BorderHack 2005

Responding to the right-wing Minutemen’s threat to begin vigilante immigration enforcement along the California / Mexico border as soon as July, activists in Southern California are mobilizing a week of action August 3-7 on the border entitled BorderHack 2005. Earlier this spring, the Minutemen sent hundreds of armed volunteers to patrol the Arizona-Mexican border and report undocumented immigrants to border patrol cops. While the Minuteman Project claims to be unaffiliated with racist groups, it is difficult to take this claim seriously given xenophobic statements posted on their website warning that the US is being “devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens” and that “future generations will inherit a tangle of rancorous, unassimilated, squabbling cultures.” Their solution, apparently, is to send racist thugs with weapons to harass Latino immigrants entering the US.

Conflict between Minutemen and their supporters and Latinos in Southern California are already heating up. On May 25, four protesters at a speech by gun toting Mexican-hunter Jim Gilchrist were hit by a car driven by a white Minuteman type — two were hospitalized. Instead of quickly arresting the driver, police protected the vigilantes and attacked the crowd with batons and threats of pepper spray, arresting 8 people on trumped up felony charges. In response to the arrests and the possible arrival of Minutemen, activists in San Diego are mobilizing.

BorderHack 2005 is still in the planning stage — they hope to issue a Call to Action soon. Currently under discussion are a week of speakers, workshops, forums, marches/rallies, camps, media labs and agitation on and around the border. “This summer will be explosive and we must drown out the racists with our struggles for justice in border communities, and an honest conversation about globalization and migration” notes one organizer.

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