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Commentary :: Politics
Minutemen are Amerikkka: leader of popular Minutemen draws comparisons between anti-Minutemen protesters and Toledo anti-nazi protesters
25 Oct 2005
MIM Notes mentioned before summer that the anti-migrant vigilantes known as the "Minutemen" had majority support in at least some States, such as Arizona. Those who objected to the Minutemen often disagreed with just their tactics and preferred a trained security force. Since then, different politicians have proposed deputizing these wanna-be pigs and others and even introduced legislation to do so, exposing the fine line between the fascists and some of their so-called critics. The fact that the vigilantes aren't government-trained (except those who are former soldiers or police officers) has led some people to criticize the Minutemen armed vigilantes, but resistance to the Minutemen and what they stand for cannot be limited to just driving the most brazen fascist activists underground. White supremacy in all its manifestations must be resolutely opposed.
The mass popularity of the Minutemen with Amerikans, particularly Euro-Amerikans (Arizona does not have a much higher proportion of whites than the United $tates as a whole but still supported the Minutemen in a majority in April) is something that only MIM Notes and a handful of others have brought attention to out of all the news sources calling themselves progressive or socialist in imperialist countries. Under the cover of unity with the majority of Euro-Amerikans (actually small-time exploiters benefiting from the exploitation of oppressed-nation workers), activists in the enemy camp have busied themselves undercutting nationalist movements and effective resistance to imperialist domination by whitewashing the Euro-Amerikan working class' role in imperialist exploitation and repression. The typical refrain is that only a handful of capitalists and misguided allies are behind the popularity of the Minutemen, and that no national liberation for indigenous and Latin American nations to gain self-determination is needed.

Now, according Leslie Berestein of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Minutemen may be trying to buy property in California to use for their operations. "Real estate agents who work in the Campo area have received inquiries from people identifying themselves as part of a patrol group, or calling on behalf of one, looking to buy or rent property. And one prospective benefactress is considering buying a property where border watchers could stay and train in exchange for maintenance."(1) Perhaps the Minutemen sense their strength and the increasing pervasiveness of anti-migrant reaction.

Well-financed reactionary organizations are not without precedent. What's interesting is how quickly the Minutemen have flourished since little more than half a year ago. The Minutemen, now comprised of different vigilante organizations, have spread geographically, grown in numbers in their existing locations, and diversified their operations -- despite their inane personal conflicts and cosmetic differences. For example, the Associated Press reported recently that a Minutemen-inspired group in Virginia plans to report not only those who hire day laborers, but also the workers themselves, to authorities.(2) The original "Minuteman" vigilante leaders have long been interested in "interior enforcement." The fascists and virulent white nationalists have no coherent position. On the one hand, with their mantra about border security, they have milked post-9/11 fears about terrorist threats. On the other hand, they claim that it is jobs (rather than an envious or jealous desire to commit terrorist acts in the United $tates) that drive people to cross the border illegally. While the Minutemen are associated with border patrols, they are just one brand name for a vicious and far-reaching fascist movement that aims to intensify the repression of Third World migrant workers, whether they are already inside the United $tates or crossing the border -- or traveling in the hazardous desert or mountains due to murderous barriers on the border. Also pandering to fears about terrorists and cultural "balkanization," imperialist countries in Europe are stepping up mass deportations; migrants are already dying in the Saharan desert, and some have been shot trying to cross borders.

News networks from CNN to Fox have given heavy support to the United $tates-based Minutemen. Lou Dobbs' praise for the Minutemen is well-known. However, Minutemen Civil Defense Corps leader Chris Simcox has recently been working with Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" to reach out to more Republikans. Simcox and other Minuteman leaders have in the past made strongly critical remarks about Bu$h for his perceived immigration and enforcement policy, but on Monday, Chris Simcox criticized anti-Minutemen protesters in Chicago for being "anti-Bush, antiwar." Some Republikans are reluctant to support the Minutemen because of the Minutemen's sometimes wrathful denunciations of Bu$h's handling of border and immigration policy. Simcox sought to ease remaining Republikan hesitation to back border vigilantes.

Simcox on "Hannity & Colmes" Monday made a comment that was very revealing. He lumped anti-Minutemen protesters (whom he calls "domestic terrorists") with the activists and residents in Toledo, Ohio, who righteously protested a planned neo-Nazi march in a Black neighborhood:

"Well, it's very similar to what you saw in Toledo, Ohio. We had the same police presence at a rally in Chicago on the same day, where it took 150 riot police, heavily armed, to keep back a mob of communist, socialist, anti-American protestors, who ended up being an anti-Bush, antiwar rally. And the police had to bring in riot police to stop people from, you know, rioting over -- over a simple issue, such as securing our borders in the name of public safety."(3)
Sean Hannity did his best to portray the Minutemen as humanitarians giving water or medical assistance to migrants while securing the border, but Chris Simcox seemed to see similarities between the Minutemen and the brazen fascists making up the National Socialist Movement. Answering Alan Colmes, Simcox said that the cities in Texas that have passed resolutions expressing disapproval of the Minutemen are violating the Minutemen's "constitutional rights and civil rights." Simcox suggested that elected leaders who so much as disapprove of the Minutemen should be "removed from office." It's not enough that the Euro-Amerikan nation gives settlers the legal right to hold fascist demonstrations in oppressed-nation neighborhoods (while denying free speech rights to prisoners and others interested in political education and organizing), the fascist activists intimidate anyone who opposes them, one of their tactics being the brandishing of weapons. Even legal observers observing the Minutemen have been exposed to the Minutemen's tactics.(4)

Despite an onslaught of mainstream media coverage of Minuteman events and the ability of most Amerikans to obtain information from independent media about Minutemen's often crude and blatant racism, a Rasmussen Reports telephone poll of 1,000 adult Amerikans conducted on September 20-21, a little bit more than a month ago, shows that a majority of Amerikans had a favorable view of the "Minutemen."(5) Only 22% had an unfavorable view (and "unfavorable" could mean a number of different things). Those who had a favorable view of the Minutemen were disproportionately Euro-Amerikan.

"Sixty percent (60%) of white Americans [the Rasmussen Reports release does not specify whether Latinos were counted as "whites" or not, which they are in some unscientific enumerations] have a favorable opinion of the Minutemen along with 35% of other Americans.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of white Americans say immigration is an important voting issue for them. Sixty percent (60%) of other Americans agree."(5)
In addition, majorities of Demokrats and Republikans, and 42% of what Rasmussen Reports calls "unaffiliateds," had a favorable view of the Minutemen. Even higher proportions of Amerikans thought that the "immigration issue" was important in terms of impacting their vote.

So, the situation for migrant workers is very bad. The Minutemen are mainstream, and they are household name. What is on the surface a "debate" about "immigration reform" has the potential to reinforce the status quo of repression against migrants and produce results that are even more reactionary. The Minutemen since their beginning have been seen as legitimate by many Amerikans, pushing the reactionary discourse further rightward. Optimistically, we can note that as the Minutemen have increased in popularity, so has the number of anti-Minutemen protesters. Minutemen and Minutemen-inspired and -allied groups have been met with various kinds of opposition throughout the country. Resistance to the Minutemen urgently needs to increase in scope and beat back the larger anti-migrant fascist reaction. The proletariat does not need border vigilantes to be replaced with more Migra agents. This oppressive mentality of pandering to the repressive prerogatives of government-sanctioned pigs needs to be rejected. The debate needs to be dramatically reframed. And the complicity of the Amerikan labor aristocracy, which clamours to keep its imperialist-country privileges, in the situation facing migrants must be exposed or else fascism will continually reer its head with greater and greater intensity.


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

Notes

1. Leslie Berestein, "Border watch group could rent or buy Campo home," 21 October 2005, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/20051021-9999-7m21prop

2. "Virginia 'Minuteman' effort to focus on illegal immigrants," Associated Press State & Local Wire, 22 October 2005.

3. Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, "Minuteman Lawyer Answers Critics," "FOX HANNITY & CO 9:51 PM EST," 17 October 2005, 101706cb.253.

4. Leslie Berestein, "Border observers to carry GPS units for their safety," 19 October 2005, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/20051019-9999-2m19gps.

5. "Most Say Volunteer Patrols Reduce Illegal Immigration," 22 September 2005, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Immigration_Sept%2022.htm

6. "Far right says immigration makes Spaniards outsiders," 23 October 2005, http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=
See also:
http://mimnotes.info/

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MINUTEMEN ARE MAKING SURE COCAINE GETS THROUGH!
26 Oct 2005
they are using all this hooplah to run coke kids...any of the minutemen who are ignorant of this are just the patsies for the operation.....fyi9

start whatching you will see, you can even take pix!