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Nativists Harass Applebee's Over Macehualli Fundraiser, Fail Miserably

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The nativists talked a big game on the United for a Sovereign America Web site, calling for a protest of two Applebee's restaurants in Phoenix that were participating in a fundraiser for Sal Reza's Macehualli Work Center. But other than harassing the employees and customers of the two locations, the rabid rabble failed miserably.

I went to lunch with a friend at the Applebee's at Central and Camelback, where we told the waitress that we were there for "Tonaterra Community Development," so 10 percent of our tab would go to the ailing Maceualli site, which provides a place for day-laborers to wait for work in the Palomino neighborhood of north Phoenix. Outside there were exactly three -- count 'em three -- old ladies protesting, led by Anna Gaines, best known in town as the anti-Hispanic Hispanic. Or by her nickname, "Token."

Applebee's management ultimately had to call the Phoenix PD on this pathetic crew with their "Applebee's supports illegals" signs. Seems one of the three was haranguing unsuspecting patrons nearby the entrance. The Phoenix PD advised the old crones that they had to stay put on the sidewalk. About 20 minutes later, they packed it in, and skedaddled.

The manager played it off to me as no big deal (he did not wish to be quoted). But he did say that the restaurant had gotten many customers asking to participate in the Dine to Donate program, which on this day was benefiting Macehualli. Also, they did receive a number of calls from the nativist crazies.

I thought some of the big, bad biker thugs over at Riders Against Illegal Aliens might cruise by that night, so I stopped by the Central and Camelback Applebee's again around 7:30 p.m., but there was no nativist activity. Then I drove over to the other participating Applebee's at 44th Street just south of Thomas for some wings and beer. (Good wings, BTW.)

Manager Nelson Leal informed me that the restaurant had endured about 40 to 50 nasty phone calls from nativists, but that there had been zero protesters all day long.

As for the anonymous postings on this blog suggesting that Macehualli's property is in foreclosure, this rumor has all the credibility of Tiger Woods' marriage oath. The property's realtor Santiago Romero, of Equity Realty Group, informed me that the property is "absolutely not" in foreclosure. Nor is there a notice of trustees sale on file at the Maricopa County Recorder's office. The assessor's office lists the full cash value of the property for 2009 to be $865,000. For 2010, they estimate a fcv of $902,000. So, even the troll's numbers are wrong.

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