This morning there was a demonstration by several hundred Hmong and their supporters, protesting the arrest of Vang Pao.
I confess to having no idea who Vang Pao was until someone told me he was “a man who was arrested in California by federal authorities.” The rally was LOUD, and went on for hours. After awhile it seemed goofy – what the hell could a state court thousands of miles away do about a guy in federal custody in California? HA! LITTLE DID I KNOW!! Vang Pao is a controversial figure in the tangled history of US-Laotian relations. He’s considered a hero by some, a drug smuggler by others. The Hmong are furious at his betrayal by a country formerly grateful for Vang Pao’s assistance in fighting communism.
Anyway, there have been Vang Pao demonstrations by Hmong and their supporters all over the place and I just didn’t know about it.
But, here’s the really amazing thing – IT WORKED!! Tonight General Vang Pao is free on bail.
Honestly, I don’t know if Vang Pao is a drug dealer, a coup mastermind, a good guy, a bad guy, or all of the above. But, I gotta love a protest that gets results. You go, Hmong.