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Vietnamese Protesters Gather in Front of Lam’s Restaurant

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Demonstrators yelling obscenities continued a weekend protest Sunday outside a Garden Grove restaurant owned by Westminster Councilman Tony Lam.

“They are cursing and harassing our customers,” said Lam, who stayed away from the Vien Dong restaurant Sunday. “They are using intimidation tactics.”

Lam’s daughter, Cathy, said the protesters object to her father’s support of normalization of the United States’ relations with Vietnam. She said his views on that subject have nothing to do with the restaurant.

“Of course it’s hurting business,” she said. “Friday, Saturday, Sunday are our three busiest days.”

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Garden Grove Police Sgt. Ken Whitley said two juveniles were arrested Saturday night after creating a disturbance inside the restaurant.

Police said about 60 demonstrators were at the restaurant Sunday afternoon.

Cathy Lam said she believes some of the restaurant demonstrators were involved in protests outside a video store in Westminster’s Little Saigon business district. The issue there was merchant Truong Von Tran’s display of a Communist Vietnamese flag and a picture of Ho Chi Minh.

Although she agreed with that demonstration, Cathy Lam said, she feels that the protest at the restaurant is a vendetta.

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“This is my father’s livelihood,” she said. “If they want to recall him, they can do that. What they are doing is not even civilized.”

In addition to hurling curses in Vietnamese and English, the protesters accused Lam of being a communist. Cathy Lam said that was false, that her father had fled Communist Vietnam in 1975 “like everyone else here.”


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