvalcaba became the first in his family to graduate college obtained a degree in graphic design at California State University Monterey Bay and eventually his Master’s degree. Shortly after, he would find himself in Silicon Valley working for companies like eBay and Hewlett-Packard as an art director. 

Ruvalcaba knew he could still do more with his talents. After attending a Dia de los Muertos art event in 2016, he met another artist selling Spanish prints with Mexican slogans. He was then reminded of that night at the market when he couldn’t find a Spanish greeting card for his mom. 

“It hit me right there and then that if I could come up with greeting cards that have Mexican sayings like “sana sana colita de rana,” I could tap into a market that was never really acknowledged prior.” Ruvalcaba said. 

After receiving encouragement from his girlfriend, Ruvalcaba put his illustration skills and graphic design experience to work as he produced his first set of 15 cards for 300 dollars. In Fall 2017, Paper Tacos became a reality. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

About a year after the idea of Paper Tacos first came up, Ruvalcaba attended the same art festival from the year prior and sold his first greeting card for $5 apiece. The response to the cards was immediate and customers told Ruvalcaba about what it meant to see their culture on a product like this.

“It felt like my idea was validated in a way and seeing everyone respond so positively to Paper Tacos was just the cherry on top,” said Ruvalcaba. “From there it only got even bigger.”

In the following months of 2017, Paper Tacos made its launch and by the end of 2017, he had made $2,000 within just three months of launching his site. In 2018, he had made over $12,000 in sales and today has over 20K followers on Instagram alone. When he started the business, there were only 15 card designs which have now grown to over 100. He’s also branded outside of California and is currently selling his greeting cards at 25 stores throughout the country.

For Ruvalcaba, Paper Tacos hasn’t been just any business move or a little extra income revenue. It’s a tribute to his Mexican background and a reflection of his culture that he feels is being celebrated every time one of his cards is given. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

When asked about where his inspiration for his greeting cards come from, Ruvalcaba says his parents. Those long days working along with them in the artichoke fields and holidays where all they had was each other. 

“Every card is a reflection of me growing up in a Mexican household and other people have connected with that,” said Ruvalcaba. “When I brainstorm ideas I just look back to my childhood.”

That connection is something special he says. While Ruvalcaba still has a full-time job as a designer in Santa Clara, if things keep going the way they are, Paper Tacos will become his main focus. 

Through Instagram, Ruvalcaba has begun working with more freelancers to keep growing Paper Tacos and get more artists opportunities. His business plan is to expand to other Latino backgrounds to work and reach out to Salvadoran and Nicaraguan artists so that they too can see representation.  

“This business has shown me how powerful this product can be and every time someone tells me the impact that these cards have had on a family member or a friend, it sticks with me,” Ruvalcaba says. “It’s a special thing to know a simple greeting card can do this.”

READ: Patty Delgado Is Changing The World Of Latino Fashion With Her Own Store Hija De Tu Madre

The Pilots Who Bombarded School Children With Jet Fuel Are Now Under Investigation For The Incident

Things That Matter

The Pilots Who Bombarded School Children With Jet Fuel Are Now Under Investigation For The Incident

Delta.com

Believe it or not, it’s quite common for airplanes to dump jet fuel when they’re facing an emergency landing. They do this so that if anything happens during landing – like a blown out tire – the likelihood of an explosion or major fire is much less.

But a recent incident in the skies over Los Angeles highlight the dangers of the practice – particularly when done over populated communities.

A Delta Airlines aircraft headed to Shanghai faced an emergency landing and dumped a huge amount of fuel over LA-area communities.

Delta Air Lines said the fuel came from Flight 89, which had just taken off from LAX bound for Shanghai, China, when it “experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return quickly to LAX.””The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight,” the airline said.

The fuel was dropped in populated communities – including an area containing six different schools.

Credit: AP / USA Today

Sixty people were treated after a plane dumped jet fuel while returning to the Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, hitting five elementary schools and one high school.

The incident happened just after noon Tuesday, inspector Sean Ferguson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told CNN. The most heavily affected school was Park Avenue Elementary in Cudahy, where 20 children and 11 adults reported minor injuries. The school is about 19 miles east of the airport.

After checking all of the affected schools later Tuesday, hazardous materials experts said there was no more danger, fire department officials said. All schools will be open and operating on their normal schedules Wednesday.

“With the monitoring devices that we have, there are no explosive limits that are being detected at all, as well as solid or liquid products remaining,” Battalion Chief Jason Robertson said in a news conference, adding that the fire department believes all of the jet fuel has evaporated.

More than 60 people were treated on the scene and dozens more needed to be decontaminated.

Firefighters allow parents into the school where 26 people, 17 children and 9 adults, were treated for jet fuel exposure at Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. A jet returning to LAX dumped its fuel over the neighborhood and the school. Affected people at the school were treated for skin and eye irritation. No patients were transported to hospitals. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

Some people who were hit by the jet fuel Tuesday were decontaminated with soap and water, but no one at any site needed to be taken to the hospital, Sgt. Rudy Perez with the Los Angeles School Police Department said. The schools briefly went through shelter-in-place procedures, but there were no evacuations.

The children were given gowns so they could change out of their clothes, fire department inspector Sky Cornell said, adding there were no reports of injuries from other people in the area.

Miguel Cervantes, a sixth grader, was hit. He said his skin was itchy afterward.”I thought it was smoke,” he said. “But when it went down, I felt it and it smelled like gas.”

According to the FAA, the pilots failed to notify them of the fuel drop.

“A review of yesterday’s air traffic control communications shows the Delta Flight 89 crew did not tell air traffic control that they needed to dump fuel,” said the U.S. regulator. “In this emergency situation, the fuel-dumping procedure did not occur at an optimal altitude that would have allowed the fuel to atomize properly.”

Fuel jettisoned higher than 5,000 to 6,000 feet will vaporize before hitting the ground, according to Boeing Co.The altitude of the Delta plane when it dropped the fuel hasn’t been disclosed.

While there is no regulation requiring such notice, it’s common practice so that flight controllers can direct the plane to an appropriate area to drop the fuel, the FAA said in an email Wednesday.

Now authorities are investigating why the pilots decided to drop fuel so urgently if they weren’t faced with a serious crisis.

The Boeing 777-200 suffered an engine compressor stall after leaving Los Angeles International for Shanghai, and the pilots notified air traffic control that the aircraft would need to return to the airport. The FAA continues to investigate the incident. Delta said it helped clean up the fuel at the schools, but declined to comment on the FAA statement or any aspect of the probe.

While it’s unclear how serious the emergency on the Delta flight was, pilots have discretion to ignore some FAA rules while faced with a dangerous situation. The crew members told controllers their situation was “not critical,” according to a recording posted by LiveATC.net.

Jetliners dump fuel in an emergency to lower their weight for landing. While the plane was capable of taking off, its weight with a full fuel load would have made it heavier than optimal for landing. Landing at higher weights causes stress on brakes and tires that can trigger fires or other issues.