Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fighting the Fascists: A Small Victory Against the Minutemen and FOBP

This weekend from September 16-18 there were
protests and direct actions along the US-Mexico border
to stop vigilante groups such as the Minutemen and the
Friends of the Border Patrol (FOBP). There was a
borderless protest (people met on both sides of the
border and played a game of volleyball over the fence)
and various actions to stop the vigilantes, such as
confronting them at an FOBP traning session, storming
the building and refusing people access. Members of
Peninsula Anarchist Collective and other revolutionaries
from the Bay Area went down to San Diego and
Calexico. It appears that, at least temporarily, we
have forced the groups underground and they had to
cancel training sessions. In addition, our actions
were confrontational enough to turn off people from
joining the Minutemen and FOBP!

For more info, check out these websites:

Below is an article about it.. report back still to

Peninsula Anarchist Collective.

Protesters, turnout shake up organizer
By Leslie Berestein

September 19, 2005

The organizer of an anti-illegal immigration group
that tried to kick off a large border-watch event over
the weekend, but met with lackluster turnout and
resistance from protesters, said yesterday that he may
take what there is of his operation underground.

"We're not scared," said Andy Ramirez, organizer of
Friends of the Border Patrol, but he added that he was
worried about his and participants' safety after a
run-in with protesters Saturday. "If it means that we
put our people out there quietly, then that's how we
do it."

Ramirez, 37, of Chino insisted that his plans to stage
civilian border patrols have not been canceled,
despite a low turnout of 25 participants for a
training session Saturday morning at the Mission
Valley Resort Hotel.

Some participants said others were scared away after a
confrontation with a small crowd of protesters at the
Scottish Rite center, where sign-ups were held
Saturday morning. Both sides accused the other of
shoving and one protester was cited. No one was

Ramirez, who for several months has promoted his plans
to stand up to immigrant smugglers and drug runners by
monitoring the border in San Diego and Imperial
counties, sounded rattled as he talked about his fear
of winding up "with a toe tag."

"We have to plan our security better," said Ramirez,
who accused the protesters of being violent. "We're
going to assess for the next few days, and we'll be
out there later this week."

Ramirez, who ran two unsuccessful campaigns for state
Assembly in the mid-1990s and has said he eventually
would like to run for office again, at one time said
that he had interest from 2,000 potential volunteers.

Last week he said he had trained 125 people, and that
30 to 40 of them had conducted secret patrols this
summer. Yesterday, he said there was just a skeleton
crew guarding private property where they had planned
to stage patrols, for fear of protesters.

Ramirez's waffling on plans for his operation, which
he organized after the relative success of the
Minuteman Project in Arizona last April, was welcomed
by opponents, who criticize the presence of civilian
patrols in Southern California.

"All he wanted was the media attention," said Enrique
Morones of Border Angels, a group that sets up desert
water stations for migrants, and one of the organizers
of an anti-border watch rally Saturday in Calexico
that drew about 300 people.

"California is not Arizona," Morones said. "One-third
of the population is Latino. We have been through
Proposition 187, and this is the Proposition 187 of
our time. Californians are against this type of

A recent Field Poll showed that a majority of
California voters, while concerned about illegal
immigration, do not approve of civilian border-watch

Robert Burns, an Orange County resident who was among
the few participants at the Saturday training session,
said yesterday that as far as he knew, plans were
still on for a second training session in a rural area
next weekend.

"I don't think what happened (Saturday) changed
anything," Burns, 44, said of the scuffle at the
Scottish Rite center. "But I do think it gave them a
little pause."

Leslie Berestein: (619) 542-4579;


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