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Wall Street Journal on Minutemen Expansion (Raging Grannies Comment)
Photo by G. Sharat Lin Minutemen in foreground raise signs supporting border patrol agents incarcerated for shooting fleeing undocumented immigrants in the back. They face counter protestors at a busy corner in Campbell, CA. A news photographer waits to film the encounter.
In a July 16 article the Wall Street Journal reports an expansion of the Minuteman organization in heretofore unscathed parts of the United States. The Journal article states that, “human-rights organizations express concern that a group they consider extremist and bent on taking the law into its own hands is winning over ordinary Americans.” …“The expansion of the the Minutemen…coincides with mounting frustration at the federal government’s failure to adopt a national immigration policy as well as a new wave of Hispanic immigrants into the interior of the U.S.”
The article goes on to say that many Minutemen espouse a reconquista theory which holds that Mexicans want to take over U.S. territory, and that chapters have sprung up in places as unexpected as Kansas City, Missouri. In that city Minutemen members picket construction sites where undocumented immigrants are believed to be at work, going so far as to film laborers to make them nervous and leave their jobs.
Interestingly, on the same page that the Wall Street Journal reports on the Minutemen expansion of their hateful tactics, there appears an article on the topic of public health reprinted from the Boston Globe: “How Racism Affects the Mind—and Body.”
The Raging Grannies Action League has monitored the activities of the Minutemen in San Francisco’s East Bay through reports on Indybay.org, and became aware that new chapters were forming along the San Francisco Peninsula and in the South Bay in 2007. In May of this year the Raging Grannies called the alert and organized counter protests at Minutemen rallies in Redwood City and San Mateo on the peninsula and in Campbell in the South Bay.
The Grannies, who stand on street corners opposite the Minutemen and during part of their counter protest walk over to talk to their opposition, are a diverse group of women in signature flower bonnets from their 50’s to their 90’s. The Grannies have found a point of agreement between sides in their discussions with the Minutemen--the role of NAFTA and free trade globalization as the source of the increase in undocumented migrations.
Intimidation using "in your face" cameramen, as described in Kansas City, is a tactic that has been used on the Grannies. The Minutemen have had photographers in their group of demonstrators who make a big point of snapping photos of the Grannies, standing directly in front of them in an attempt to intimidate the women. Despite this, the Minutemen have asked the Grannies that photos of themselves NOT be posted on Indybay.
The Raging Grannies reported on the rallies of Minutemen in Campbell and on our counter protests at the Public Forum on Immigration Reform held by the Office of Human Relations/Human Relations Commission on July 17, 2007. The Human Relations Commission serves to advise the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisor on issues regarding discrimination and takes affirmative action to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and promote peace in the community. The panel of Commissioners and expert witnesses thanked us warmly for our testimony which is now a matter of public record.
THE RAGING GRANNIES INVITE YOU: join us every second Saturday in Campbell (bordering San Jose) from noon to 2:00pm to counter protest the Minutemen. Intersection of Bascom and Hamilton, in front of Blockbuster video.
Check our website for updates
Article: “Anti-Immigration Activists Roil the Heartland” by Miriam Jordan
Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2007
Five to Ten Minutemen on one corner...but many of US across the street. Photo by G. Sharat Lin
Photo: G. Sharat Lin
Raging Grannies were seen on CBS affiliate KPIX, FOX affiliate KTVU evening news broadcasts. Also interviewed by KPFA radio and several newspapers. Photo: G. Sharat Lin
The Minutemen have co-opted the American Flag, to the Grannies great disappointment. So that the passers by will know who we are, we have adopted the Statue of Liberty as our symbol. She carries the quote engraved upon the pedestal...Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free. Granny Sharon as Liberty.
Univision channel 14 Spanish language television gave lengthy air time to our demo and interviewed our Spanish speaking Raging Grannies