Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Minutemen Retreat!!

From: L.A. Indymedia

Jim Gilchrist & his Minutemen proved that they can retreat from battle on a minute's notice by withdrawing Friday night from the front lines of Costa Mesa, California's immigration war started by Minutemen Mayor, Allan Mansoor.

The pullout follows a surge of immigrant organizing across the country that led to massive strikes by high school students & more than a half-million immigrants & supporters protesting in Los Angeles in solidarity with tens of thousands of others across the country.

Gilchrist & a handful of supporters arrived on 2 previous Friday's in front of El Chinaco restaurant to protest it's owner, city council candidate Mirna Burciaga, for opposing local police as Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents & to retaliate for weekly protests occuring in front of City Council member Gary Monahan's beer bar, a popular Minuteman outpost.

Gilchrist fired off an email accusing Burciaga of being a "racial supremacist" & a member of "racist groups". No proof of that was offered, but in a flyer Gilchrist cast his own racist net over all undocumented immigrants:

"Does Mirna Burciaga envision Costa Mesa as a criminal haven sanctuary city, infested with drug dealers, murderers, child molesters, robbers, and rapists wandering freely without any interference from law enforcement?"

Gilchirst urged followers to bring bright flashlights to El Chinaco "to flash in the faces of the adversaries when they approach."

Armed with a Mag flashlight outside of El Chinaco, Gilchrist said that his band of border patrolling baby boomers would protest there every Friday "until she (Burciaga) orders her operatives to stop harassing Monohan." But Burciaga is not involved with the Monahan protests, which are organized by a community group called the Colectivo Tonantzin.

But last Friday the Minuteman brigade couldn't be found, at least not at Chinaco's, which offered the $ 1 "minuteman" taco that increased business during Gilchrist's St. Patricks Day appearance.

The only Minuteman found was at Monahan's, holding out against 50 noisy protesters marching & debating immigration law with customers. Offending customers & protesters alike, he singly defended the Minuteman creed, speaking without benefit of militia or musket & with only a single Guinness to fire up his patriotic blood, but with the power of 3 six packs of Guinness flowing through his veins & a flask full of dry powder loaded up his muzzle.

He gave me the middle finger as I videotaped, then pleaded with me to "talk American" with him.

"Does anyone speak English," he asked the crowd.

In Hebrew, I answered "Ani medabaer evreet", which means "I speak Hebrew." He ignored me, perhaps because he thought I was speaking Spanish.

Some of Monahan's regular beer drinking clients claim that the weekly protests have increased business-pointing for proof to the influx of Minutemen who have come to drink since the protests began.

But a nearly equal number of clients have walked away for Monahan's bar after learning from protesters about his anti-immigrant political agenda. Others have observed driving off after seeing Minutemen counter demonstrators in the bar's main driveway. And turnout for the Monahan protests has generally increased, while Minuteman counter-demonstrations, marked by Gilchrist's rude but hilarious antics, have steadily declined.

As immigrant rights protests surge, the Colectivo has grown through grassroots organizing. It has regular meetings in Costa Mesa's immigrant community & held 2 fruitful community forums on immigrants rights, including one attended by Gilchrist. It also sent a 3 bus caravan of protesters to the L.A. rally.

Growing protests will cut Monahan's profits, & combined with other efforts, will help change the local political landscape before the next election when Mansoor is expected to run again * Monahan will be termed out.

Very little organized suport for ICE has come from within the city. Even when Minutemen contingents show up in force at city council meetings most of them are from outside of Costa Mesa. At the last council meeting, for example, 21 people spoke in favor of ICE, but only 7 of them said they lived in Costa Mesa.

Minutemen also have a hard time gathering members for their regular protest raids on day labor sites, where they harass employers & workers. Often far outnumberd by counter demonstrators, their protest power peaked last summer when, joined in Laguna Beach by white supremacist groups waving swastika banners & confederate flags, their numbers reached in the 40's at most.

Increasingly unwelcome in Orange County, Gilchrist's Minuteman members were recently banned from a Laguna Beach parade & denied entry into another parade in San Juan Capistrano. Even Orange County Republican party heads, who have adopted the Minutemen agenda as their own, & who are reportedly grooming Mansoor for party ascendancy, want nothing to do with insurgent Gilchrist, who they see as an annoying & unstable amateur standing in their way.

For the moment, however, the Minuteman agenda is determining Costa Mesa's future.

I despise the Minutemen & everything they stand for. To me, they are just a bunch of old ass, white nazi men/women with nothing better to do with their retirement time than stand "guard" at the US/Mexico border twiddling their thumbs, waiting for an immigrant to cross the border, then what? They accuse all who cross the border in search of a better life & work, with being "rapists", "robbers", "child molesters", etc,etc. The only time you see a significant number of them is when the Orange County Skinheads & other filth rise up to the surface to join their little "brigade" of retired racists. Being born in Orange County, I am fully aware of their types, & have come across them several times years ago. Believe me when I say that these racist pigs are unintelligent, with nothing but hateful, vulgar words to offer-instead of thoughtful, intelligent debate/conversation. If any of my readers live in or near the Orange County area of California, please help the Minutemen continue their cowardly retreat by joining in the rally/protests against these racists either at Monahan's bar (Minuteman infested bar), or anywhere else these pigs show their faces.

I have also heard rumors of a 'Mexican Flag Burning Ceremony' on April 1st at 10am in Laguna Beach, California at the north end of Victoria Beach in Laguna. Not 100% sure if this will still occur, due to the racists being outnumbered lately, but come out to counter this disgusting, racist act!!