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10/22 Falfurrias, TX: STOP THE MINUTEMEN MARCH AND RALLY

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Minutemen watch: Project of National Immigrant Solidarity Network Please Visit our Minutemen Watch Page:
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 10, 2005
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      Minutemen watch: Project of National Immigrant Solidarity Network
      Please Visit our Minutemen Watch Page: http://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/Campaigns/Minutemen.htm
       
       
      SOUTHWEST WORKERS UNION
      STOP THE MINUTEMEN MARCH AND RALLY
      OCTOBER 22, 2005
      FALFURRIAS, TEXAS
       
      Background

      The Minutemen racist group first appeared in Goliad, Texas in April 1,
      2005 where they organized a ‘town hall’ meeting with local ranchers
      and residents to agitate against migrant people crossing through that
      region on the way to Houston and other cities. Southwest Workers
      Union mobilized a contingent to go to Goliad, Texas and confront the
      lies of the Minutemen leader. Che Lopez led a delegation of youth
      who made posters that read ‘minutemen are racist and violent’. The
      local newspapers and television covered SWU’s protest in front of the
      auditorium. Many local residents and ranchers gave support to the
      picketers. Che Lopez and Antonio Diaz spoke inside the auditorium
      denouncing the Minutemen’s line as racist and violent. People
      applauded our group who confronted the lies of their leader J.
      Simmons.
       

      Coalition contra minutemen
      A Contra Minutemen Coalition was organized by Mike Chavez from
      the Corpus Christi bend area to fight the presence of the minutemen
      in Falfurrias, Texas. The Coalition includes civil rights groups,
      veterans, students and community residents. The Contra Minutemen
      Coalition made the call to action for a day of protest against the
      Minutemen. A statewide March & Rally were organized by the
      Coalition in Falfurrias, Texas.

      State Coalition
      Fuerza Unida from San Antonio called a meeting and several
      conference calls to unite numerous Texas and South Texas
      organizations into a Stop the Minutemen Coalition. Southwest
      Workers Union is a member of the coalition. The coalition counts
      with member organizations from Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
      The Austin groups passed a resolution in the county denouncing the
      Minutemen racism. In Houston the Coalition organized a protest
      against the Minutemen who were harassing day laborers.
       

      STOP THE MINUTEMENT MARCH & PROTEST RALLY
      Southwest Workers Union, and organizations from Austin, Houston,
      Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley mobilized membership to
      Falfurrias, Texas to a March and Rally to stop the Minutemen camped
      there at a local veterinarian’s ranch. Nearly 100 people gathered on
      Saturday, October 22, 2005 to hold a protest rally at the City Park
      and denounce the racist group. The March proceeded down Main
      Street around downtown and made a full circle back to the City Park.
      Members and leaders of SWU organized a contingent of 18 people
      who drove from San Antonio to Falfurrias-a 2 ½ hour drive south.

      White Ribbon Campaign

      A local Catholic Church (San Roque) in the Brownsville, Texas region
      started a ‘white ribbon’ campaign as a symbol of anti-racism and for
      Human Rights of migrants coming from Mexico and Latin America.
      SWU adopted the ‘white ribbon’ campaign to involve community
      against the Minutemen project and has distributed thousands of
      educational flyers and white ribbons. The ‘white ribbon’ campaign
      started during the ‘week of action’ against the Minutemen organized
      by SWU during the September 16th Independence Day of Mexico
      from Spain. SWU distributed hundreds of white ribbons in Falfurrias,
      Texas. Many of the people there took ribbons to distribute in their
      communities.

      The Southwest Workers Union delegation to the Contra-Minutemen
      March & Rally was led by Che Lopez and Chavel Lopez. Both SWU
      leaders spoke at the rally. According to Chavel Lopez, “We are here
      to stand in solidarity with the people and to stop the Minutemen
      militia”. Che Lopez, Co-Director of SWU said, “We are proud to be
      here as an organization to take a stand against racist groups such as
      the ‘Minutemen Project’. These militia type groups are dangerous
      and are outside the law”.
       
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