A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) US, Modesto, D.A.A.A. Collective Report back from SOS Counter-Protest

Date Fri, 30 Jun 2006 08:11:00 +0300


Videos and pictures at: www.modanarcho.tk, www.aztlanrising.com
In late May of 2006, organizers with the Modesto California based
Direct Action Anti-Authoritarians (DAAA) Collective, teamed up with
Aztlan Rising, (also of Modesto), to organize against Save Our
State, an anti-immigration group trying to get a foot hold in this
area. Aztlan Rising is a group that had just helped to organize the
massive May Day demonstrations in Modesto, in which over 10,000 took
part. After initial meetings and long nights of flyer designing
work, several outreach texts were made in Spanish and in English (1)
, and we got to work getting them out to the community.

Soon Save Our State got wind of this new development, and we also
got wind that white nationalist members of the online Stormfront
community would be attending (2) the rally in support of Save Our
State. Save Our State members/supporters also made a barrage of
racist and stupid comments on their online forums, some of them
equating all Chicanos and Mexicanos with being gang members, and
also stating that all parents who had allowed their children to skip
out of school on May 1st were genetically stupid (3) , among other
things. Save Our State Modesto leader Proudnation issued a statement
(4) over the Modesto Bee forums asking that people attending the
rally not to [use] any form of hate speech, any race-baiting, or
display any sign that can be perceived as such, while not explicitly
telling white nationalist groups to stay away from the event.
Several days before the event, Proudnation posted up on the SOS
forums that the police were concerned about neo-Nazi activity at the
protest (5) , and Proudnation asked those attending the rally to
call him to get the info. What was probably discussed in these
conversations with SOS supporters and Proudnation, was actually
getting people out to the protest spot before the opposition was to
get there, which was an hour before the SOS rally was supposed to begin.

Sure enough, Save Our State showed up at their protest spot at 10AM,
a full two hours before they said they were going to be there, and a
full hour before we got there. Among the early birds was Zoe, the
poster on Stormfront.org, who posted that she was organizing other
white nationalists to come out to support the Save Our State rally
(6) . Proudnation was aware of Zoes email address at this time, and
it is very likely that she had some contact with Proudnation before,
and knew along with the other members out at 10 AM to come out
early. It appears fascists are welcomed with open arms as long as
they are not visibly fascist. SOS supporters at the rally even
admitted to knowing she was there, and who she was with. One SOS
supporter wrote on a forum, Zoe. I spoke to her too. We all know
that you cannot control who shows up at a rally and we also know
that there are some participants who do NOT reflect the opinions of
the rest of a group. (7) Another person at the rally stated on
camera that he was a neo-Nazi, and had a t-shirt with logos of white
power bands (8) , this can be seen in a video produced by Aztlan
Rising. It is important to point out once again that neo-Nazi
organizers are quick to jump on the bandwagon of SOSs politics,
because they see it as a prime recruiting ground for participants
within their movement (9) . When protestors chanted, SOS what do you
say, how many Nazis are here today?, the question was for real.
Counter protests tried to talk to several SOS supporters and tell
them that they were being supported by white power groups, they
brushed these accusations aside as lies. Whatever their excuses, the
reality was that the racist right probably had its best Modesto
event in years, all thanks to Save Our State.

Things were now getting heated, as both sides not occupied the same
corner, and both groups having about 40 people on each side (10) .
Chants of What is the Enemy?: White Supremacy!, were heard. Some
people had civil discussions, but most turned into heated shouting
matches. This actually worked in our favor, because we had lots of
flyers, and as people passed by in their cars and looked at the
strange commotion going on, we passed out information into the hands
of those interested. The arguments of the Save Our State people was
the standard fare. They are taking our jobs, they are a burden on
the tax payer, and that their culture is polluting ours, etc.
Immigrants have always been a huge part of the American economy,
because the American economy has always been based largely on the
exploitation of cheap immigrant labor; whether it has been Irish,
Chinese, African American, or Mexican immigrants. Immigrants
contribute millions of dollars into the tax system, and often cant
get back the benefits they pay into. Despite the millions that they
pay into, according to a study by Chapman University:

undocumented immigrants are barred from almost all government
benefits, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families, Medicaid, federal housing programs, Supplemental Security
Income, Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and the
earned income tax credit (EITC). Generally, the only benefits
federally required for undocumented immigrants are emergency medical
care(11)

Save Our State supporters also are largely blind to the fact that
illegal immigration has dramatically increased since the passing of
NAFTA. This largely has been caused by NAFTA prohibiting agriculture
subsidies towards the Mexican agricultural market. While US farmers
continue to get large subsidies, many Mexican businesses go under,
and workers are forced to illegally go across the border to search
for agricultural work (12) . Capital and jobs flow from one labor
market to another, putting out of work thousands, while workers are
stuck in those labor markets, trapped behind borders. The logic
towards illegally crossing then becomes clear. Some SOSers do admit
that corporations, and free trade is somewhat to blame, yet they see
the main problem created by it as illegal immigration. Instead of
concentrating their energy at opposing the system that forces people
to come here to support their families, (something that Save Our
State leader Joe Turner in an interview said he would do in their
place (13) ), Save Our State focuses on opposing those most impacted
by the realities of capitalist globalization. What is interesting is
that they constantly talk of the state as putting a band aid on the
problem of illegal immigration, yet fail to address the reasons
which are causing forced immigration in the first place. Their
solution of a hugely militarized border, (which would largely only
result in more deaths of border crossers), holds the same logic that
harsher drug laws will somehow win the war on drugs. More force and
institutional violence wont end social and economic realities, they
will only make them worse.

Yet it is the xenophobia, and nativism which seems to be the major
reason for many SOSers for getting involved with anti-immigration
activism. The belief that outside cultures are destroying and
polluting ours, (which begs the question that if its our culture,
how can people tell us what it has to be?). This is the reason that
groups like Save Our State are such a breeding ground for white
nationalist groups, because while many SOSers claim that they are
not racist, they are simply masking their hatred and racism towards
other cultures and people behind a veil of being against illegals.

Towards the end of the protest, Save Our State pulled out its secret
weapon, an anti-immigrant protestor from Fremont, James Glenn.
Starting almost at his arrival, Glenn tried to provoke the people in
the crowd with insults and cursing. As he was quoted in the Modesto
Bee several times saying, "You're illegal. Your mama's illegal; your
daddy is illegal. Go home!" Glenn yelled at the
counter-demonstrators. "You're a queer; your mama's a queer; your
daddy's a queer. We all know where you live. Send them home."
Several Save Our State protestors tried to state that Glenn was not
speaking for them, and one person stated that they left after Glenn
started making homophobic statements (14) . The same person also
suggested that he was getting in peoples faces because he wanted to
get into a physical altercation with counter-protestors (15) .
Proudnation, leader of the protest, understood to a degree that the
article showed them in a bad light. WE do not need this sort of
coverage (16) , he wrote on the Save Our State forums. Although it
was set till 3pm, the SOSers packed it up around 2pm, and headed
out. A reporter passing us while we were sitting in the shade
drinking water said in a joking mode, Well, looks like you won.

It is unclear what Save Our States next move in Modesto will be.
Proudnation so far has been quiet in regards to the white
nationalists showing up in support of the protest, and as of yet
there are no plans made for another protest in Modesto. One activist
based out of the nearby town of Turlock is trying to get another
rally going , so solidarity between opponents of these xenophobes is
still needed.

See you in the streets.

--------------------

Footnotes:

1 Copies of these flyers can be found on either aztlanrising.com or
modanarcho.tk.

2 http://forums.modbee.com/viewtopic.php?t=8357

3 http://forums.modbee.com/viewtopic.php?t=8372

4 http://forums.modbee.com/viewtopic.php?t=8369

5 http://www.saveourstate.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=13215

6 http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=301800

7 http://forums.modbee.com/viewtopic.php?t=8400

8 http://www.aztlanrising.com/cms/content/view/870/105/

9 http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?aid=16

10 Number totals based on Modesto Bee article.

11 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=881584

12
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/10/15/MN29399.DTL

13 http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/05/159649_comment.php..160111

14 http://forums.modbee.com/viewtopic.php?t=8400&start=0

15
http://forums.modbee.com/viewtopic.php?t=8400&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

16 http://www.saveourstate.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=13543

17 http://www.saveourstate.org/forums/index.php?showforum=63

DAAA Collective
www.modanarcho.tk
modanarcho@yahoo.com
1 (886) 457 4230 www.myspace.com/modanarcho
_______________________________________________
A-infos-en mailing list
A-infos-en@ainfos.ca
http://ainfos.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/a-infos-en


A-Infos Information Center