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Why the Minutemen failed

by luna moth Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 10:44 AM

The Minutmen's appeal to the far right ignored the source of illegal immigration, economic inequality between US and Mexico, instead they focused on the border wall band-aid and appealed to phony nationalism..

The Minutemen had a brief window in time to discuss the effects of a destabilized economy in Mexico resulting in massive immigration across the invisible borderline. Instead they focused on nationalism, false patriotism and other appeals to the far right. The Minutemen eventually got their wish fulfilled when the neo-nazi skinheads appeared to support them at their rally. Though they tried to distance themselves from the overt racist skinheads, the connection was made and the public began to distance themselves from the Minutemen..

Initially i defended the Minutemen because the issue of illegal immigration is based on economic inequality between the US and Mexico. While i constantly waited for the Minutemen to point this out as an obvious issue, they repeatedly failed week after week. That it is accepted for the US to be the source of wealth and that Mexico the source of poverty induced labor was never mentioned as the source of the problem of illegal immigration. Vincentes Fox and George Bush are responsible for enabling these inequalities to continue indefinitely, thus justifing a false need for expensive taxpayer supported patrolled border wall from San Diego to the Gulf of Mexico..

In their appeal to the far right the Minutemen ignored the economic inequality and supported the band-aid measure of an ineffective border wall. The only migrations the border wall prevents are those of endangered Sonoran pronghorn antelope wondering why the European immigrants decided to build a huge wall dividing them from their water and food sources. Not to mention the indigenous peoples of the desert who were disconnected from their relatives by concrete and barbed wire. Reminders of WW2 concentration camps may be appropriate when indigenous people are stopped and harrassed by INS officers while traveling in their own land to visit family..

article below from;

Indigenoue People's Human Rights Project;

"The Tohono O’odham Nation’s tribal lands were divided in the mid-1800s by the Gadsden Purchase and Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which settled the location of the border between the U.S. and Mexico. These treaties bisected pre-existing tribal lands.

Initially, and for over one hundred years, the Tohono O’odham were able to pass freely over the border. However, in the mid-1980s the border was tightened in an effort by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Consequently, a barbed wire fence dividing the reservation in half and increased border patrol has made passing across the border difficult for tribal members. Entry anywhere but official check points is illegal and the entry points nearest to the reservation are 90 to 150 miles away.

The barbed wire fence marking the border inhibits travel of the Tohono O’odham throughout their tribal lands, however, crossing the border at legal check points also creates problems. These problems arise from lack of documentation, border patrol harassment, and an inconsistent policy of the INS toward the Tohono O’odham.

The Tohono O’odham people seek the ability to cross borders uninhibited. An open border for the tribe is important for several reasons. First, kinship and traditional ceremonies are vital to preserve and maintain culture. The border policies constrain the ability to travel to sacred sites, hindering the practice of religion. They also constrain ongoing cultural practices of travel and language, and the ability to pass these cultural practices on to the Tohono O’odham’s children. Second, the border splits families. Some family members are in Mexico and unable to cross the border to visit family on the U.S. side. Third, the border prevents members from getting adequate health care. All members of the Tohono O’odham tribe, including Mexican nationals, are entitled to the basic services provided at the reservation clinic overseen by the U.S. government, but the border policies prevent this."

There's a great deal more to be said about the borderlands, maquiladora sweatshops, femicides, water theft from Rio Colorado, etc.. that is left out of the discussion when the Minutemen become the center stage issue. Who can address the problems of coercion to labor in industrial agriculture fields like the Imperial Valley when immigrant workers are exposed to pesticides on a daily basis and the crops are watered with rio Colorado agua stolen from the formerly productive delta, home of the Cocopah peoples, neither Mexican nor US?

article from Kumeyaay;

"When Onesimo Gonzales, the village chief, was born in 1934, Hoover Dam was just taking shape and the Colorado River was untamed. The delta (area) then supported a marshland and silt-rich estuary covering 1.9 million acres.

"The river was everywhere and nowhere, for (it) could not decide which of a hundred green lagoons offered the most pleasant and least speedy path to the gulf," traveler Aldo Leopold wrote in 1922.

Eighty years ago Leopold wrote of "awesome jungles...lovely groves...still waters of a deep emerald hue." He described (the area as) an Eden alive with colorful birds of every size, deer, bobcats and coyotes.

Chief Onesimo Gonzales explained (2001), "Our river is gone. No more fishing. Trees are dead. No one plants. The wells are dry."

The 45 remaining families coax murky water for washing from a distant (well), but for drinking or cooking they wait for trucks that sell clean water...the plight of El Mayor typifies what is happening around the world...."

another article links the drought in Iraq's Tigris/Euphrates delta with the Colorado delta;

"The tale of the Mesopotamia Marshes echoes the story of the Colorado River Delta, once a similarly Eden-like wetland in the midst of the North American desert where the Colorado River emptied into the Sea of Cortez.

By the 1970s, the 3,000-square-mile oasis of the Colorado River Delta had returned to desert, the river flow siphoned off to irrigate lettuce fields and fill swimming pools, and the delta-building sediment sieved out by upstream dams. One small marsh remained at the delta's edge, kept alive by runoff from irrigated farms.

The diversity of the delta seemed lost: The endemic vaquita porpoise is the world's most endangered mammal; the unique totoaba fish, which grew to 7 feet long and 300 pounds in the rich estuary, is rare; the flood agriculture and fishing culture of the native Cocopah people is nearly forgotten."

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 7 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
In what way did they fail? realitycheck Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 7:47 PM
native native Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 6:56 PM
Damnt good points, there Native DaisyChain Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 7:51 PM
heh heh Wolf Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 8:01 PM
AMERICAN AND PROUD OF IT! Gringa Saturday, Sep. 17, 2005 at 8:08 PM
no, you're illogical johnk Sunday, Sep. 18, 2005 at 11:02 AM
not really american indig Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2005 at 3:16 PM

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