Downtown Arena: What Exactly Happened Yesterday?
We have not seen the filings, but last week Judge Patrick Garcia was going to rule on an injunction stopping demolition in Duranguito.
From what we understand, the City of El Paso, when choosing a site for the arena, did not have the Texas Antiquities board review their proposed site. We are guessing that we are waiting for a ruling from them. Also, several places are the listed for potential national historical recognition.
Judge Garcia continued the hearing until Sept. 11.
At that hearing, it appeared Judge Garcia was ready to make his decision, but there appeared to be some stalling from the attorney for the City.
The City’s attorney began asking questions of the Judge. The Judge had announced he was ready to grant the injunction, however, close to 5pm, the attorneys for the City had somehow circumvented Judge Garcia to “stay” his decision.
Witnesses say another person came in and told the attorney for the City, “Osborne,” that “we got it” and Osborne informed Judge Garcia that they had gotten a stay.
Witnesses said Judge Garcia said what had been done by the City’s attorney was “dirty.”
Attorneys, who had been arguing for the injunction, immediately wrote out a motion for an injunction with the Texas Court of Appeals.
The media took photos and video of them standing outside the clerk’s office writing the motion out.
Meanwhile, the City began hauling in equipment to begin demolition of the buildings.
Supporters of Duranquito quickly spread the word and social media inflamed with calls for support.
Hundreds gathered in Duranguito.
Several events occurred including the blocking of the removal of the equipment from the tractor trailers and removal of fences that had been already erected. El Paso Police Department was called out and crowds grew.Commissioner David Stout and Senator Jose Rodriguez were present at the action including members of Paso del Sur, Gilbert Guillen, Tonita, historians David Romo and Yolanda Leyva, and Professor Max Grossman.
While this was occurring, the lawyers supporting Duranguito announced that the Court of Appeals had granted their motion for injunction.
However, even though the Court of Appeals had issued the stop, the City wanted to leave the equipment in Duranguito, so protestors blocked the leaving of equipment until finally the tractors trailers that brought the equipment, left the neighborhood.
Also earlier Monday, Paso del Sur presented the second set of petitions to the city to put the question of using Duranguito for an arena on the ballot.
What occurred were dirty tricks by the City of El Paso’s attorneys, but was met with legal action and people power by Duranguito supporters.
We will publish more information as it comes in.