Posted by admin on Apr 1st, 2006

Stop the Minutemen Project!

Saturday April 1st 10:00am-4:00pm
Peace Arch State Park in Blaine, WA


No One is Illegal-Vancouver denounces and completely opposes the Minutemen Project and we affirm that this opposition will continue to grow and that we stand united against and will not tolerate any such activity on the Canadian side of this border.

Just yesterday, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, and Presidents Bush and Fox announced a renewed commitment to what they term “border security” and cutting down on so-called “illegal immigration”. This is all coming at a time, when already, tens of thousands have taken to the streets in the U.S. to protest HR 4437 which would increase border militarization, indefinite detentions removals and make the act of not having status a felony by U.S. law.

It is obvious that every day, migrants and refugees are being increasingly attacked by racist policies and being treated as criminals by governments and vigilante groups for attempting to leave socially, politically and economically repressive conditions.

The Minutemen are yet another group carrying out these attacks. Since April of 2005, the Minutemen have engaged in the targeting of racialized communities under the pretext of preserving U.S. security. The Minuteman Project has arisen out of a history of vigilante groups patrolling the U.S/Mexico border against “illegals” and “potential terrorists”. The post 9/11 climate has perpetuated the false association between migrants and terrorism. A new anti-terrorist paradigm guides enforcement and immigration matters are now contextualized within the “war on terrorism” where the result is an increased number of abuses of migrants and racialized communities. The very basis of racial profiling is the double standard by which individual members of communities are stereotyped and legislation is passed and legitimized to criminalize their civil liberties and human rights. The Minutemen Project is based on this very false consciousness.

The Minutemen are set to renew their activities on the U.S. / Canadian border on April 1st, 2006. They continue to affirm themselves as citizens concerned with an invasion of illegals across U.S. borders, while using weapons during their patrols and having been linked to White supremacist
groups. They have already been met with constant and large scale opposition on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the border and this opposition from our communities will continue.

Activities such as those of the Minutemen result in increasing the already existing insecurity of the most vulnerable members of our communities who, because of the lack of status, must contend with poverty, wage-slave labour, lack of access to health care and social services. The U.S. and Canadian governments continue to deny migrants from the third world status while continuing to benefit from their precariousness and labour to hold up their economies. What the Minutemen and proponents of bills such as HR 4437 fail to account for is the free movement of Northern multinationals and free trade agreements such as NAFTA which have impoverished and absolutely destroyed the lives of millions in the Third World – the very reason why so many have chosen to migrate.

The Minutemen are a present day example of a history of violence towards migrants. Over 3,500 people have died crossing the US/Mexico border since 1994. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said at least 464 migrants died crossing the border from Mexico into the US during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. And let us remember that in the U.S. invasion of Mexico at least 25,000 Mexican people were murdered for the land the Minutemen patrol today.

The end result of the Minuteman Project will be an even more militarized border; more migrant deaths, and more fear in our communities. We are disturbed by the fact that the Minutemen have stated their larger goal is setting “not only an example for other Americans to follow, but a precedent we hope will have a lasting effect on how border security is viewed for generations to come.”

As we stand united in opposing the Minutemen, we are also saying a resounding “no” to HR4437, to policies such as the Safe Third Country Agreement and the project known as Fortress North America that the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are working towards. The creation of Fortress North America has already resulted in arbitrary and indefinite detentions, immigration round-ups, thousands of deportations and day to day harassment of racialized communities. As these attacks increase, so does our resilience – our voices will not go unheard.

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