imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Homeland War

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

Even as they face escalating government threats to their lives, freedom, and human rights, migrant day laborers, with their supporters, face down the cazamigrantes in San Juan Capistrano.

The Homeland War...
statement.jpg, image/jpeg, 589x422

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, 27 January 2007 - It was just another skirmish in the two-year war on migrants.  Sixty minutemen, from San Diego Minutemen and Save Our State, tried to run day laborers out of San Juan Capistrano, but they were held at bay by thirty or so determined day laborers and their supporters.

But the terrain has changed in this low-grade war.  The Border Patrol still shoots and kills people on the border, but only a few a year.  Thousands of others die because they're forced to cross through the heat of the desert or the cold of the mountains.  What's new is a year's worth of terrorism, come home to southern California just last week.  Last week, Department of Homeland Security ICE agents rousted more than 700 people from their beds in an early morning raid across the Los Angeles area demanding papers, leaving in their wake terrified neighbors and children too fearful to attend school.  Yesterday, in Contra Costa County, federal agents identified themselves as police to gain admittance to people's homes, and grabbed more than 200 people off bicycles and away from their dinner tables.  Reports to date list only one of these nearly one thousand detainees who has been arrested for a felony.  The rest were tossed into detention camps, and half have already been shipped away.  Five weeks ago agents with automatic rifles raided workplaces in a coordinated raid across several midwestern states, identified people who didn't appear to be foreign-born with blue plastic wristbands, and transported the Spanish-surnamed people thousands of miles from family and lawyers to the camps.  It took a month and a union-instigated lawsuit to locate everyone.

President Bush announces that he plans to continue deportation "without animosity."  The Democratic-controlled Congress sets their immigration priorities: more confrontations at the border with Mexico, more workplace roundups, and, for those migrants who manage to remain, nearly impossible hurdles to legal status.

Leading provocateurs of the anti-migrant sentiment, the minutemen, early this morning targeted a donut store in San Juan Capistrano, where migrants wait and hope that more affluent people will hire them for a day's labor.

Today the laborers were beset with dozens of U.S. flags and nearly as many video cameras, patriotic songfests, and five hours of insults and intimidation from a bullhorn from the minutemen across the street.  "Too much teatro," a worker concluded with a frustrated, slightly disgusted expression.

With minutemen, jornaleros, and migrant advocates interspersed on the other side of Doheny Park Road -- and the cops nearly invisible in a nearby parking lot -- the protest became a verbal tournament.

The bullhorn announced, "you see the mix of races," referring to an African-American woman and a Mexican migrant among the otherwise white minuteman faces.  A "patriot," meanwhile, declared, "The Irish didn't drive down wages."

Another confronted a migrant supporter who was wearing a bandanna: "Are you a leper?  Are you on probation or parole?"

On minutewoman challenged the defenders by mocking their youth.  "I give you ten more years," she pontificated to one labor supporter.  "What?  To get bitter and cynical and become a minuteman?" he retorted.  Following her friend's theme, she responded to a compatriot, "He's a 17-year-old leper who works at Mother's Market."

A contractor hired a jornalero, and a minuteman on a motorcycle took off down the street after the truck.

"You need a benevolent and strong government system," another nationalist offered, "like the Roman Empire and the Egyptians."  He claimed the ancient Egyptians didn't have slaves, and didn't mention Rome's habit of feeding prisoners of war to lions for public amusement.  A few moments later he added, "My grandfather was Mexican. . . . OK, white Mexican, but so what?"

The bullhorn declared that migrants are subhuman.  "You can tell by the clothes they wear, by their attitude, their language."  Then the bullhorner pointed to a large sign with professionally-produced lettering and proclaimed, "Brokebutt Border, where Americans get screwed."  He hopped around shaking his ass at the crowd across the street and called over his shoulder, "Kiss me before he breaks it off in there" and "It's getting a little raw down there."

A cop pulled up and asked the minutemen on the counterprotesters' side to chill with the inflammatory rhetoric.  At the minutemen's insistence, he rebuked a counterprotester before he left.  When he drove off, a minuteman complained to a small group of counterprotesters, "You're not going to solve anything by calling names.  Say you're the only one smoking crack and sticking gerbils up your ass.  Is it fair to generalize?"  A man snapped back, "This is not a 'let's work together' rally."  "You guys are scapegoating poor people," one supporter told a video camera clutched protectively in front of a minutewoman's face.  "If you want affordable health care, talk to the government."  The only response was from a minuteman who mumbled, "He's a chica."

The bullhorner declared, "The rest of us have our fingerprints registered by the FBI.  We don't know who you are."

A woman spat on a minuteman organizer's flag.  The minuteman sought out a videographer to record the woman's face while proclaiming he didn't care about the spitting incident.  Meanwhile, a minutewoman pronounced, "Spitting on the flag -- that's desecrating the flag.  That's a federal offense."

A contractor pulled into the parking lot, and the minutemen rushed over to deter him.  The contractor assured the minutemen that he paid all the requisite business and employee taxes.  The call went out from the workers and their supporters:  would a minuteman take the job?  Eventually a white-bearded minuteman agreed and climbed into the truck, to the laughter of the laborers.  The contractor and the minuteman drove off, but the minuteman reappeared about half an hour later, admitting that he had been fired.

The bullhorn called out "Whose streets?"  The counterprotesters quickly shot back, "Our streets!"  "Who's jobs?"  Before the minutemen caught on, the counterprotesters chimed in, "Our jobs!"  "Whose country?"  A pause, and then a handful of minutemen recognized their cue: "Our country," they mumbled.

One Mexican worker told the minutemen, "California is Mexico.  Texas is Mexico.  Arizona is Mexico.  It isn't now," he clarified, "but it is." 

Several minutemen jumped in.  "I can't go to the emergency room and get care."  "My father had to take his business out of state because he wouldn't hire illegal aliens."  "How come hookers can't work legally but illegal aliens can?"  "Morally, it's never right to break a law, whether it's right or not."  

Off to one side, a minuteman sneered and quietly threatened a counter protester, "You'll be in a hospital longer than I'll be in jail."

"What do we want?" the bullhorn asked.  "Deportation!"  The minutemen had found the rhythm.  "When do you want it?"  "Now!"

A minutewoman continued the conversation:  "Have you ever seen an M-16?"

A migrant supporter asked, "What's the problem?"  "They're breaking laws" was the response.  "No, what's the problem with these people being here?" he persisted.  "The problem is that these are people not obeying the laws of the land."  Another added, "Laws are meant to make a cohesive society."  A counterprotestor retorted, "What about slavery?  Those were unjust laws."  A minuteman replied, "We're talking about now, not then.  Are you a communist?  Are you a Mexican?  Are you a proud American citizen?"

The counterprotestors didn't answer.

After exhorting a jornalero ally for calling a minuteman a "fucker," a minutewoman finally conceded, "The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way out of this mess."  A beat, then the man shot back, "You believe in god, I believe in cuss words."

As the flagwavers across the street sang "God Bless America," the bullhorn implored, "Where are we going to go when the United States becomes a horrible, awful place to live?"

A minutewoman declared, "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."  Asked if she was saying Mexicans have too many kids, a minuteman passing by answered, "Yes."  Then it was her turn: "Illegal aliens cross the border with fifteen children.  They expect us to pay for them."  Her friend added, "We put stray dogs to sleep in Los Angeles.  It's comparable.  There's a lot of overbreeding."

The bull horn queried, "Who are we saying we're better than?"

One minuteman was asked about the "Europeans who came over here, walked off the boat, and killed and raped and destroyed everyone in their path."  "Crap happens," he shrugged, "It happens to every race."

It was noon, the minutemen were packing it up, so I dashed across the street, where I found four white guys with close-cropped hair lurking behind the minuteman line.  "Are you minutemen?" I opened the conversation.  "No, but after today, I'm going to join," the lead guy said.  A few minutes later I was told to go back to my country.  "I don't want to push 'one' for English," he told me.  Is it a problem to push that button?  "It's an insult," he announced to a backslap from one of his pals.

Then, except for two stragglers, the minutemen were gone.  A former day laborer told me his story.  "I worked hard in this country for twenty-five years, paid taxes, never took anything for nothing, raised four children.  I'm retired, and they want to separate me from my family.

"This isn't the land of the free," he went on.  "You pay for everything here.  Last week I paid 0 to take my children's children to Disneyland, and that was just to get in.  Three dollar Cokes, three dollars for a champurrado."  He shook his head.

The minutemen promised to return next week to San Juan Capistrano.  And like the swallows, and in spite of the efforts of the minutemen, the Department of Homeland Security, the Congress, and the President, the migrants will be there, too.

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

anti_racism.jpg, image/jpeg, 415x336

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

fashion_statement.jpg, image/jpeg, 242x448

a loincloth?

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

half-hour_worker.jpg, image/jpeg, 448x278

he lasted half an hour

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

homophobia.jpg, image/jpeg, 448x309

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

in_your_face.jpg, image/jpeg, 433x336

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

squaring_off.jpg, image/jpeg, 336x398

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

punks.jpg, image/jpeg, 428x336

future minutemen

Report this post as:

by Leslie Radford Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 4:32 AM

nativism_is_so.jpg, image/jpeg, 448x315

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 26 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
degrading Blah Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 11:26 PM
reply Jammer CC Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007 at 9:38 AM
Who Would Jesus Deport? repost Thursday, Feb. 01, 2007 at 1:06 PM
Any bets Kristina Davis (via nazis for target practice Friday, Feb. 02, 2007 at 3:02 AM
reply Jammer CC Friday, Feb. 02, 2007 at 3:52 AM
reply Jammer Cc Friday, Feb. 02, 2007 at 4:35 AM
reply Jammer CC Friday, Feb. 02, 2007 at 4:38 AM
Anarchists johnk Friday, Feb. 02, 2007 at 6:32 PM
Minutemom Gabe Saturday, Feb. 03, 2007 at 6:02 AM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, Feb. 03, 2007 at 8:03 AM
Gabe Duh Saturday, Feb. 03, 2007 at 9:30 PM
reply Jammer CC Sunday, Feb. 04, 2007 at 2:20 AM
Barbara Coe scientist Sunday, Feb. 04, 2007 at 2:53 AM
reply Jammer CC Sunday, Feb. 04, 2007 at 5:49 AM
reply Jammer CC Sunday, Feb. 04, 2007 at 5:57 PM
bearded guy V Sunday, Feb. 04, 2007 at 6:33 PM
reply Jammer CC Monday, Feb. 05, 2007 at 7:04 AM
reply Jammer CC Monday, Feb. 05, 2007 at 10:59 AM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy