Skip to comments.Firsthand Report of Today's Minuteman Project Activities
Posted on 04/01/2005 4:15:53 PM PST by Spiff
I just got back from Tombstone - this is a firsthand report of the Minuteman Project
I arrived around 9am(which was on the schedule as registration). I wasn't sure where exactly to go because the information I had just said downtown Tombstone. Once there it was obvious where to go. The news trucks with their satellite dishes were everywhere. Media types with video and still cameras swarmed the streets. Reporters with their surgically attached notepads crowded the sidewalks.
MMP volunteers were in line outside the building. At one time there was probably one media person for every one volunteer. Soon the numbers of volunteers swelled and it was a target rich environment for the media.
It looked like a good bunch of people. I knew some of them but most were from out of town. We waited forever with no news about what the delay was. Finally, they opened the doors and let in about 5 at a time for registration.
I know the organizers of the event and I offered to help them any way I can if they needed. While I was waiting in line one of the grabbed me and said "Help." They needed help at the registration table in order to process all of the volunteers faster than they were already doing. I was ushered in (I didn't have a registration yet or ID badge, but there I was registering everyone else).
Once I was there we got things really moving. There was some sort of computer glitch that had wiped out some people's registration and they didn't have their badge and paperwork in the file. We had to direct them 3 blocks over to the Tombstone Tumbleweed office to wait in line there for a full registration.
I was joined the room by Linda Muller and Bay Buchanan of Tom Tancredo's Team America PAC. Bay was to speak later and Linda had set up a booth for people to join the organization, buy T-shirts and bumper stickers, and just plain receive information about the group.
Once signing everyone in I had about an hour before the speakers would start and we would receive our orientation. I went down to the Tumbleweed office and registered and waited for my ID card. While there I heard something going on back across town (its a small town and you can hear stuff going on a couple blocks away). I left to investigate.
I went back to the building being used to assemble the volunteers and saw nothing at first. Then I saw a bunch of college-aged kids with ACLU Legal Observer printed in red - in English and Spanish - on their T-shirts. I approached one of them and said that I wanted to report vigilantism. I said that the MMP was only coming to the border to observe and to report any illegal activity to the proper authorities. I then told them that the ACLU was coming to observe the observers and report any illegal activity. And, since the ACLU considers the MMP to be vigilantes then the ACLU legal observers are vigilantes too because they're doing the same exact thing. The guy wanted to argue with me and then decided not to because he wanted to join the group's leader who was being interviewed by the press.
Just then I heard a bunch of drums thumping, horns blowing, whistles blowing, and pots and pans being banged. I look up the street to see 30-40 protestors coming our way. I ran up the street to check them out and many were Mexican - some were in indian dress for some reason. There were also a bunch of skanky looking college-aged kids with various offensive slogans on signs and T-shirts. One was wearing an Earth First shirt. I saw several anarchy symbols and such. I joined the marchers as they headed to the building and chanted loudly "Viva La Migra!!" They didn't like that and I was frequently rewarded with a metal pot being placed next to my ear and banged loudly. Ouch!
The protestors set up directly in front of the hall. I tried to engage other MMP types in the "Viva La Migra!" chant, but apparently most don't know what it means and were confused.
Those in indian dress did some funky indian dances and such. Most protestors had ear plugs in their ears so that they would not be deafened by their racket.
It was about then that they started ushering the first group of people in to hear the speakers. I didn't have an ID yet - one of the organizers let me in to the foyer but I could not get into the auditorium without a badge. Luckily, since I'd been registering people I had noticed that the organizer who had let me in had a badge on and I had seen an additional badge in the stack. So, he had a duplicate badge. I went over and snagged the additional badge, he knew I was doing it and didn't mind. That got me past the bouncers at the auditorium doors.
The room was full and this was just the first group of volunteers to hear the speeches. They had to let us in in groups because the hall would not seat all of us.
The speakers included Jim Gilchrist, Bay Buchanan, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Chris Simcox, Frosty Wooldridge, and AZ Senator Russell Pearce. The speeches were electrifying, bringing the crowd to its feet many times. Also in attendance were some Republican members of the AZ State Legislature (next to whom I sat). There was Sen. Thayer Verschoor, Sen. Russell Pearce, Sen. Karen Johnson and Sen. Jack Harper. Also there was Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Trish Gore, and Rep. Chuck Gray. Former Rep. Randy Graf was also there. And, let me tell you having sat next to them, they were some of the most enthusiastic members of the crowd. A great bunch.
Most of the political speakers focused on our unsecured borders and the government's responsibility to protect it under Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. President Bush's name was mud because of his support for amnesty and the name-calling he did last week (he called the MMP a bunch of "vigilantes" when he was playing grab ass with El Presidente Vincente Fox. The orientation consisted of Chris Simcox explaining that the whole world is watching and that no one is to do anything to bring discredit to the MMP. And that everyone should be law-abiding, respectful, professional, and keep an eye on the other volunteers to make sure that they're doing the same.
The rousing speeches ended and I found myself outside amid the din of the crazy protestors. I tried to carry on a conversation with someone right in front of the building rented for the MMP but it was impossible because of the noise. I grabbed one of the ACLU Legal Observers to file a complaint against the protestors and she laughed me off. I searched out another one and actually got him to write up a formal complaint. I explained that the MMP's freedom of speech and right to peaceable assembly were being infringed by the disrupting protestors. He wrote it all down and said he would see what they could do with my complaint. I urged several others to do the same thing - to file a complaint - and several did.
I was interviewed by several news reporters on camera and off. I was taped chanting "Viva La Migra!" to the protestors (which was akin to stirring a hornet's nest every time I did it).
At one time a German tourist came up and asked me if I was a "gunman". I had no idea what he was talking about. He finally explained that we were taking our guns to the border to shoot illegals. I told him that he was wrong. He then got in my face about a bunch of euro crap. He hated America (nice, then why was he paying to visit it?) and everything it stood for and did in the world. He brought up Iraq several times. I acted aghast that he was so upset that we liberated 26 million Iraqis. He whined about how we only care about ourselves. I explained that since he lived in Germany he should remember that if it was not for America he would still be living under Hitler's thumb today and that he should be respectful and grateful that we had the audacity to liberate Europe - to include Germany - from Hitler. I further explained that the entire world would be living under Nazi or Japanese dictators if it was not for America and that he better start showing us some respect. He said his grandfather had been a Nazi, etc. I wasn't getting anywhere with him so I left to check on my registration. There were still dozens of people milling around the Tumbleweed waiting for their registration to be complete, etc.
The press was still everywhere and I was interviewed and such everywhere I went. I met up with a reporter from the San Jose Mercury News and she asked me to arrange for her to see some of the trashed and devastated desert areas. She also wants to meet up with a rancher that has had problems with illegals and interview him and film the damage. I'm working on that for Sunday afternoon.
The protestors finally went home and I decided to call it a day. My daughter has a violin concert tonight and I hadn't even eaten lunch. Plus, I was pretty badly sunburned (ouch!).
I will be at the Naco rally tomorrow with my bullhorn, signs, and such. It should be great fun. If anyone plans to attend, please let me know.
Thanks Spiff. VIVA LA MIGRA!!!!
Media was there? I've seen nothing but the Vatican on tv.
P I N G
A good bunch of people? If you count the Aryan Nation and skinheads as good people, then sure...
Thanks for the report!!!
Interesting report. So when do you actually go to the border?
Thank you for interesting after-action report, Spiff.
Thanks for the report.....
The request to the ACLU for complaint was a great gambit.
We now excpect our guy to give the lowdown.....every day :o}
Sounds like the border was coming to him.
You should have asked how his grandfather would've felt about having a retarded grandson.
Ni un paso delantero
I support legal immigration including hard working folks from Mexico, but the illegals have to be controlled, so I see the point you folks on the US-Mexican border have.
Problem is that legal immigration takes so long and is so expensive and hard that folks choose the illegal route when the legal route becomes hard to do.
Immigration can't stop, fact is the country needs immigrants to not just keep the country alive, but the soul of the country alive. After all everyone is decended from immigrants and I myself am an immigrant (temporarily living in Canada).
LOL - His grandfather probably would have contacted Felos to have the Courts designate him a Useless Eater.
The news today has been mainly about the Pope's failing health, but I imagine some of the news programs will cover the Arizona event in their broadcasts tonight.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.