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Minutemen Countered in Fallbrook

by Mexicanos Unidos Wednesday, Jun. 08, 2005 at 3:05 AM

Fallbrook, Near San Diego Counters Minutement Protest in inspiring action.

Minutemen in Fallbrook

Fallbrook is a small town of about 50,000 people in

the outskirts of San Diego's North County, east of

Oceanside and south of Temecula, and which is not

usually thought of as a place for making a political

statement. But for some reason, approximately

forty-five Minutemen supporters and sympathizers made

an appearance on Fallbrook's Main Street on Saturday

morning. They came to take a stance against

businesses and banks, which accept the "matricula

consular" as a valid form of identification. They are

making the claim that the banks' acceptance of the

Mexican identification card allow for criminals and

terrorists to open accounts, and allow for illegal

immigrants to blend into mainstream society. Their

demonstration began at 8:00 in the morning and they

were well protected by a virtual army of police and

sheriffs, including a police helicopter which was

patrolling the town.

The Mexican Community Responds

Word of the event soon got around. There were reports

of people beginning to show their disapproval of the

presence of the anti-illegal alien protestors. People

began to drive by their protest site with Mexican

flags flying out the window, showing their disapproval

with various hand gestures and shouting at them to "go

home". This was a very strong point to argue since

according to the North County Times, most of the

Minutemen supporters were not from Fallbrook. Some of

the people protesting were the same old retired people

who went to protest the art monument in Baldwin Park.

By 11:30 a.m., four MUDP organizers arrived on the

opposite side of the street from where the Minutemen

supporters were standing holding only a banner and a

couple of Mexican flags with them. Within a

half-an-hour, the group was about 20-30 strong and

growing, and within the half hour, almost all of the

Minutemen supporters had disappeared. Apparently,

they had anticipated a strong counter-protest as was

evident with such a strong police presence, and they

still have not recovered from their defeat in Baldwin


After gathering briefly to give some organization to

the protest, the anti-Minutemen protestors marched

down Main Street to show the community that they were

not going to just stand by and watch these people

openly attack the Mexican community. As the march

progressed, many others joined the march and the

support was heard from the many cars passing by and

honking. Some businesses offered their support as

well. The local 99 Cent store gave out Mexican flags

and the owner of El Toro Market gave everyone bottles

of water and sodas. The owners of Puerto Nuevo

Mexican Restaurant offered to assist in organizing

future events. Ultimately 60-70 people joined the


A Political and Uplifting Victory

The march ended in the very same location where the

Minutemen supporters held their demonstration earlier

that day, which gave a semblance of a victory. And it

was a victory for our community. On a minute's

notice, the Mexican community came out in larger

numbers to protest these advocates against human

rights. This being in a town that was once a

stronghold for white supremacy. The protest lifted

the spirits of struggle and dignity of the community

since people were looking for a way to participate in

an organized and peaceful manner. In fact, the

community demonstrated this in a real way when a car

full of young Mexicanas who participated in the event,

was pulled over by the local sheriffs for honking her

horn in a show of enthusiasm for the days events.

Immediately a crowd gathered around to denounce the

cowardly and racist behavior of the police and to

observe the situation. In a show of dignity and

principle, the young teenager refused to sign the

officer's citation as a way of saying that she did not

recognize the officer's authority and his judgment of

justice. Even after having been handcuffed, she told

the officer not to touch her. At that moment, an MUDP

member was able to get a lawyer on the phone to give

the young Mexicana legal advice on the matter. She

will make the attempt to fight the citation in court.

Who Are The Minutemen?

As much as these vigilantes attempt to give an

appearance of simply being persons who want to uphold

the law, they have not been very successful at

containing their racist, violent, and colonialist

intentions behind their movement. Their demonstration

in Baldwin Park in protest of a slogan on an art piece

lifted the mask off their movement and exposed their

racist side since they were openly protesting against

the Mexican and Indian communities' freedom of speech,

their history and their culture. Baldwin Park was not

about illegal immigration. Also, Minutemen supporters

are childishly making racist and threatening phone

calls to their opponents, as was the case with our

organization just this past week. On Wednesday June

1st, an unknown person left a message on our answering

machine and gave us a warning about their coming to

San Diego. The message stated, "I'm calling for all

the stupid spics out there, can't wait 'til we come to

San Diego baby".

The incident in Orange County in which a Minuteman

supporter viciously hit a few protestors with his car

and was later released without charges, exposed the

violent nature of these vigilantes, and furthermore,

exposed the state's complicity and support of this

movement. The media also sided with the vigilantes in

only reporting the driver's side of the story, and

again the media in San Diego sided with the vigilantes

by not even mentioning the fact that there was a

larger counter-protest in Fallbrook (see the NC Times,

June 5th article by Teri Figueroa).

How Should We Deal With Them?

Even though these vigilantes have proven to be racist

and cowardly, the fact of the matter is that there is

more to the Minutemen than just a few retired people

with nothing better to do. Aside from having support

from the state, the media, and even white nationalist

groups, they are linked to a movement lead in part by

Glenn Spencer that has been organizing for years and

have chosen this time to launch an offensive. This

must all be taken into account when anyone or group

attempts to organize against the Minutemen.

The fact of the matter is, our movement is weak,

fragmented and still hasn't recovered from the defeat

of the movements in the seventies. Baldwin Park was a

victory but it was a water bottle away from ending in

a demonstration that would have been brutally

repressed by the army of police protecting the

Minutemen, and would have demoralized the growing

movement against the vigilantes. It must be

understood that protests against the Minutemen must be

peaceful in order to build a movement that will allow

for much more men, women and children to participate.

There is a tendency from groups that call themselves

socialists, anarchists and communists to attend these

types of demonstrations and provoke a confrontation

with the police that results in the police attacking

the people. Somehow they think that is they way to

deal with injustice. And as a matter of fact, from

the video footage we recorded, we saw that there were

agent provocateurs such as Frank "Mohammed" Martinez

(see Brian Glick's War at Home) who were present at

Baldwin Park and were engaging in undisciplined

actions such as crossing the police line, which would

have ended in declaring the protest an unlawful

gathering. These types of people are experts in

urging protestors to engage in adventurist, unlawful

acts, and creating situations in which the police will

have reason to repress the demonstrations.

Our Anti-Minutemen movement is growing and the masses

of the people are looking for an organized and

peaceful way to confront them. We as organizers must

provide them that means and we must begin to take the

offensive by denouncing the Minutemen on our own

terms. In other words, it is movement-building time,

and we must not fall in the same traps of what has

defeated movements in the past, which has been

unorganized and undisciplined action which does not

take into account the participation of men, women and

children. We don't need heroes, we need a movement

and that requires organizers.

And the Minutemen seem like they are going to be

around for a while, so we must also have a long-term

view of our struggle.

Finally, the Minutemen, even though the position they

are taking is unjust, our not our most dangerous

enemies. We had bigger problems before they stepped

on the scene, and we will still have bigger problems

once they leave the scene. One of these problems that

should serve to unite us all across colonial borders

is the effect of US trade policies, which is being

rejected all across Latin America and which serves to

force our people into a life of misery and ultimately

migration to other cities and countries. So called

immigrants (and most are indigenous people to this

continent) should qualify for some type of political

asylum since their migration is a result of a failing

economic and political system being forced upon them

from abroad. And why shouldn't they have the right to

follow and retrieve the same resources that they are

producing and being exploited for?

Yet the racist, colonialist position of the Minutemen

is having an effect on our people that is awakening

them to political life in a way that has not been done

in years. Our community is looking for a means to

express their opposition to this and many other

injustices and we must provide them that means. Yes,

we must struggle against the Minutemen today, but we

must also prepare to struggle against neo-liberalism

and colonialism tomorrow as well.

Mexicanos Unidos en Defensa del Pueblo

202 W. Ammunition #38

Fallbrook, CA. 92028

(760) 451-1754

¡La lucha sigue!

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