Revolution #65, October 15, 2006
Vigilante Minuteman Shut Down At Columbia University
We received the following report from the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade in New York City:
On October 4, Jim Gilchrist, co-founder and spokesperson for the Minutemen, was scheduled to speak at Columbia. Two other representatives from the anti-immigrant vigilante Minutemen was also scheduled to speak.
A crowd of 300 gathered outside the building to protest, with the majority of the crowd inside decidedly in disagreement with the speaker.
Minutes into Gilchrist’s speech, students took the stage... In turn the college Republicans targeted and attempted to beat protesters. Security was called in and the audience was cleared from the building.
The president of the University wrote an apology letter to the Minutemen, and the Daily News and the New York Post viciously attacking the demonstration.
All this stands against the basic truth that this demonstration was a very good and much needed thing. The Minutemen is a nationwide, organized, well-armed, lynch mob—which needs to be put outside the realm of acceptable debate. Gilchrist is not just a guy advocating an issue. He is the head of a paramilitary fascist force that is actively responsible for the deaths of immigrants—not yet directly perhaps, but in the way they force immigrants to cross through even more remote desert areas. And the Minutemen movement is a growing project—with explicit and implicit backing from the Bush Regime. Its spokespeople must be repudiated and they need to be shown for what they really are—fascist vigilantes in their own right, and an important part of Bush’s whole reactionary and repressive program.
A statement has been released anonymously from those who stormed the stage, upholding what they did. Everyone at Columbia, one of the most influential campuses in the country, is talking about this incident, many saying it was good and right, many being shocked that Gilchrist was even invited to their campus.
In the wake of this the Minutemen are trying to come out stronger in New York City. They followed up the incident at Colombia by holding a rally the following Saturday outside of the Mexican consulate—where again they were met by people opposing them.
People need to act. And people need to act in a way that can really change things, something that would have been appropriate during Hitler’s rise and that really meets the challenges we face now—a truly massive political movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime and Bring This to a Halt!
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