Free the Anti-Minutemen 5!

Email us at: antiminutemen5(at)yahoo.com. Visit our blog at www.antiminutemen5.tk Right now we see increasingly vicious attacks on immigrants, justified in the name of the “War on Terror”. When people step out to oppose these outrages, they must be supported. And when they are attacked, they must be defended. A group of five young people – white, Latino, Muslim – are facing up to four years in jail for a protest against the racist vigilante group the Minutemen.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Counterpunch does a piece on the Anti-Minutemen Defendants

By RON JACOBS

There have been a number of massive protests across the United States for immigrant rights in recent weeks. The particular impetus for these protests is a bill authored by the anti-immigrant Congressmen Rep. Sensenbrenner and his allies that was passed by the House in late 2005 and is currently being considered in the Senate. The bill, numbered H.B. 4437, is a repressive piece of legislation authored by one of the most reactionary legislators in the Congress. Not only would it penalize undocumented workers, it would also criminalize any acts designed to help these members of US society. This bill is just the most obvious aspect of a growing wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.
Back in October, the anti-immigrant vigilante group The Minutemen held a conference in Arlington Heights, Illinois. People opposed to the Minutemen's agenda protested the event. Five were arrested by police in what many witnesses agreed were rather brutal arrests. The Anti-Minutemen Five-as they are known in the Chicago area--are scheduled to stand trial on April 25, 2006 on a variety of charges. I recently contacted the arrestees through their defense organization. Some of them agreed to answer some questions I emailed to them. A transcript of our email conversation follows:
Click here to read the rest.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

News articles about the Minutemen and immigrants' rights

A selection of different articles about immigrants and the Minutemen, organized by date:
1) DC Immigrants March
Revolution newspaper, March 26, 2006
from the article:
Northern VA has also seen the most recent foray of the “Civil Defense Patrols of the Minutemen,” the infamous KKK-like anti-immigrant stormtroopers who have been so highly praised for their valor and patriotism in defending the borders by Congress members and governors of both political parties. The Minutemen's activities on the border with Mexico have been portrayed as a “clamor from the grassroots” to justify militarizing the border. Now they are operating in cities and towns far from the border, stalking and photographing day laborers and those who would hire them, attempting to force immigrants more into the shadows.
Northern Virginia's population has traditionally had large numbers of white, affluent, retired and active military families, government workers, and Pentagon and CIA employees. In Herndon, VA the Minutemen were met with protest when they began photographing and harassing Latino day laborers who gathered at a 7-11. But they have continued to expand their operations. Montgomery County, Maryland, which has a large immigrant population and has traditionally provided a lot of social services to immigrants, and where cities such as Takoma Park have passed ordinances protecting immigrants, has seen the Minutemen begin photographing and stalking the day laborers at hiring halls run by CASA Maryland, an immigrant rights organization that operates several such halls and involves the immigrant community in fighting for basic rights and expansion of services. When CASA Maryland righteously called for immigrants and their supporters to photograph Minutemen photographing workers and to protest at places where Minutemen live to let their neighbors and coworkers know about their fascist activities, the Minutemen went squealing to the police and their high-placed backers in the government. They demanded investigations into CASA Maryland’s use of taxpayer funds and actually accused the executive director of the organization of “thuggish behavior” and endangering their children!!! As one of the day laborers stated at the march: “The Minutemen are not just backed by the government, they are doing what the government wants them to do.”
The town of Gaithersburg, Maryland, voted and allocated funds to create a workers' hiring hall for some day laborers who had gathered for years in the parking lot of a local church. The Minutemen began “patrolling” the site. Their activity has helped to mobilize and strengthen a reactionary pole of patriotic racists among the townspeople into a "backlash" which might have remained inactive otherwise. The workers' center is now in danger of being canceled by the city.
To read the full article click here.
2) Minuteman Project Plans New Border Patrol
The Associated Press, March 21, 2006.
Read as the Minutemen get national press coverage – they're planning another offensive as they hunt and trap and terrorize immigrants.
“Each volunteer passes a criminal background check, interview and training, according to Simcox.”
Yeah right ...
But Hoover said the group's patrols are unrealistic and ineffective. He would like to see them set up camp in remote areas rather than close to highways and towns.
"We have 300 miles (480 kilometers) of border down here and they are playing around on five miles (eight kilometers)," Hoover said.
This quote is from a supposed opponent of the Minutemen ... opposing them on the terms that they are “ineffective” and “unrealistic”!
To read the rest of the article click here.

3) Rally participants lose jobs
28 workers complain to 2 federal agencies
Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2006
More than two dozen workers at a Bellwood factory say they were fired for taking part in last Friday's immigration rights rally that drew up to 100,000 supporters to the Loop.Jose Oliva, director of the Interfaith Workers' Rights Center, believes many more immigrants around the city have also faced disciplinary action for attending the rally.Another advocate said he believes 10 workers were fired from a company that makes automobile parts in Schiller Park."It sends a chilling message," Oliva said. "It's one of the scariest things someone can say to you: `Agree with me, or I can take away your livelihood.'"
To read the rest of the article click here.

4) Chicago Immigrants – A Defiant Show of Strength
Revolution newspaper, March 13, 2006
The scene in downtown Chicago on March 10 was remarkable and unprecedented—hundreds of thousands of immigrants marched into the heart of a major U.S. city, stopping all traffic and disrupting business as usual for a whole workday afternoon to demand that their voices be heard. Immigrant protesters left their workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods all over the Chicago region and beyond to converge on the downtown Loop area. And they delivered an unmistakable NO to a draconian new anti-immigrant bill (known as HR4437 or the Sensenbrenner bill) passed by the House of Representatives last December and to other anti-immigrant attacks, like the Minutemen vigilantes who hunt down immigrants at the border.
This historic march sent shockwaves far and wide—throughout this country and worldwide. It is an international call to millions and millions of immigrants everywhere in this globalized world who are dislocated from their homes, kept in the shadows, denied rights, isolated, and superexploited!
To read the full article click here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Otra vez - quiénes son los 5 en contra de los Minutemen

(The flier translated into Spanish)
¡Anulen las acusaciones! ¡No metan a la cárcel a los 5 en contra los Minutemen!

Con el pretexto de la “guerra contra el terror” están ocurriendo en este país ataques cada vez más violentos contra inmigrantes. Las personas que hacen oír su voz en contra de estos atropellos merecen nuestro apoyo y que las defendamos cuando las atacan. Hoy, cinco jóvenes blancos, latinos y musulmanes que protestaron el 15 de octubre contra los Minutemen corren peligro de que los condenen a cuatro años de cárcel. Tenemos que exigir que les anulen inmediatamente las acusaciones.

En Estados Unidos se están sentando precedentes legales y políticos que son peligrosamente parecidos al tratamiento de los judíos en la Alemania nazi. Después del 11 de septiembre, el gobierno ha dicho que a los inmigrantes (especialmente a los árabes y musulmanes) los puede encarcelar por tiempo indefinido en condiciones inhumanas, sin acusarlos de nada y sin juicio. Congresistas como Tom Tancredo y Dennis Hastert han dicho que los inmigrantes son una amenaza para Estados Unidos y que está bien que la policía pare a una persona nada más porque parece “illegal alien” y justifican cualquier medida antiinmigrante en nombre de la “guerra contra el terror”. El Congreso quiere legislar que entrar al país sin permiso sea un delito grave (felony), así como ayudar a quien lo haga. La Cámara de Representantes aprobó en diciembre un proyecto de ley (4437) con ese fin. Si el Senado lo aprueba, a millones de maestros, trabajadores de la salud y activistas los tratarían como delincuentes por ayudar, enseñar, dar de beber o llevar al hospital a un inmigrante indocumentado. Este mes, el gobierno anunció que le asignó a Halliburton un proyecto de $385 millones para construir centros de detención para inmigrantes. Todo esto en un país que tiene centros de tortura como Abu Ghraib y Guantánamo.

¿Qué ocurrirá en esos centros de detención construidos para encerrar a personas indocumentadas, a quienes les han despojado sus derechos legales, y a quienes han calificado de “hordas”, “invasores” y “amenaza para la seguridad nacional”?

En esta atmósfera, grupos como los Minutemen son tropas de choque semioficiales. Patrullan la frontera armados a la caza de seres humanos que consideran una amenaza a la “cohesión nacional”. Hace poco estos Minutemen, que se han autonombrado defensores del patriotismo, atacaron a un maestro en Elgin, Illinois, porque enseñaba a sus alumnos acerca de la independencia mexicana. Uno de sus fundadores dice que los que se oponen a los Minutemen son “terroristas”, lo cual no tiene fundamento y sin embargo repitió Associated Press.Las reuniones de los Minutemen en el prado del Capitolio son noticia nacional. El representante John Culbertson de Texas ha propuesto que el gobierno financie y reconozca legalmente sus patrullas armadas. El gobernador de California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, incluso los ha felicitado un par de veces por su “buen trabajo”.

El 15 de octubre se realizó una protesta pacífica en solidaridad con los inmigrantes frente al lugar de una conferencia de los Minutemen en Illinois. Un grupo de diferentes nacionalidades se reunió en la acera a expresar su desacuerdo con la reunión a viva voz. Por increíble que parezca, la policía los atacó siguiendo órdenes de los Minutemen, aunque no estaban bloqueando la entrada a la conferencia y todo lo que hacían era corear lemas en la acera. Llegaron dos destacamentos especiales de la policía de 90 comisarías, perros, equipo de motín y artillería pesada.Arrestaron a cinco activistas. Una de las arrestadas era la única mujer de la protesta que llevaba una hijab (la tela con que se cubren la cabeza las musulmanas) y se la arrancaron de la cabeza en un acto violento contra sus derechos religiosos. A todos les inventaron cargos de resistencia a la autoridad y agresión a los policías, y por esto los pueden condenar a cuatro años de cárcel. Los fiscales no han querido llegar a un acuerdo antes del juicio porque quieren meterlos a la cárcel. El juicio está programado para el 25 de abril.

Esto es un ejemplo de la criminalización del disentimiento en este país, donde hoy equivale a traición no estar de acuerdo y protestar; donde el presidente declara que puede espiar a quien le dé la gana por la razón que le dé la gana y dice que el peligro es ¡que la prensa lo desenmascare!Cuando el gobierno protege y apoya a los Minutemen, y ataca a la oposición, deja en claro que pretende imponer su programa contra los inmigrantes y callar a quienquiera que represente un obstáculo. Lo que el gobierno dice es: “No protesten, no se opongan”. ¡Pero eso no se puede tolerar! Estas acusaciones tienen que anularse y eso solo es posible mediante una gran batalla política. Súmate a esta batalla.
-- Necesitamos que lleguen miles de cartas al fiscal, exigiéndole que anule las acusaciones. Se necesitan centenares de cartas a:

Richard A. Devine
Cook County State's Attorney
500 Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60602

-- También se necesitan fondos con urgencia; necesitamos reunir más de $10,000 en unas pocas semanas para la defensa. Envía cheques a:
Law Office of Jim Fennerty
36 South Wabash, Suite 1310
Chicago, IL 60603 Attn: anti-MM5

-- Ven al juzgado de Rolling Meadows el 25 de abril a las 8 de la mañana y exige que anulen las acusaciones.

-- Corre la voz para que otros también apoyen: escribe una nota a tu periódico; coloca esta carta en blogs y portales; organiza una entrevista a uno de los acusados en tu periódico o estación de radio o televisión. Comunicarse a: Antiminutemen5@yahoo.com

Who the Anti-Minutemen Defendants are -- repeat post

Drop the Charges! No jail time for the Anti-Minutemen Defendants!

Right now this country is seeing increasingly vicious attacks on immigrants, justified in the name of the “War on Terror”. When people step out to oppose these outrages, they must be supported. And when they are attacked, they must be defended.

A group of five young people – white, Latino, Muslim – are facing up to four years in jail for a protest against the racist vigilante group the Minutemen. We need you to join in demanding that the charges be dismissed immediately against the Anti-Minutemen Defendants.

Legal and political precedents are being set that are chillingly similar to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. Since 9/11, the administration has built legal precedent for the concept that immigrants -- especially Arab and Muslim -- are not entitled to due process, and can be held indefinitely in deplorable conditions. Legislators such as Tom Tancredo and Dennis Hastert are calling immigrants a threat to America, defending harsh profiling, and manipulating fear to justify any anti-immigrant measures in the name of the “war on terror.” The Sensenbrenner bill (HB 4437), which passed the House in December, would turn millions of immigrants into felons for crossing without permission – and would make it a felony for anyone to aid or assist them. If this passes the Senate it would mean millions of teachers, health workers, and activists could become felons for giving aid or education or even a drink of water or a ride to the hospital. And in February 2006, the U.S. government announced a $385 million contract with Halliburton to build detention centers for immigrants. This in a country that runs notorious torture centers in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.
Just what will happen in these detention centers, built to lock away undocumented people whose legal rights have been disappeared, and who have been cast as “hordes”, “invaders”, and a threat to national security?

In this atmosphere, groups like the Minutemen serve as semi-official shock troops and enforcers. They patrol the border with guns, hunting the human beings they call a threat to the “fabric of America.” Recently they attacked a teacher in Elgin, Illinois, for teaching about Mexican Independence Day, acting as the self-appointed enforcers of patriotism and jingoism. Minuteman co-founder Chris Simcox accused his opposition of being “terrorists” – and despite his complete lack of evidence, this accusation was disseminated widely by the Associated Press.They hold rallies on the lawn of the Capitol, to national press coverage. Rep. John Culbertson of Texas has introduced bills asking for financial support and legal recognition for their armed patrols. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has twice praised these folks for doing a “fine job”.

On October 15, people of different nationalities held a peaceful protest on the public sidewalk in front of the site of a Minutemen conference, in a show of solidarity with immigrants. They chanted and spoke out against the Minutemen and in favor of immigrant rights. The response? On orders from the Minutemen, the cops attacked the protest, even though demonstrators were not preventing anyone from entering the conference, and had done nothing but chant on the sidewalk. They called in two regional special task forces, drawn from police from more than 90 surrounding cities, dogs, riot gear, and heavy artillery.They singled out five of the most vocal activists – including the only woman at the protest wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf), which they tore off of her head in a blatant violation of her religious rights. Those five were given outrageous and trumped-up charges of resisting arrest and battery against the police officers. Some are facing potentially four years in jail. Two state’s attorneys have refused to discuss a plea without jail time. Their case goes to trial on April 25.

This is part of the overall criminalization of dissent in this country, where protest is equated with treason. Where the president declares the right to spy on anyone, for whatever reason he wants, and says that the real danger is that newspapers dared to write about it!When opposition to the Minutemen is attacked, while they are protected and promoted, it is clear that the government intends to enforce its anti-immigrant program and to silence anyone who gets in the way. The message is this: Don’t protest. Don’t resist. This can’t be allowed to happen! Charges like this have and can be defeated, but not without tremendous political battles for support. You have an important role to play in this. Here’s what you can do:

--Send letters now- we need thousands- to the State's Attorney, asking that the case be immediately dismissed:

Richard A. Devine
Cook County State's Attorney
500 Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60602

--Funds are needed very urgently; we need to raise upwards of $10,000 in legal expenses in a few weeks.Send contributions and make checks out to:

Law Office of Jim Fennerty
36 South Wabash, Suite 1310
Chicago, IL 60603 Attn: anti-MM5

--Come to the Rolling Meadows courthouse at 8 am on April 25 to demand the charges be dropped.
--Spread the word and build support: write about the case in your local newspaper; post this flyer on blogs and web sites; arrange for one of the Anti-Minutemen 5 to be interviewed by your local radio or TV station or newspaper.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Noticias sobre los 5 en Contra de los Minutemen

Ha cambiado la fecha del juicio. Es el 25 de abril, en Rolling Meadows, Illinois.El 16 de marzo fuimos al juzgado de Rolling Meadows para realizar unos trámites, y más de 20 de nuestros apoyantes vinieron al juzgado, aunque tenían apenas 24 horas de anticipación. El juez nos dio la nueva fecha del 25 de abril para el juicio. Tenemos dos abogados nuevos que están haciendo trabajo voluntario en nuestra defensa; ahora nuestro equipo tiene tres abogados: John Curnyn, Jim Fennerty, y Jed Stone. Vamos a montar una fuerte defensa legal y una lucha popular para derrotar estos cargos. Todavía necesitamos que manden miles de cartas al fiscal del Condado Cook, que demandan que anulen las acusaciones (sigue este link para un ejemplar de la carta y la dirección del fiscal:
http://antiminutemen5.blogspot.com/2006/03/la-carta-de-apoyo-our-support-letter.html
El domingo 19 de marzo, celebramos nuestro primer evento público, el la iglesia San Pío, en el barrio de Pilsen en Chicago. (Gracias a San Pío por habernos ayudado tanto con el uso del espacio.) Asistieron una gran variedad de personas de muchas nacionalidades y niveles de experiencia política. Hablaron Tito Moreno de El Mundo No Puede Esperar, Penny Brown de los 5 Contra los Minutemen, y Juan Torres de El Mundo No Puede Esperar. Hablaron del peligro de los Minutemen como una fuerza “semi-oficial” del gobierno de Bush, y de la conección entre los ataques a los inmigrantes con la “guerra contra el terror”, y hicieron un reto a la gente que saliera a la defensa de los 5 contra los Minutemen como una parte clave de derrotar toda la agenda anti-inmigrante. Los artistas Capital D y DJ Manowax tocaron hip-hop político, y la banda Tarima Son nos dieron música bailable y divertido al estilo Veracruzano. En el mismo espíritu que les conmovió a cerrar el viernes 10 para la marcha en pro de los derechos de los inmigrantes, la gente de los restaurantes de la comunidad de Pilsen nos apoyaron bastante: los restaurantes Café Mestizo, Fogata Village, Panadería Nuevo León, Taquería Los Comales, Benny's Pizzeria, y la Taquería Casa del Pueblo donaron una gran cantidad de comida para nuestra cena. Los invitados el evento donaron generosamente, y hasta la fecha hemos recaudado cerca de $1,100 para nuestros gastos legales. Pero todavia necesitamos casi $9,000 más para montar una defensa al nivel necesario para derrotar estos cargos.
Los 5 en Contra de los Minutemen han salido en los medios de comunicación: hicimos una entrevista el 20 de marzo en Radio Arte; en el periódico La Raza salió un artículo el viernes 17; tenemos otras entrevistas programadas para la semana que viene. Todavia necesitamos salir en mucho más de los medios; si quieren ayudar con este aspecto, favor de escribirnos a: antiminutemen5@yahoo.com.
Nuestra próximo evento para recaudar fondos será el 8 de abril, en la Galería Colibrí, 2032 W. 18th. Street, Chicago.
Queden pendientes de nuestro blog para noticias.

Updates on the Anti-Minutemen 5

Our trial date is now April 25, in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. We went to court in Rolling Meadows on March 16, and more than 20 of our supporters came out, even though they had barely 24 hours notice. We have two new lawyers who are working pro bono on our defense; now our team has three lawyers: John Curnyn, Jim Fennerty, and Jed Stone. We will be mounting a strong legal defense and a popular battle to defeat these charges. still need thousands of letters to be sent to the State's Attorney, urging him to drop these charges. Go to http://antiminutemen5.blogspot.com/2006/03/la-carta-de-apoyo-our-support-letter.html for a sample letter and the address of the State's Attorney.)
Sunday March 19th, we celebrated our first public event at St. Pius Church, in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. (Thank you St. Pius for helping us out with the space.) A wide variety of people came, from many different nationalities and levels of political experience. Tito Moreno of World Can't Wait, Penny Brown from the Anti-Minutemen 5, and Juan Torres from World Can't Wait spoke. They talked of the danger posed by the Minutemen as a semi-official force within the Bush Regime, of the connection between the attacks on immigrants and the “war on terror”, and they challenged people to come out in defense of the Anti-Minutemen 5 as a key part of defeating the whole anti-immigrant agenda. Capital D and DJ Manowax gave us political hip-hop, and Tarima Son gave us fun and danceable music Veracruz-style. In the same spirit that moved many restaurants to close on Friday the 10th for the pro-immigrants rights march, the people of the restaurants of Pilsen gave us substantial support: Café Mestizo, Fogata Village, Panadería Nuevo León, Taquería Los Comales, Benny's Pizzeria, y la Taquería Casa del Pueblo all donated a great amount of food for our dinner. The event's guests donated generously, and to date we have raised close to $1,100 for our legal expenses. But we still need almost $9,000 more in order to mount the kind of defense needed to defeat these charges.
The Anti-Minutemen 5 have been featured in all kinds of media: A March 20 radio interview on Radio Arte, a March 19 interview on WBBM radio (New York), a March 17 article in La Raza newspaper, two March 13 radio interviews on WORT in Madison, and several more interviews coming up this week. Go to www.antiminutemen5.blogspot.com for links to some of these past shows. We still need help breaking out into many more media outlets: to help us out in spreaing the word to the media, email us at antiminutemen5@yahoo.com
Our next fundraising event will be April 8, at Galería Colibrí, 2032 W. 18th. Street, Chicago.
More information will be coming.
Stay tuned to our blog, antiminutemen5.blogspot.com, for more news and updates.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Artículo en La Raza

Nota: Ha cambiado la fecha del juicio. Es el 25 de abril en Rolling Meadows. El artículo tiene la fecha que nos habian dado anteriormente.

Los jóvenes Eric Zenke, Rehana Sabha Kahn, Kara Penny Norlander, Marco Jiraz Rojas y Cynthia Linda Gómez podrían ser condenados a cumplir tiempo en la cárcel por enfrentar cargos de agredir a oficiales de policía y resistirse al arresto, cuando el 15 de octubre pasado participaron en una manifestación contra una reunión nacional de los Minutemen, en Arlington Heights.
Leer
más:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Trial Date!

New Trial Date!

New Trial Date is April 25, in the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Our trial is expected to take two weeks.

We still need thousands of support letters to the state's attorney (see below post) and we need hundreds of people to come out on April 25 to demand NO JAIL TIME.

more to come -- please spread the word on our fundraiser this Sunday, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Evento para recaudar fondos, 19 de marzo

¡Fuera los Minutemen!
Domingo, 19 de marzo:

Foro comunitario y evento para recaudar fondos
para los 5 en contra de los Minutemen



Crecen los ataques a los inmigrantes y al activismo. Pero la marcha histórica del 10 de marzo, con centenares de miles de personas, demuestra la creciente resistencia. La gente tomó la calle y demandó: ¡NO a HR 4437! ¡NO a los Minutemen!

Lucha contra los Minutemen, y apoya a los 5 en contra de los Minutemen.

¡Únanse en solidaridad con muchos diversos grupos para una noche de

pláticas, comida, y música!


Domingo, 19 de marzo
Iglesia San Pío, 1919 S. Ashland Ave.
Las puertas abren a las 6 p.m.
Donaciónes: $10-20.
A nadie se les negará la entrada por falta de fondos.


* Comida Internacional
* Pláticas acerca de los Minutemen y los ataques viciosos a los inmigrantes
* Música: el grupo Tarima Son, DJ Manowax, Capital D, y más ...


Los 5 Contra los Minutemen son cinco activistas anti-racistas arrestados en
una protesta en contra de los Minutemen en Arlington Heights el 15 de
octubre de 2005. Les inventaron cargos falsos y enfrentan la posibilidad de
cuatro años en la cárcel.
¡Necesitamos derrotar estos cargos!
Endosantes:
Council on American Islamic Relations, Arab American Action Network, Iglesia Metodista Amor De Dios, ¡El Mundo No Puede Esperar!, Juan Torres, The SPACE Collective, y más.
Para más información: antiminutemen5@yahoo.com
En la Internet: www.antiminutemen5.tk www.antiminutemen5.blogspot.com

Come to court tomorrow 3/16 to support the Anti-Minutemen 5! ¡Vengan a la corte para apoyar a los 5 en contra de los Minutemen!

(Scroll down for English)
Repartan este email por todos lados … Please distribute this email everywhere.


¡Vengan a la corte para apoyar a los 5 en contra de los Minutemen!

Mañana, los 5 en contra de los Minutemen vuelvan a la corte. Tienen abogados adicionales, y van a pedir una extensión de la fecha del jucio, dado que el fiscal ha tardado en entregar evidencia crucial.

Necesitamos que el pueblo demande que anulen las acusaciones ya. ¡Vengan a la corte a las 8:15 para demostrar su apoyo! ¡Traigan pancartas que digan “Free the Anti-Minutemen 5! “¡No metan a la cárcel a los Anti-Minutemen 5!”

Cuando: Jueves 16 de marzo, 8:15 a.m.
Donde: Juzgado Rolling Meadows, 2121 Euclid, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Quiénes: Todos que apoyen a los derechos de los inmigrantes, y todos los que opongan a los Minutemen.

¡Ser inmigrante no es un crimen! ¡Oponer a los Minutemen! ¡Defender a los 5 en contra de los Minutemen!

www.antiminutemen5.blogspot.com www.antiminutemen5.tk
antiminutemen5@yahoo.com

Come to court to support the Anti-Minutemen5!

Tomorrow, the Anti-Minutemen 5 return to court. They have additional lawyers, and they will be petitioning for an extension, as the state’s attorney has been late in turning over crucial evidence.

We need the people to demand the the charges be dropped now. Come to court at 8:15 to demonstrate your support! Bring signs that say “Free the Anti-Minutemen 5! “¡No metan a la cárcel a los Anti-Minutemen 5!”

When: Thursday, March 16, 8:15 a.m.
Where: Rolling Meadows Courthouse, 2121 Euclid, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Who: Everyone who supports immigrants’ rights, and everyone who opposes the Minutemen

Being an immigrant is not a crime! Oppose the Minutemen! Defend the Anti-Minutemen5!

www.antiminutemen5.blogspot.com www.antiminutemen5.tk
antiminutemen5@yahoo.com

Monday, March 13, 2006

Interview on KPFA

Friday the 10th, one of us did an interview with KPFA, a well-respected independent radio station that serves the San Francisco Bay Area in California. You can listen to it here (it starts at about the 11 or 12- minute mark): http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=13013&page=1&type=

Anti-Minutemen 5 Events/Eventos para los Anti-Minutemen 5

Public Events/ Eventos Públicos

1) Sunday March 19, 6-9 p.m.
St. Pius Church, 1919 S. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL
Forum and Fundraising Party for the Anti-Minutemen 5
Speakers, Food and Entertainment

Foro y Fiesta para Recaudar fondos para los Anti-Minutemen 5
Pláticas, Comida, y Entretenamiento

2) Saturday, April 8, 7 p.m. *
Fundraising Party for the Anti-Minutemen 5
Galería Colibrí, 2032 W. 18th. Street, Chicago, IL
*Time TBA

Media Appearances/ Entrevistas en los medios de comunicación
1) Tuesday 3/13, WORT f.m, Madison, Wisconsin:
We will be interviewed on Public Affairs (a news show) 12-1 p.m. Central Time.
In Madison, tune in to WORT 89.9 f.m. or listen on the Internet at http://www.wort-fm.org/
Tenemos una entrevista (en inglés) en un show de noticias, Public Affairs. Para escuchar: en Madison, 89.9 f.m. On en la Internet: http://www.wort-fm.org/

2) Tuesday 3/13, WORT f.m., Madison: We will be interviewed on a Spanish-language news show.
Tenemos una entrevista en un show de noticias en español, 6-7 p.m. Central Time.
In Madison, tune in to WORT 89.9 f.m. or listen on the Internet at http://www.wort-fm.org/
Para escuchar: en Madison, 89.9 f.m. On en la Internet: http://www.wort-fm.org/




Important Change/Cambio Importante

Please note that support letters in our case should actually be sent to the state's attorney, not to the judge as we had earlier requested. (The address is below.)

Favor de notar que las cartas de apoyo para nuestro caso se deben de mandar al fiscal, y no al juez como habíamos pedido. (La dirección aparece abajo.)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Initial signatories

The following is an initial list of those who have signed on to the letter calling to drop the charges:
Father Chuck Dahm, St. Pius Church, Chicago
Ali Khan, American Muslim Council, Chicago
Reverend Debra Elandus Lake, Sankofa Way Spiritual Services, Chicago
Reverend José Landaverde, Amor de Dios United Methodist Church, Chicago
Travis Morales, Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 03, 2006

La carta de apoyo (our support letter)

**Esta carta se debe de enviar directamente a Richard Devine, el fiscal para el Condado Cook.**



Richard A. Devine
Cook County State's Attorney
500 Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60602


Estimado Sr. Devine:

Le escribo para expresarle mi profunda preocupación por el juicio de cinco manifestantes arrestados el 15 de octubre del año pasado en una protesta contra la conferencia de los Minutemen en Arlington Heights. Le ruego que no los haga pasar ni un momento más en la cárcel y, además, que anule todas las acusaciones.

Esos jóvenes ejercían el derecho de libertad de palabra al pronunciarse contra el odio, el racismo y la intolerancia. Participaban con centenares de personas de distintos sectores sociales en una manifestación pacífica de apoyo a los derechos de los inmigrantes y a los derechos humanos. No se debe castigar el derecho de protestar contra grupos de odio como los Minutemen.

Los Minutemen son un grupo paramilitar racista, antiinmigrante, que toma la ley en manos propias. Son una patrulla fronteriza armada y realizan actividades contra los inmigrantes por todo el país. Ahora se están organizando en Chicago para sembrar terror en nuestra gran población de inmigrantes.

Apoyo a los cinco acusados que se opusieron a los Minutemen y creo que sería una gran injusticia condenarlos de cargos tan injustificados. Le ruego que anule las acusaciones.

Atentamente,








Favor de mandar esta carta a Sr. Devine y una copia a los acusados a:
c/o Jim Fennerty
36 South Wabash, Suite 1310
Chicago, IL 60603
attn: anti-MM 5

Thursday, March 02, 2006

(The flier translated into Spanish) ¡Anulen las acusaciones! ¡No metan a la cárcel a los 5 que protestaron contra los Minutemen!

This is our flier (posted as "Our Story"), in Spanish.

¡Anulen las acusaciones! ¡No metan a la cárcel a los 5 que protestaron contra los Minutemen!

Con el pretexto de la “guerra contra el terror” están ocurriendo en este país ataques cada vez más violentos contra inmigrantes. Las personas que hacen oír su voz en contra de estos atropellos merecen nuestro apoyo y que las defendamos cuando las atacan. Hoy, cinco jóvenes blancos, latinos y musulmanes que protestaron el 15 de octubre contra los Minutemen corren peligro de que los condenen a cuatro años de cárcel. Tenemos que exigir que les anulen inmediatamente las acusaciones.
En Estados Unidos se están sentando precedentes legales y políticos que son peligrosamente parecidos al tratamiento de los judíos en la Alemania nazi. Después del 11 de septiembre, el gobierno ha dicho que a los inmigrantes (especialmente a los árabes y musulmanes) los puede encarcelar por tiempo indefinido en condiciones inhumanas, sin acusarlos de nada y sin juicio. Congresistas como Tom Tancredo y Dennis Hastert han dicho que los inmigrantes son una amenaza para Estados Unidos y que está bien que la policía pare a una persona nada más porque parece “illegal alien” y justifican cualquier medida antiinmigrante en nombre de la “guerra contra el terror”. El Congreso quiere legislar que entrar al país sin permiso sea un delito grave (felony), así como ayudar a quien lo haga. La Cámara de Representantes aprobó en diciembre un proyecto de ley (4437) con ese fin. Si el Senado lo aprueba, a millones de maestros, trabajadores de la salud y activistas los tratarían como delincuentes por ayudar, enseñar, dar de beber o llevar al hospital a un inmigrante indocumentado. Este mes, el gobierno anunció que le asignó a Halliburton un proyecto de $385 millones para construir centros de detención para inmigrantes. Todo esto en un país que tiene centros de tortura como Abu Ghraib y Guantánamo.
¿Qué ocurrirá en esos centros de detención construidos para encerrar a personas indocumentadas, a quienes les han despojado sus derechos legales, y a quienes han calificado de “hordas”, “invasores” y “amenaza para la seguridad nacional”?
En esta atmósfera, grupos como los Minutemen son tropas de choque semioficiales. Patrullan la frontera armados a la caza de seres humanos que consideran una amenaza a la “cohesión nacional”. Hace poco estos Minutemen, que se han autonombrado defensores del patriotismo, atacaron a un maestro en Elgin, Illinois, porque enseñaba a sus alumnos acerca de la independencia mexicana. Uno de sus fundadores dice que los que se oponen a los Minutemen son “terroristas”, lo cual no tiene fundamento y sin embargo repitió Associated Press.
Las reuniones de los Minutemen en el prado del Capitolio son noticia nacional. El representante John Culbertson de Texas ha propuesto que el gobierno financie y reconozca legalmente sus patrullas armadas. El gobernador de California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, incluso los ha felicitado un par de veces por su “buen trabajo”.
El 15 de octubre se realizó una protesta pacífica en solidaridad con los inmigrantes frente al lugar de una conferencia de los Minutemen en Illinois. Un grupo de diferentes nacionalidades se reunió en la acera a expresar su desacuerdo con la reunión a viva voz. Por increíble que parezca, la policía los atacó siguiendo órdenes de los Minutemen, aunque no estaban bloqueando la entrada a la conferencia y todo lo que hacían era corear lemas en la acera. Llegaron dos destacamentos especiales de la policía de 90 comisarías, perros, equipo de motín y artillería pesada.
Arrestaron a cinco activistas. Una de las arrestadas era la única mujer de la protesta que llevaba una hijab (la tela con que se cubren la cabeza las musulmanas) y se la arrancaron de la cabeza en un acto violento contra sus derechos religiosos. A todos les inventaron cargos de resistencia a la autoridad y agresión a los policías, y por esto los pueden condenar a cuatro años de cárcel. Los fiscales no han querido llegar a un acuerdo antes del juicio porque quieren meterlos a la cárcel. El juicio está programado para el 24 de marzo.
Esto es un ejemplo de la criminalización del disentimiento en este país, donde hoy equivale a traición no estar de acuerdo y protestar; donde el presidente declara que puede espiar a quien le dé la gana por la razón que le dé la gana y dice que el peligro es ¡que la prensa lo desenmascare!
Cuando el gobierno protege y apoya a los Minutemen, y ataca a la oposición, deja en claro que pretende imponer su programa contra los inmigrantes y callar a quienquiera que represente un obstáculo. Lo que el gobierno dice es: “No protesten, no se opongan”. ¡Pero eso no se puede tolerar! Estas acusaciones tienen que anularse y eso solo es posible mediante una gran batalla política. Súmate a esta batalla.
-- Envía cartas al juez y exige que anule las acusaciones. Se necesitan centenares de cartas a:
Judge Hyman I. Riebman
Rolling Meadows Courthouse, Dept. 107
2121 Euclid Avenue
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
-- También se necesitan fondos con urgencia; necesitamos reunir más de $10,000 en unas pocas semanas para la defensa.
Envía cheques a:
Law Office of Jim Fennerty
36 South Wabash, Suite 1310
Chicago, IL 60603 Attn: anti-MM5
-- Ven al juzgado de Rolling Meadows el 24 de marzo a las 8 de la mañana y exige que anulen las acusaciones.
Corre la voz para que otros también apoyen: escribe una nota a tu periódico; coloca esta carta en blogs y portales; organiza una entrevista a uno de los acusados en tu periódico o estación de radio o televisión.
Comunicarse a: Antiminutemen5@yahoo.com

Send THOUSANDS of these support letters to the judge!

3/13 Note change:
The letter below should be sent out to the state's attorney by the thousands ... email it widely, and make sure to tell people to send an email back to Antiminutemen5@yahoo.com, so we know how many were sent.

Print out copies and have everyone at your job, your barbershop or hair salon, your church, your school, etc, sign one --- they can send them in individually or you can collect them all and send them in yourself.

******************************************************


Richard A. Devine
Cook County State's Attorney
500 Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60602


Dear Mr. Devine:

I am sending this letter to express my deepest concern about the prosecution of five anti-racist activists who were arrested on October 15, 2005 at the protest of the Minutemen conference in Arlington Heights. I urge that they not be forced to suffer any more time in jail and furthermore that all charges be dropped.

These young people were simply exercising their right to free speech against hate, racism, and intolerance. They were participating in a peaceful symbolic demonstration in solidarity with hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds to show their support for immigrant and ultimately human rights. People should have the right to demonstrate their opposition to a hate-group like the Minutemen.

The Minutemen are a racist, anti-immigrant vigilante group that takes the law into their own hands. They are an armed border patrol group, who are also involved in anti-immigrant actions across the country. The Minutemen have recently come to organize in Chicago to terrorize our large immigrant population.

I support the five anti-racist defendants and I believe it would be a great injustice to convict them of such unwarranted charges. Please drop all charges against them.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Our story

Circulate this flier far and wide, along with the sample support letter.

Drop the Charges! No jail time for the Anti-Minutemen 5!

Right now this country is seeing increasingly vicious attacks on immigrants, justified in the name of the “War on Terror”. When people step out to oppose these outrages, they must be supported. And when they are attacked, they must be defended. A group of five young people – white, Latino, Muslim – are facing up to four years in jail for a protest against the racist vigilante group the Minutemen. We need you to join in demanding that the charges be dismissed immediately against the Anti-Minutemen 5.

Legal and political precedents are being set that are chillingly similar to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. Since 9/11, the administration has built legal precedent for the concept that immigrants -- especially Arab and Muslim -- are not entitled to due process, and can be held indefinitely in deplorable conditions. Legislators such as Tom Tancredo and Dennis Hastert are calling immigrants a threat to America, defending harsh profiling, and manipulating fear to justify any anti-immigrant measures in the name of the “war on terror.” The Sensenbrenner bill (HB 4437), which passed the House in December, would turn millions of immigrants into felons for crossing without permission – and would make it a felony for anyone to aid or assist them. If this passes the Senate it would mean millions of teachers, health workers, and activists could become felons for giving aid or education or even a drink of water or a ride to the hospital. And in February 2006, the U.S. government announced a $385 million contract with Halliburton to build detention centers for immigrants. This in a country that runs notorious torture centers in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.

Just what will happen in these detention centers, built to lock away undocumented people whose legal rights have been disappeared, and who have been cast as “hordes”, “invaders”, and a threat to national security?

In this atmosphere, groups like the Minutemen serve as semi-official shock troops and enforcers. They patrol the border with guns, hunting the human beings they call a threat to the “fabric of America.” Recently they attacked a teacher in Elgin, Illinois, for teaching about Mexican Independence Day, acting as the self-appointed enforcers of patriotism and jingoism. Minuteman co-founder Chris Simcox accused his opposition of being “terrorists” – and despite his complete lack of evidence, this accusation was disseminated widely by the Associated Press.
They hold rallies on the lawn of the Capitol, to national press coverage. Rep. John Culbertson of Texas has introduced bills asking for financial support and legal recognition for their armed patrols. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has twice praised these folks for doing a “fine job”.

On October 15, people of different nationalities held a peaceful protest on the public sidewalk in front of the site of a Minutemen conference, in a show of solidarity with immigrants. They chanted and spoke out against the Minutemen and in favor of immigrant rights. The response? On orders from the Minutemen, the cops attacked the protest, even though demonstrators were not preventing anyone from entering the conference, and had done nothing but chant on the sidewalk. They called in two regional special task forces, drawn from police from more than 90 surrounding cities, dogs, riot gear, and heavy artillery.

They singled out five of the most vocal activists – including the only woman at the protest wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf), which they tore off of her head in a blatant violation of her religious rights. Those five were given outrageous and trumped-up charges of resisting arrest and battery against the police officers. Some are facing potentially four years in jail. Two state’s attorneys have refused to discuss a plea without jail time. Their case goes to trial on March 24.

This is part of the overall criminalization of dissent in this country, where protest is equated with treason. Where the president declares the right to spy on anyone, for whatever reason he wants, and says that the real danger is that newspapers dared to write about it!

When opposition to the Minutemen is attacked, while they are protected and promoted, it is clear that the government intends to enforce its anti-immigrant program and to silence anyone who gets in the way. The message is this: Don’t protest. Don’t resist. This can’t be allowed to happen! Charges like this have and can be defeated, but not without tremendous political battles for support. You have an important role to play in this. Here’s what you can do:

--Send letters now- we need thousands- to the State's Attorney, asking that the case be immediately dismissed:

Richard A. Devine
Cook County State's Attorney
500 Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60602

--Funds are needed very urgently; we need to raise upwards of $10,000 in legal expenses in a few weeks.
Send contributions and make checks out to:
Law Office of Jim Fennerty
36 South Wabash, Suite 1310
Chicago, IL 60603 Attn: anti-MM5
--Come to the Rolling Meadows courthouse at 8 am on March 24 to demand the charges be dropped.
--Spread the word and build support: write about the case in your local newspaper; post this flyer on blogs and web sites; arrange for one of the Anti-Minutemen 5 to be interviewed by your local radio or TV station or newspaper.