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Minutemen/SOS Ignore NAFTA/WTO, blame migrants

Why do Minutemen/SOS leaders ignore the role that NAFTA/WTO free trade agreements play in increasing poverty and landless campesina migrants??
This work is in the public domain.

Here's a thread from laimc. This applies to the current G8 nations summit and the effects of free trade agreements (WTO/NAFTA/PPP/etc..) on economic induced migration..

How is it that agribusiness corporations can drive farmers off their lands in Mexico, then coerce the landless farmers to work for slave wages in the ag fields of the US??

Leslie wrote;

"Ted Hayes, leader of the Crispus Attucks Brigade of the minutemen but best known for his work for the homeless, skipped a major homeless protest against city sweeps to stand with the minutemen. Organizing group Save Our State leaders Joe Turner and Don Silva straggled along at the end of the march while Jim Gilchrist of a sometimes competing group, the Minuteman Project, strode in the front ranks."

Here's four prominent people who strongly influence the rhetoric of the so-called 'militia' movement of anti-immigrant activists (Minutemen, SOS, etc..)..

What are the goals of these individuals? We already know Gilchrist is running on a conservative political platform that seeks to villify (mostly Mexican) immigrants who journey to the US because of economic need. However, Gilchrist and his peers almost NEVER address the actual cause of this economic based immigration, the poverty in Mexico induced by decades of globalization free trade programs like NAFTA, WTO and now PPP.

In addition to the right to migrate freely between different regions, people ALSO have the right to live and work in their homeland country without being coerced by adverse economic conditions to migrate elsewhere..

IF the Minutemen/SOS wanted to protest the source of undocumented immigration from Mexico to the US, THEN they would be most effective by protesting at Cargill, the US corporation responsible for dumping cheap corn on the Mexican market and causing local farmers to lose their land (and then forced by survival to migrate to el norte.)..

Some reasons to protest and boicott Cargill;

"Cargill, the biggest grain distributor in the world, was permitted to buy six hundred thousand tons of corn at 1,650 pesos per ton. Later, Cargill began to sell the corn in the valley of Mexico at 3,500 pesos the ton ("Pactortilla," Reforma, 1/21/07). Profits resulting from the price hike were clearly reaped by the major grain distributors but not by corn producers. Article 253 of the federal penal code prohibits hoarding, and excessive profits based on price-fixing, but the Federal Competition Commission has done little to enforce the laws ("Maiz: Cosechar Tempestades," Oaxaca Libre, 1/18).

Calderón's pact includes a promise to investigate and punish responsible hoarders, but considering the intimate relationship between big business and the PAN, it is unlikely that the investigation will uncover anything that turns out to be politically inconvenient.

"Let Them Eat Cake"

For his initiative to increase imports of tariff-free corn, Calderón has been criticized as merely adding fuel to the fire.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, has not made its way to the forefront of the debate but is certainly at the heart of the problem. Part of the idea behind the signing of NAFTA was a plan to shift the economy away from corn production and towards more lucrative goods aimed at the export market. In the years leading up to NAFTA, protected communal lands were parceled off and all support for small farmers and corn production was withdrawn, thereby escalating the expulsion of farmers from their lands."

read on @;

As a result of the anti-immigrant psuedo-militias' one-sided PR campaign that ignores NAFTA, we now have the GW Bush regime calling for an apartheid segregation border wall between the US and Mexico. In addition the same GW Bush regime promotes a wall between Iran and Iraq, and supported the segregation barrier between Israel and occupied Palestine. Is it clear by now that the GW Bush regime believes that building higher and longer walls is their solution for every political problem??

IF there were no significant economic disparity between Mexico and US, THEN NO border wall, INS patrols or other expensive measures of 'patrolling' the US/MEX border would be needed!! People could come and go as they pleased in both directions without the keystone cops of the INS ripping through the deserts in their SUVs searching for 'illegals'..

Ironically this so-called 'militia' is playing right into the hands of the GW Bush regime's call for an apartheid border wall. Why does it not surprise me that the leadership of the SOS/Minutemen is getting their marching orders from the CIA/FBI Homeland Security chumps who want to put anti-war (& other) dissidents behind the walls of FEMA camps??

In defense of a true militia movement in the US;

A true militia is a guaranteed right under the US Constitution to be organized, bear arms and if needed overthrow an unjust government. As US citizens it is our responsibility to maintain a safe haven for organizing such a response in the face of a tyrant (ie., GW Bush) who occupies a position of influence within the US government. We welcome anyone else (ie., non-citizen) to join us in this task..

The gripes of the Minutemen/SOS about undocumented Mexican immigrants being allowed to work in the US are not reflecting a genuine militia movement and furthermore gives authentic militias an undeserved bad reputation. What we need today is a well organized militia prepared to occupy US military bases in the event of either a 'troop surge' to Iraq or an unjustified and illegal US military invasion of Iran. Let's make sure that no more innocent lives are lost in this illegal war for oil profits. We cannot acomplish this important task if a psuedo-militia "Minutemen/SOS" drains the people's energy potential by playing 'hunt the migrants' along the perceived US/MEX borderlands..

Then we have the predicted reaction of leftists and liberals to the exploits of the Minutemen/SOS. If the Minutemen say "No immigrants", the leftists say "Yes immigrants"! Again, any critical thinking about the initial causes of poverty induced immigration because of NAFTA/WTO free trade agreements are shoved aside by the polarized debates between the opposing sides..

Neither the 'border wall' Minutemen nor the 'open border' leftists seem prepared to get US policy makers to focus on the problems caused by neo-liberalism and NAFTA free trade globalization agreements. The suffering of Mexicans who attempt to cross the border and die in the desert is a result of economic disparity caused by NAFTA's free trade agreements. The suffering of both (un)documented Mexican immigrants in slaughterhouses, agricultural plantations and other undesirable jobs is prolonged by this polarized arguement between the factions. It is not acceptable to coerce people into working virtual slave labor because they were born on the 'wrong' side of a perceived border. Immigrant labor may in fact 'strengthen' the US economy as liberals often put it, though at the expense of the immigrant's lost land, language, (268+ indigenous tongues spoken in Mexico), culture and food sovereignty..

In my search for answers i came across this group's response to immigration;

"Liberal solutions have predictably failed to address the root causes of migration or the sources of racist injustice. Amnesty and legalization will undeniable make life better for migrants currently living in the US, but they will do nothing to prevent yet more indigenas and latinos from being driven from their homes, and they will do nothing to change the US economy's dependence on cheap migrant labor.

A truly radical analysis of migration must acknowledge that most migrants would prefer to stay home, but desperate circumstances force them to risk their lives in the hopes of finding work in the US. It must recognize the effect of treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which forces hundreds of thousands of campesin@s off their land every year by dumping cheap, subsidized, US corn on the Mexican market (according to some estimates, migration across the US's souther border has tripled since NAFTA went into effect in 1994). It must take into account the way that CAFTA will exacerbate the problem, and it must acknowledge the role of infrastructure projects like the PPP in facilitating these trade agreements.

Infrastructure projects, in and of themselves, also dislocate millions of people every year. The World Trade Commission on Dams estimates that those directly displaced by dam construction in the last 60 years number 40-80 million worldwide. In Latin America, these dislocations inevitably feed northward migration."

read on @;

BTW, another aspect of US immigration policy is the tendency to select for or against specific immigrant groups. For example, Castro hating immigrants from Cuba were welcomed by INS to Miami with a red carpet because they were former plantation slaveowners dethroned by Castro's revolution. However, Haitian refugees are often turned back to sea by INS without any possibility of becoming a US citizen. If Haitians did stay, they often worked in the menial labor sector, or the sugar plantations. We're curious if the anti-Chavez Venezuelans will recieve the same red carpet treatment as the Cubans as they scurry away from Chavez's justice?? Maybe the Chavez haters in Venezuela can also go to Miami and help the anti-Castro Cubans run their sugar slave plantations in south FL??

The same sugar plantation owners who operated fields of virtual slavery under Batista, were welcomed to Miami by CIA Director Allen Dulles to open sugar plantations in FL, with virtual slave labor (Haitians, Jamacians, etc..) restored in south Florida (though outlawed in Castro's Cuba)..

Here's some background on the anti-Castro Cuban sugar cartel in Miami;

"Since the early 1950s our foreign policies concerning Fidel Castro have been dictated by power brokers within our government who had strong ties to the sugar industry.

When Fidel Castro began his revolution against Batista and his Mafia cronies - who allowed prostitution, drug trafficking, gambling, torture, and more - the Director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, had already ordered that Castro be assasinated. (3)

Not because Castro was a communist. He was not. He was an idealistic lawyer, brought up in the Catholic faith, with the utopian notion that the land and businesses in Cuba should be returned to the people. CIA Director Dulles knew that Castro was going to nationalize all the sugar plantations, mills, and refineries and Dulle was looking out for his sugar baron cronies.

According to noted Cuba historian Jane Franklin, Dulles had once been the President of United Fruit, a major sugar company with massive sugar holdings in Cuba.


Soon after Fidel took over Cuba the assassination attempts increased. Another Cuban sugar baron, Luis Lobo, openly bragged in Havana that Fidel would be killed soon. Lobo had to flee Cuba, moved to Miami where he became a banker. He helped finance Alpha 66, a militant "anti-Castro" group."

read on @;

Minutemen are racist dupes 28.Feb.2007 09:07


The minutemen are the end product of years of corporate media indoctrination, politically ignorant and afraid to think in ways their masters don't want them to think. The end result is a racially-biased group whose actions and words fail to address the real causes of illegal immigration.

That they are racist is blatantly obvious when one considers how little time they spend going after law-breaking capitalists in comparison to law-breaking border crossers. It is every bit as illegal to employ someone without verifying eligibility to work in the USA as it is to cross the border without going through customs.

That discrepancy puts the lie to their claim to be merely interested in seeing the law of the land enforced.