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by Leslie Friday, Aug. 26, 2005 at 5:52 PM

A crucial demo to stop the mainstreaming of the Minutemen on Friday, August 26 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel at 9500 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills.

minutemen.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x496

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, AUGUST 26, 2005—Community protestors, led by La Tierra es de Todos Coalition, will be demonstrating from 4:00-6:00 p.m. today in opposition to a day-long anti-migrant conference at the upscale Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

The Coalition and pro-migrant demonstrators will be assembling outside the hotel to protest the appearance of Tom Tancredo (R-CO), California Assemblymember Ron Haynes (CA R-66), and James Gilchrist, Minutemen Project co-founder and American Independent Party candidate for the 48th Congressional District.

Six hundred angry Chicano and Muslim protestors confronted Tancredo and Gilchrist at a similar rally in Carlsbad earlier this month. Anti-immigrant groups such as the Minutemen Project, the Friends of the Border Patrol, and Save Our State have met unrelenting resistance from an assortment of California community groups that oppose the racist anti-worker and anti-Mexican outcomes of border tightening and mass deportation.

The demonstrators look to the unique history and relationship of Mexican and U.S. peoples, and trace the current anti-Mexican scapegoating at least back to the 1950’s Operation Wetback, a federal initiative that summarily removed U.S. citizens, as well as documented and undocumented residents, to Mexico. The 1930’s in the U.S. also saw anti-Mexican hysteria, racism, severe immigration restrictions, and mass deportations of U.S. citizens and non-citizens to Mexico, when Mexican labor was no longer advantageous to the U.S. economy. Supporters of migrants fear a similar tide is rising in the U.S. today.

Tancredo, a U.S. Presidential possibility, has proposed severely restricting legal immigration, forfeiture of assets held by migrants without documentation, and exempting children born in the U.S. of guest workers from their right to citizenship. He recently shocked his Colorado district and the world when he called for bombing Mecca if the U.S. was subject to an Islamic terrorist attack.

Haynes is the chief sponsor of a June 2006 ballot proposal to form and fund a 2000-member state border patrol to police California businesses and the California border with Mexico.

Gilchrist co-founded the Minuteman Project, which sent armed private citizens to patrol the Arizona border in April. He left that operation after a falling out with co-founder Chris Simcox, but Gilchrist recently appeared in August in Campo, California to support the border vigilante group California Minutemen. He is expected at a September citizen border watch with Friends of the Border Patrol and at a reappearance of the California Minutemen on the border in October.

The 0 day-long conference is being hosted by Center for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPC), the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Coalition for Immigration Reform of California (CIRC).

CSPC is headed by David Horowitz, a new player in anti-immigrant efforts. Horowitz, once an anti-Vietnam War activist, labels Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iran, an “American Nazi Idol” and “hateful” for camping in Crawford, Texas to ask President Bush for what cause her son died.

FAIR has long headed a wide-ranging campaign opposing migrants including claiming that “too many new American immigrants are Roman Catholic,” according to the Miami Herald, and supporting the sterilization of Third World women, in part to limit the potential pool of future immigrants, according to the Wall Street Journal. FAIR sponsored a television ad that compared Senator Spence Abraham to Osama bin Laden, and anti-immigration ads in Texas that both major political parties denounced as racially inflammatory.

The CICR emerged to lead support for Proposition 187 campaign in California, which denied emergency medical services to undocumented migrants and public school education to their children. The proposition, which deeply divided the state along ethnic and racial lines, was found to be unconstitutional by the state supreme court. CICR has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

[photo by aymara. graphic design by indio.]

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