Support the Anti-Minutemen 5
In recent weeks, there have been historic and inspiring marches across the country demanding rights for immigrants, and opposing the war on immigrants that would drive millions of people deeper into the shadows and subject them to even more vicious exploitation--and that would attack millions more for daring to help the verboten people. The state has attacked these upsurges, in particular the youth, arresting and harassing high school students for walking out. This week's response from Homeland Security was a raid of workplaces all over the country, rounding up hundreds of immigrants who will now face deportation--and who, under laws like HR 4437, would forever be barred from ever entering the country again.
Groups like the Minutemen enter into this as the semi-official shock troops and enforcers of this order. They patrol the border, armed, looking for immigrants, and whipping up unthinking fear of immigrants (see article “The Minutemen - Enforcers of Death on the Border & Promoters of Racist Hatred”).
On October 15, 2005, a wide group of people of many different nationalities and perspectives protested the founding conference of the Illinois Minuteman Project in Arlington Heights (a suburb of Chicago), which was held at the Christian Liberty Academy, a Christian Fascist school whose founder has ties to the Bush administration. The police heavily attacked the protest, calling out an attack squad of riot-gear cops drawn from four different counties, police dogs, tear gas, and rooftop snipers. Five people were targeted by the police and given outrageous and trumped-up charges of resisting arrest and battery against the police officers. Some are facing potentially four years in jail if convicted of all charges.
From the beginning, the State's Attorney has shown a determination to make the defendants spend time in jail. And in the weeks leading up to the trial, the State's Attorney of Cook County has moved to harass and threaten supporters of the Anti-Minutemen defendants, as well as the news media. Organizations that organized to bring people out on October 15 or that have supported the defendants were contacted in intimidating ways by the State’s Attorney’s office. This case has gotten attention in the immigrant community and has received favorable coverage in the local news media, in particular Spanish-language media. In response, the state's attorney has served many of these news outlets with subpoenas requiring them to turn over their materials and recordings -- in effect demanding that the news media function as an arm of the prosecution.
As we go to press, the defendants are expected to begin trial on April 25 in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. In the last months, many hundreds of thousands of people have taken the streets to battle for the rights of immigrants. This battle has now been dragged into the courts and the legal arena, which is where the people must fight like hell to win and to defeat these charges.
For more information on the case and to support the Anti-Minutemen Defendants, go to http://www.antiminutemen5.blogspot.com/
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