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Report from Campo - Anti-MM Action (7/23)

by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

Approximately 60 activists from around the region converged on the border area south of Campo, CA to peacefully make the point that the Minutemen are not welcome in California.

Report from Campo - ...
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Approximately 60 activists from around the region converged on the border area south of Campo, CA to peacefully make the point that the Minutemen are not welcome in California and that racist, armed vigilantes aren’t the solution to the problem of anti-worker, anti-human political and social climate that capitalist globalization presents. Unity among working people is the solution, not the fascist rhetoric and actions that the Minutemen offer.

The anti-Minuteman camp is set in a beautiful region of chaparral about 100 yards from the border. The Minuteman camp is located about 1 mile east of that location.

The man-made border consists of rusted, corrugated metal and steel piping and is accompanied by an access road that runs right next to the border fence. There are several areas where the fence is incomplete and where there are gaps in the fence. I was able to find two such gaps during a 15-minute walk.

Activists arrived throughout the evening and at about 8PM there were about 60 of us. There were also several members of the print and TV media present.

At 9PM on Saturday a vigil was held to honor those who have lost their lives while crossing the border.

Following the vigil we piled into vehicles and headed east along the border road to hold the same vigil up at the Minutemen camp, which is located about 1 mile east of the activists camp.

When we arrived at the Minutemen camp, instead of being confronted by vigilantes armed with guns, we were confronted by a bunch of men in their 30s, 40s, and 50’s holding flashlights and video cameras. They just stood there behind a small fence in silence as the protesters had their vigil.

On Minutemen did speak though. While the coordinator of the vigil was reading a story about a man who had died crossing the border, the Minutemen decried, “What about my friend who was killed lat week by an illegal alien?” To which the coordinator replied, “if you’re talking about aliens call NASA, but we’re talking about human beings here.” We proceeded with a moment of silence to honor the 3500 that have died crossing the border wall.

When the organized vigil was complete the interactions with the Minutemen began. Some people crossed over to their side of the fence and attempted to engage the Minutemen in a dialogue. For the most part, the Minutemen returned the effort with blank stares, as they seemed to be operating under some sort of a gag order.

James Gilchrist was present though and he was more than vocal, claiming that the protesters had exposed themselves as “racists”. He provided no explanation however.

A humorous moment came when James Chase, the founder of this particular group of Minutemen put on a pair of full-sized headphones, presumably to make the point that the protestors were making a lot of noise.

Chase provided another interesting moment when he got in his car and left the protest area.

Two San Diego County Sheriffs arrived to keep the peace but there were no arrests.

At 10PM we left. We all headed back to our cars and returned to camp.

At approximately 11:45PM three carloads of Minutemen came to our camp. They were led by Chase himself, although he was in a different truck than the one he drove away from the protest site. He led the Minuteman caravan very slowly right past our camp in an attempt to draw some of us out for a confrontation. It worked. About 25 people walked out into the road and Chase got out of his truck with a rifle. The protestors yelled things like “cowards”, “racists”, “what the hell do you think you’re doing” and “get out of here with your guns you racist vigilantes”.

He didn’t point it at anybody but walked next to the caravan as it proceeded north, while someone else drove the fill-sized red pickup truck. One Minuteman was urging someone in the crowd to touch him. Presumably operating from the notion that if he was touched he could proceed to use his gun. All of the Minutemen that got out of their cars armed with either rifles or handguns, some in holsters. They reminded me of the secret service escorting George Bush down the street during his inauguration day parade.

Nobody was intimidated by the antics of the Minutemen, as it was obvious that they were doing them just for the sake of show and in a vain attempt to create a violent confrontation, which is apparently what they really live for. They didn’t need to drive past our camp and from that point on they exited and entered the area by way of an access road about 15 feet north, effectively averting passing directly in front of our camp.

At about 12:30AM, the Buenos Noches Brigade returned to the Minutemen camp for some more peaceful protest. Armed with poetry, music, dancing and chanting the BNB effectively drove the Minutemen to frustration. The BNB returned to the camp at about 2AM and at about 2:30AM a long caravan on Minutemen and their vehicles left the area.

Most in our camp were either asleep or had decided to drive home as of 3AM. With a few night owls staying up until 5. I woke up, after sleeping in the back of my truck at about 7:30AM and decided to head home and was back in Los Angeles by 11AM.

The camp is ongoing until August 8. Directions from the L.A. area: take 60 or 10 FWY east to 15 south, transfer to the 8 east (to El Centro), get off at Buckman Springs Rd. (south) go 12 miles to # 94 (right) go 1 mile to then take a left on Forrest Gate, stay on this trail to the border. You will drive right into the camp.


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Vigil to Remember the Dead

by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

Vigil to Remember th...
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by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

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The Border Wall

by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

The Border Wall...
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At the Minutemen Camp

by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

At the Minutemen Cam...
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Signs

by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

Signs...
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Sunday Morning

by Next Move Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 6:43 AM

Sunday Morning...
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Good job, everyone! Fredric L. Rice Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 8:27 PM
Banned Gun Maru Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 9:13 PM
Anti-Border Scum Go Home Humbolt County Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 9:23 PM
Goons with Guns Maru Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 9:24 PM
James Chase auto Maru Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 9:29 PM
CamaNazi Maru Sunday, Jul. 24, 2005 at 9:48 PM
ASSAULT RIFLE?? MY ASS Saturday, Jul. 30, 2005 at 8:19 PM
California gun laws? Border Raven Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2005 at 6:24 AM
Illegal Assualt Weapons-Maru Speaks Out CHABV Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2005 at 8:00 AM
CHABV Johnny Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2005 at 9:02 AM
Uhm... Gianni? CHABV Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2005 at 5:16 PM
and Johnny Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2005 at 10:22 PM
Facts, facts, facts... CHABV Wednesday, Aug. 03, 2005 at 2:59 AM

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