Anaheim City Councilman Jose Moreno, Orange County Democratic Party Chair Ada Briceno and 19 other people were charged Friday with a pair of misdemeanors for blocking the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue during a hotel-union protest in January.
The 21 people charged were arrested during a Jan. 24 protest organized by Unite Here Local 11 calling for “fair and dignified” wages and pensions for workers at Sheraton Park and Hilton hotels. Police said the people arrested sat in the intersection, blocking traffic, and ignored police orders to disperse.
All 21 were charged with a misdemeanor counts of loitering in a public passageway and conspiracy to loiter in a public passageway.
In announcing the charges, District Attorney Todd Spitzer said he respects people’s right to protest, “but all of us are required to do it in a lawful manner.”
“The right to protest is afforded to everyone,” he said. “Exercising that right does not allow anyone to break the law and bring traffic to a complete standstill.”
According to Spitzer’s office, the intersection of Harbor and Katella is one of the busiest in the Anaheim resort area, with nearly 40,00 vehicles daily.
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