2ND CRIMINAL NO. 3719
In the District Court of Appeal
SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT
State of California
DIVISION ONE

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
Plaintiff and Respondent,

vs.

GUS ZAMORA, et al.,
Defendants and Appellants.

APPEAL FROM SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY
HON. CHARLES W. FRICKE, JUDGE.

Application for Leave to File Brief as Friends of the
Court and Brief.

CAREY MCWILLIAMS,
CLORE WARNE,
A. L. WIRIN,
AUBREY GROSSMAN,
902 Spring Arcade Building, Los Angeles,
Attorneys for Applicants.

VITO MARCANTONIO,
DAVID SCRIBNER,
WILLIAM STANDARD,
NATHAN WITT, Of the New York Bar;
SOL. D. KAPELSON, Of the New Jersey Bar Of Counsel.

In the District Court of Appeal
SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT
State of California
DIVISION ONE

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
Plaintiff and Respondent,

vs.

GUS ZAMORA, et al.,
Defendants and Appellants.

APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS
FRIENDS OF THE COURT.

The organizations hereinafter listed and described, having members and/or affiliates in the State of California hereby make application for leave to file the annexed brief as Friends of the Court:

  • Council for Civic Unity of Los Angeles.
  • Urban League of Los Angeles.
  • The California State Industrial Union Council.
  • San Francisco Industrial Union Council.
  • Los Angeles Industrial Union Council.
  • International Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's Union
  • United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America.
  • National Maritime Union of America.
  • Conference of Studio Unions.
  • Council for Pan-American Democracy.
  • National Federation for Constitutional Liberties.
  • International Labor Defense.
  • Bay Area Council Against Discrimination.
  • Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee.

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Council for Civic Unity of Los Angeles is an unincorporated organization having affiliated with it approximately 150 church, civic and labor groups of the City of Los Angeles. Its chairman is Dr. E. C. Farnham. It is dedicated to the proposition that the problems of the minorities are not the problems of the minorities alone but of the entire community. It engages in a two-fold program. One phase of this program includes long range educational work, directed to the elimination of community tensions and the achievement of a democratic unity of all the people of Los Angeles. The other aspect of the program includes the study of specific instances of discrimination against minority groups and the development of community programs for their elimination. The Council seeks to complement the work of Mayor Bowron's Committee for Home Front Unity.

Urban League of Los Angeles is an unincorporated organization which includes in its objects the full integration of the Negro people into every phase of American life; the said object can not be accomplished while discrimination against any minority group is allowed to continue.

California State Industrial Union Council, San Francisco Industrial Union Council and Los Angeles Industrial Union Council, are unincorporated trade union central bodies affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and are comprised of local unions having jurisdiction and membership in the State of California. International Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's Union, United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America and National Maritime Union are international unincorporated trade unions (CIO) having membership throughout the United States and Canada. The program of these trade union organizations includes the elimination


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of oppression and discrimination against all minority groups.

*. The Congress of Industrial Organizations at its last convention (November, 1943) adopted a resolution on discrimination referring specifically to the defense of the appellants in this case and which read in part as follows:

"RESOLVED, That the CIO reiterates its firm opposition to any form of racial or religious discrimination and renews its pledge to carry on the fight for protection in law and in fact of the rights of any racial and religious or minority group to participate fully in our social and political life;Gives its full support in the fight to save the victims of fascism in the Sleepy Lagoon case in Los Angeles, California."

Conference of Studio Unions is a trade union organization affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and is comprised of ten local unions of the American Federation of Labor having trade union jurisdiction over various phases of the moving picture industry. The program of the Conference includes the elimination of discrimination and the defense of the victims of oppression.

Council for Pan-American Democracy, an unincorporated organization, has members throughout the United States. It has as its purpose the furtherance of the "Good Neighbor Policy" and the building of unity between all the countries of the western hemisphere on a United Nations, anti-fascist basis.

National Federation for Constitutional Liberties, an unincorporated organization has members and affiliates throughout the United States. Its objects include the preservation and extension of constitutional liberties; the elimination of discrimination against all minority groups; and the exposure of the defeatist, pro-fascist forces in the United States.

International Labor Defense is an unincorporated organization, national in scope, and has as its chairman the Honorable Vito Marcantonio. It includes in its objects


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the furtherance of legislation extending democracy and national unity and the defense of the victims of oppression and discrimination.

Bay Area Council Against Discrimination is an unincorporated organization comprised of approximately seventy-five affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area. These organizations include religious, fraternal, labor, civic and community organizations. The Council's objects include the unification of all the people in and around San Francisco in support of the war effort and in the development of community programs for the elimination of racial antagonisms and discriminations which obstruct that unification.

Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee is an unincorporated organization interested in the elimination of racial discrimination essential to national unity and having as its primary object the release of the appellants in this case.

All of the above organizations after investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the trial of the appellants have concluded that their convictions have resulted from a denial of due process of law and principally, because the appellants as members of the oppressed Mexican minority of Los Angeles, were victims of anti-Mexican bias and prejudice.

Because the applicants believe that a reversal of the conviction of the appellants will further the cause of justice and make a substantial contribution to the cause of national unity, they have joined in this application for leave to file the annexed brief as Friends of the Court.

May 15, 1944.

CAREY MCWILLIAMS,
CLORE WARNE,
A. L. WIRIN,
AUBREY GROSSMAN,
Attorneys for Applicants.

APPENDIX A.

Excerpts from report entitled "Statistics" by Ed. Duran Ayres. Foreign Relations Bureau (sheriff's office):

"But to get a true perspective of this condition we must look for a basic cause that is even more fundamental than the factors already mentioned, no matter how basically they may appear. Let us view it from the biological basis-in fact, as the main basis to work from. Although a wild cat and a domestic cat are of the same family they have certain biological characteristics so different that while one may be domesticated the other would have to be caged to be kept in captivity; and there is practically as much difference between the races of man as so aptly recognized by Rudyard Kipling when he said when writing of the Oriental, 'East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,' which gives us an insight into the present problem because the Indian, from Alaska, from Patagonia, is evidently Oriental in background—at least he shows many of the Oriental characteristics, especially so in his utter disregard for the value of life."

After this introduction a number of paragraphs are devoted to show that 80% of Mexicans have Indian blood in their veins. The report then continues:

"When the Spaniards conquered Mexico they found an organized society composed of many tribes of Indians ruled by the Aztecs who were given over to


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human sacrifice. Historians record that as many as 30,000 Indians were sacrificed on their heathen altars in one day, their bodies being opened by stone knives and their hearts torn out while still beating. This total disregard for human life has always been universal throughout the Americas among the Indian population, which of course is well known to everyone."

"The Caucasion, especially the Anglo-Saxon, when engaged in fighting, particularly among youths, resort to fisticuff and may at times kick each other, which is considered unsportive, but this Mexican element considers all that to be a sign of weakness, and all he knows and feels is a desire to use a knife or some lethal weapon. In other words, his desire is to kill, or at least let blood. That is why it is difficult for the Anglo-Saxon to understand the psychology of the Indian or the Latin to understand the psychology of the Anglo-Saxon or those from Northern Europe. When there is added to this inborn characteristic that has come down through the ages—the use of liquor, then we certainly have crimes of violence. Off-times the element of jealousy enters into it."

"Again, let us repeat—the hoodlum element as a whole must be indicted as a whole. The time to rehabilitate them is both before and after the crime has been committed, as well as during his incarceration, but it appears useless to turn him loose without having served a sentence. As stated above, he considers it as an act of fear or weakness on the part of the authorities, and due to his exaggerated ego he believes that he has outsmarted everyone."


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"Representatives of the Mexican colony may claim that the contributing factors mentioned, and others, are the sole cause of this crime wave by this particular Mexican element, and they will loathe to admit that it is in any way biological—for reasons one can quite understand, pride of race, nationality, etc., but the fact remains that the same factors, discrimination, lack of recreation facilities, economics, etc., have also always applied to the Chinese and Japanese in California, yet they have always been law abiding and have never given our authorities trouble except in that of opium among the Chinese, and that of gambling among both the Chinese and Japanese, but such acts of violence as now are in evidence among the young Mexicans have been entirely unknown among these two Oriental peoples."