Minutemen suffer defeat at Columbia University Thursday, October 5, 2006
By: ANSWER Coalition
Jim Gilchrist terminates speech in face of angry opposition
The following statement was issued by the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).
A major demonstration on Wed., Oct. 4 in New York City resulted in a serious setback for the racist, anti-immigrant
"Minuteman Project." Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, an organization that dispatches armed vigilantes at the U.S.-Mexican border, was invited by the Columbia University Republicans to speak at the Roone Arledge auditorium on campus.
Many hundreds of protesters filled up the blocks outside the auditorium, in a demonstration initiated by the Chicano Caucus of Columbia University and supported by the ANSWER Coalition. Inside the hall, the overwhelming number of attendees were clearly opposed to the racist message of the Minutemen.
When Gilchrist began to speak, the students inside exercised their Free Speech rights by loudly protesting the presence of this fascist on their campus. More than 20 students—including several ANSWER activists—occupied the stage where they were violently attacked by thugs working with the Minutemen. In spite of the violent attacks against them, they held their ground, and Gilchrist terminated his speech.
"Progressive students of all backgrounds—immigrant and non-immigrant, Black, Latino, Asian, Arab and white—
Minutemen thugs tear at ANSWER banner.
mobilized to meet this racist provocation. Jim Gilchrist was hoping to sell his message of hate but the people were not buying. Let tonight be a model for others around the country. And let it be a lesson to the Minutemen: wherever they go, they will be confronted. We have an obligation to the millions of immigrants in this country who are being demonized and targeted by the Minutemen, KKK and other racists," said Karina Garcia, Political Chair of Chicano Caucus.
The ANSWER Coalition has struggled vigorously to ensure that the Minutemen are not welcome anywhere they go. From New York, to Chicago, to Los Angeles they are opposed by militant, pro-immigrant organizers, youth and students, who demand full rights for all immigrants and an end to racist scapegoating by neo-fascist organizations.