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FBP May Be Run Out of Imperial Valley

by Leslie Sunday, Sep. 18, 2005 at 6:19 PM
lradford@radiojustice.net

Early reports from leaders of the anti-minutemen forces in Calexico indicate Friends of the Border Patrol rousted.

CALEXICO, SEPTEMBER 17, 2005--Early afternoon reports from anti-minutemen leadership indicate Andy Ramirez and his Friends of the Border Patrol have abandoned Imperial Valley.

According to San Diego Indymedia, this morning protestors entered an FBP training session and disrupted the meeting. Several were handcuffed and detained, and one protestor of color was charged with a misdemeanor. Later reports indicate that FBP has determined that Imperial Valley residents and visiting protestors had made Calexico unwelcome for the minutemen and that they were withdrawing, perhaps to their other camps in Campo and Smuggler's Gulch.

Gente Unida, a San Diego group leading the fight against the vigilantes, held a press conference at Smuggler's Gulch this morning. The Buenas Noches Brigade, which successfully disrupted minuteman activities in Campo in July, has allied with the Buenas Noches Army in a call for autonomous direct action against minutemen along the border.

This afternoon, Ramirez appeared at a press conference in Calexico with ten supporters, although he claimed a membership of 125 migrant hunters including armed law enforcement agents. Ramirez headed the 1994 Save Our State campaign supporting Proposition 187. Friends of the Border Patrol is chaired by Ron Prince, co-author of Prop 187.

Last week, according to the San Diego Tribune, the Calexico City Council had unanimously voted that the minutemen were not welcome in their city. Today they were joined in a rally and march by buses, passenger vans, and caravans from as far away as San Francisco, with the announced intention of forcing FBP to withdraw from Calexico. The o.r.g.a.n.i.c. Collective, Anarchist Action San Francisco, Bay Area Coalition to Fight the Minutemen, Blast Furnace Radio of Pittsburgh, ABC Melbourne Australia, Anti-Racist Action LA, Gente Unida Coalition, La Tierra es de Todos Coalition, San Diego Renters Union, Peninsula Anarchist Collective, San Diego Indymedia, El Laboratorio de Integracion Plastica "La Gargola" of Mexico City, D.F. endorsed the protest.

James Chase and a small contingent of his California Minutemen group, who had scurried to Campo to "cover" for the hundred U.S. Border Patrol agents dispatched to New Orleans, left their campsite on Thursday, possibly to avoid clashes with FBP and the protestors. Chase was persona non grata with Ramirez and evicted from the nationwide Minuteman Project because he espoused the use of civilian snipers to hunt migrants. Chris Simcox, leading the Minuteman Project with Jim Gilchrist, has since endorsed Chase.

Although the minutemen movement appears to be crumbling in California, it remains a political force in other Southwest border states, and it appears to have captured the attention of Republicans, who hope to make "illegal" immigration a 2006 election issue.

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LATimes: Minuteman-Style Border Patrol Is Over Leslie Monday, Sep. 19, 2005 at 6:18 PM

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