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(en) North America, Stop the Minutemen! (October 15)

Date Wed, 12 Oct 2005 13:21:11 +0200


A group of Montrealers are going to the border between Quebec and
Vermont on Saturday, October 15th to hold a counter-demonstration
against the Minutemen at the Derby Line in Vermont.
The Minutemen = an organization of armed vigilantes who attempt to prevent
immigrants, refugees, and "illegals" from crossing the US borders.
Departure: QPIRG Concordia, 1500 de Maisonneuve west, 2nd floor, 9:00am.
Cost: $10 (optional to cover gas)
Reservations: 514-859-9023, sansfrontieres@resist.ca
Included below is the text for a flyer we will be distributing at the
demonstration.

Why are we here today?

Today, an armed vigilante group calling itself the Minutemen are
patrolling the border between Quebec and Vermont. Their goal is to stop
"illegal migrants" from crossing that border. We are here to say that
borders don't protect, they kill - and to send a message to the Minutemen
that they are not welcome!

Who are the Minutemen?

Historically - a militia organization which aided in the violent theft of
Indigenous lands and the genocide of the first peoples of what is now
known as the U.S.A. In its latest incarnation, the Minuteman project was
begun on April 1, 2005 under the pretext of regular U.S. citizens taking
charge of securing the border against “illegals”. On that day, Minuteman
founders James Gilcrist, Chris Simcox and 857 volunteers began a 30-day
patrol of a 23-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border near Tombstone.
About ½ of those volunteers were prior military and about 2/3 were armed
with handguns. Their goal? To set “not only an example for other Americans
to follow, but a precedent we hope will have a lasting effect on how
border security is viewed for generations to come.”

In groups of 4-8 and often armed, they patrol the border in order to
report on the movement of those crossing the border. They have also sent
out a national call to recruit informants on “illegal aliens”, their
employers and anyone engaged in what they call “identification fraud” -
promoting a true police state.

On October 1st, 2005, the Minutemen launched their official US-Canadian
border campaign, and are now trying to be active in the states of Maine,
Vermont, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington.

Borders don't Protect - They Kill

All around the world, borders set lines that people aren't supposed to
cross. Someitmes if they try, even out of desperation, the results can be
deadly. This can be evidenced in the recent events at the Spanish border
in Morocco, where five African refugees were shot dead as they tried to
cross in late September, 2005. At the US-Mexican border, untold numbers
have died from dehydration as they try to cross through the hot desert.
Even without the Minutemen, many people have lost their lives trying
desperately to cross the Canadian border. On September 7, 2005, Shkelqim
Harizi, a 24-year old Albanian refugee drowned to death while trying to
cross secretly into Windsor, Ontario. We say that no human being should
have to face the threat of death at a border - borders should be open to
all.

Why we Oppose Borders

In "Canada", there are litterally thousands upon thousands of people who's
lives are negatively affected by the border. Many of these people are our
friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, and our family members. We can
say that they are the social fabric of our society.

Borders only really exist for poor people. For foreign elites it is
relatively easy to migrate to Canada. For poor people, the country is off
limits.

For the rich, for corporations and for capital, borders don't exist. While
the rhetoric of freedom and liberty is thrown around regularly, we
actually take these things seriously. We are all subject to innumerable
controls in our daily lives, but hundreds of thousands of people in this
country have been stripped of the right to exist, their very being deemed
illegal.

Furthermore, immigration controls, like other forms of racism, create a
class of people who have less rights and are more precarious in the living
and working situations. Having such a class of people at hand only serves
to make all people more likely to have less rights, as well as to divide
people with the threat of putting them into such a class. Think Apartheid,
but this time poor whites and people of colour are pitted against poor
migrants so that everyone loses except corporations and a handful of folks
at the top.

Migrant people are subject to beatings, detention for years without trial
and deportation, often splitting and destroying families forever. While
the privileged amongst us cross through the turnstiles at the port of
entry fairly easily, thousands more aren't as lucky.

We take very seriously the belief that every human being is inherently
equal, valuable and deserving of rights. Borders, “citizenship” and
migration controls are a means of saying that one person is more valuable
and deserving of rights, and dignity than another person. And not only is
it a way of saying some people are more valuable, it is a way to justify
and give license to the cruel exploitation and gagging of millions of
people.

Those in power tell us that we need borders and "border security" for our
protection. This breeds a xenophobic fear of any outsider. Instead, we
should recognize that the real terror threat resides within our borders
already - the politicians and corporations who profit from racist
exclusion!

Borders and Indigenous People

We cannot forget that this border these minutemen are trying to protect is
itself a colonial weapon. Close to Tiohtia:ke (Montreal), the 49th
parallel slices through the sovereign nation of Kanien:keh (the Mohawk
Nation). For nearly three hundred years, this border has divided Native
people into "American" and "Canadian", and has sought to deny the unity of
Kanien'kehaka (Mohawks) on either side of the border in an admitted plan
of assimilation and annihilation. The community of Akwesasne (near
Cornwall, Ontario) itself is split in two, forcing many residents to
travel back and forth through border checks in the course of a day.
Akwesasne's sensitive position as a crack in the border has caused it to
become one of the most heavily policed communities in both the USA and
Canada, with police, the army and secret services from New York state,
Quebec, and Ontario stationed nearby. Akwesasne is but one example, for
all along both borders of the U.S. are Indigenous nations that have been
attacked by colonial armies, and all territories are now under patrol by
the shortsighted minutemen.

Who are we?

We are individuals and activists working with groups in Montreal such as
Solidarity Across Borders, the North-Eastern Federation of
Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC), the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC), Block
the Empire, and the Indigenous People's Solidarity Movement. As
immigrants, anarchists, and community activists, we are struggling for a
world free of oppression - without borders and those who guard them.

If you want more info, stay in touch!


514-859-9023 (Solidarity Across Borders)
sansfrontieres@resist.ca

www.solidarityacrossborders.org
www.nefac.net
www.clac.taktic.org
www.ipsm.nativeweb.org

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