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(en) US, Anarchist Action-San Francisco & BACFM return from Shutdown of Minutemen & No Borders March

Date Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:02:03 +0300

Communique & Reportback on the Sep. 16-18 actions to Shutdown the Minutemen--
Confrontation with and disruption of the Minutemen/No Borders March
Released by the organizers of the actions’ Bay Area contingent:
Anarchist Action-San Francisco
Bay Area Coalition to Fight the Minutemen
The Minutemen faction FBP canceled their patrol because of direct action and opposition.
The Minutemen Project is a grouping of various armed
anti-immigrant, white supremacist, and nationalist vigilante factions
that sprung up recently in Arizona, and two months ago were invited
to California by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their stated aim is to patrol
the U.S./Mexico border and stop “illegal” migrants and
“terrorists” from crossing the border into the U.S, and they
have extensive ties to neo-Nazi and “Aryan” power groups.
They have been actively patrolling the border with guns, threatening,
detaining, harassing, and trampling the human rights of migrants
attempting to cross. Already they have murdered two migrant workers
in cold blood.

One such faction, The Friends of the Border Patrol, announced earl
this Summer that they would monitor the stretches between San
Diego's Border Field Park and Calexico starting September 16, the
same date as Mexican Independence day. When they showed up on
the weekend of Sep. 16-18, they were met by hundreds of direct action
protestors confronting them, marching against borders, and disrupting
their operations. The FBP leadership announced that they were forced
to stop their patrols, at least for the week, if not for good. The actions
were organized by a wide array of groups, organizations, and coalitions
(about thirty) fighting for immigrant freedom in Calexico, Mexicali,
San Diego, San Francisco and the South Bay, Los Angeles,
Bakersfield, Fresno, and other places. These included: Genta Unida,
O.r.g.a.n.i.c. Collective, La Tierra es de Todos, The o.r.g.a.n.i.c.
Collective, Anarchist Action, Bay Area Coalition to Fight the
Minutemen, Blast Furnace Radio, Pittsburgh, PA, ABC Melbourne
Australia. Anti-Racist Action LA, San Diego Renters Union,
Peninsula Anarchist, Collective, San Diego Indymedia, El Laboratorio
de Integracion Plastica "La Gargola", Mexico City, Anarchists in
Mexicali, Mecha from Bakersfield, and others.

In San Diego, The Friends of the Border Patrol’s training session
was shut down early in the morning of September 17, by a group of
around 50 protestors yelling “No Borders, No Racists, No Classes,
No Nations”. The FBP members were primarily middle-class,
white, and male. The protesters blocked off the entrance to the
Scottish Rites Center for a period of time, where the FBP training
session was located and destroyed the FBP’s registration table and
flag. Anti-racist protestors got up in the FBP’s faces, shouting and
screaming. Physical clashes broke out between the fascists and the
anti-racist protestors after a few of the vigilantes began to physically
attack the protesters, including one who tackled and jumped a
protestor. Then the police—an even more nefarious group of armed
racists—arrived and tried to control the confrontational crowd,
which was hard to remove from the building. Once they got the
protestors into the parking lot, they immediately began assisting the
vigilantes by handcuffing two organizers pointed out by the FBP. Both
detainees where held for similar reasons, but the white detainee was
released after only giving his name, while the Latino detained was
cited with a misdemeanor charge. No member of the FBP received
any reprimands. Protestors remained outside the building for quite a
while chanting, yelling at police and minutemen, and dropping
anti-border, anti-capitalist banners from highway overpasses.

A mass working-class No Borders and No Minutemen march took
place later that day, on both sides of the illegitimate U.S./Mexico
border, in Calexico and Mexicali. Around 600 protestors were present
on both sides. Although there was a large presence from out of town,
the majority of the participants were working-class residents of
Calexico and Mexicali. There was a strong revolutionary and anarchist
presence, especially on the Mexico side of the march. The two
portions of the march met up at the downtown border fence, which
separates Calexico and Mexicali. A revolutionary fervor was present in
the atmosphere as huindreds of protestors on both sides swarmed the
border fence, chanting No Capitalism, No Borders in Spanish. Some
protestors were attacking the border fence with poles, rocks, and
bricks, and started scaling the fence, waving Anarchist and
Communist flags. The Calexico marchers reconvened at a park to
celebrate and listen to speakers from a variety of local and regional
organizations. Towards the end, three undercover cops appeared out
of the crowd and arrested a protester on false graffiti charges. While
the individual was being detained, about a hundred protesters staged a
stand off with about 20 cops and a few INS guards; other protestors
negotiated with the police for his release. The police were eventually
pressured to let the detainee go.

On that same night, numerous anti-vigilante affinity groups went out
to the desert, about 20 miles out of Calexico, seeking to disrupt the
racist vigilantes’ patrol. To the anti-racists’ surprise, there
were almost none to be found because they were scared off due to the
earlier actions of the day. At the only confrontation that occurred, two
FBP individuals and four anti-racists had a stand off. The protesters
remained even after one of the vigilantes repeatedly fired shots at the
sky and repacked his rifle, and then aimed it at the chest of a young
Latina woman. Moments after this incident, the vigilantes left the
scene when informed that other activists were on their way.

The FBP patrol was quickly called off by their leader, Andy Ramirez,
due to the direct action resistance of anti-racist and anti-border
protestors. “I can’t send them out if somebody is going to try
to harm them,' Ramirez told the Los Angeles Times. He also
wasn’t sure if they were even going to attempt to regroup for a
patrol next week. (United Press International).

The following morning, a large vigil ceremony was held at the
Calexico/ Mexicali border fence in honor of all who have died in
attempts to cross the line. Then anarchists from north of the
illegitimate border crossed into Mexico to meet with Anarchist groups
from Mexicali. They discussed future activities, and cemented
cross-border relationships. As nightfall occurred, anti-vigilante affinity
groups continued anti-minutemen patrols just to make sure all the
FBP really were gone, which they were. However, one car witnessed
the Border Patrol itself in action, at a rural transfer point where
migrant workers were rounded up en masse, to be sent back to

The various groupings that make up the Minutemen Project are acting
with the tacit approval of the U.S. government because they are
fighting for the interests of the bosses and corporations that control it.
When the Sep. 11 attacks occurred, the capitalist government utilized
the media as state-sponsored propaganda to spread a new, even more
militaristic racist nationalism. This racist nationalism functioned as a
direct attack on Middle Easterners, South Asians, and Muslims, who
suffered thousands of hate crimes, including violent ones, and
thousands of illegal detentions in the immediate wake of the attacks.
Now as then, the policies and actions of the government have worked
hand in hand with those of racist vigilantes in denying the human
rights of immigrants and working-class people of color. While the
Minutemen have been patrolling the border, all sorts of racist and
nationalist laws have been pushed through Congress, including those
outlawing bilingual education and the providing of health care services
and civil rights for undocumented workers. At the same time that the
state of California invited the Minutemen, they’ve been
prohibiting undocumented workers from receiving driver’s
licenses. When the radical protestors swarmed the FBP in San Diego,
the cops defended the Minutemen as did the Border Patrol, who
detained protestors at the border, and not Minutemen.

No one is illegal. Immigration is not a problem—we stand for the
unrestricted, free movement of all human beings. The problem is our
racist capitalist social and economic system and an ever-expanding,
blood-thirsty, and greedy global Empire, which the Minutemen are
fighting to uphold. The U.S./Mexico border was built off the genocide
of Indigenous people and the theft of their land. The United
States’ imposition of neo-liberal economic policies, such as
NAFTA, and bloody imperialism on Latin America (e.g. the murder of
hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Central America during
the 80’s via death squads) have created a cycle of perpetual
poverty and desperation there, which many are trying to escape from.
To punish working and poor people who are migrating to feed their
families is simply inhumane.

We are opposed to all borders as they are artificial barriers created by
corporations and politicians to divide working and poor people from
each other. Borders facilitate the exploitation of people on the "wrong
side" of the line, and box in special privileges for those on the "right
side" of the line. Thousands of poor and working migrants have
already died crossing this illegitimate border. The increased
militarization of borders by power-hungry and violent imperialists,
corporations, and politicians is also a great concern for well-being of
the global population. We seek to tear down all borders and create a
world free from poverty, racism, and capitalism.

The bosses and politicians—the haves—the super-wealthy elites
who control society, do not want the working class—the
have-nots—to organize around and for their common class interest.
Nationalism is a time-tested way that the haves divide, create
hierarchies within, and control the have-nots. The Minutemen
attempt to polarize society around racial and national lines and fight
for the government and capitalism. That must be counteracted by a
popular movement, rooted in the have-nots and those most directly
affected, to take back control of their lives, their communities, and
their workplaces from the haves, and tear down the whole
system—by any means necessary.

Photos of the disruption and the march:

More Coverage & Photos of the No Fronteras March:

Radio Interviews of anti-racist protestors at the Minutemen training

Video of the morning disruption and confrontation:


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