Local News

Siler City Resident To Protest Against Non-American Workers

Posted February 13, 2000

— Like many communities, Siler City has watched its Hispanic population grow in recent years. For at least one man, that immigration has reached a boiling point. He has planned a controversial protest at City Hall on Saturday.

Richard Vanderford, who runs a Siler City service station, declined to talk to WRAL about his beliefs.

Vanderford has received permission from the city to express his beliefs at a demonstration in front of City Hall on Saturday.

In Vanderford's written request for the permit, he wants to protest the "unchecked immigration of large numbers of unassimilable non-American workers into Chatham County and Siler City."

Vanderford's written request also describes "an influx which is putting an unburdenable strain on the indigenous residents here (in Siler City), our traditions, our institutions and our infrastructure."

The city manager and police chief say everyone has a first amendment right to public demonstration even if the views expressed do not reflect those of city leaders.

Noemi Plata says members of her church plan to avoid any confrontation Saturday and steer clear of the protest.

"He doesn't understand the problems of Hispanics being here," Plata said. "They hear rumors of what's going to happen, and they're kind of concerned about that. I don't think anyone's going to confront him."

Siler City resident Thomas Buckner says he may attend the protest.

"One of the main problems I see is the influx of a high number of Hispanics are filling our schools up, and they're not providing the tax base to help pay for all those seats they're taking," Buckner says. "This is not a racist community. It's just, we believe in fairness."

Due to the controversial nature of the protest, police are not taking any chances. Security will include the entire Siler City police force as well as members of the Chatham County Sheriff's Department and Highway Patrol.


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