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Montreal Against the Minutemen!

Activists demonstrate against the Minutemen in Rock Island.

On Saturday, October 15th, a group of 25 people from Montreal drove down to Rock Island, QC, which sits right on the Quebec-Vermont border. The reason for their visit - the Minutemen were patrolling the Derby Line border crossing, and groups of anarchists, socialists, and leftists on both sides of the border were determined to stop them!

The minutemen are a volunteer group of vigilantes who patrol the borders of the USA in an attempt to stop migrants from crossing. They began their patrols on the US-Mexican border in April, 2005, and launched their campaign at the US-Canadian border on October 1st.

While they claim not to be racist and just "protecting their country", the politics of the Minutemen can be described as veiled fascism. They portray any immigrant or refugee as a threat to national security, and there have been known incidences where they have humilated, harassed, and beaten migrants - all while thwarting their attempts to seek some form of safety and sanctuary in the USA.

Under the banner "Minutemen go home!", the group from Montreal, comprised mostly of individuals from certain groups such as the North-Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC), Solidarity Across Borders, the Latin American Committee of the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC), and the Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity Movement (IPSM), marched through the small town of Rock Island distributing flyers and inviting locals to join them.

Many of the protesters were pleased to find that lots of locals in Rock Island were very sympathetic to their demonstration. Plenty of folks were happy to take flyers, and were very curious about the groups involved and the threats that the armed Minutemen posed to their community. One local onlooker was overheard saying, "If those [minutemen] come over here, we'll bash 'em in the head!"

Finally, the march found it's way right up to the actual US-Canadian border. An overwhelming sense of power and solidarity came across the group when their allies and commrades on the US side appeared right across the small bridge seperating the two countries. Both groups cheered each other on and chanted "Immigrants in! Minutemen out!" in unison.

A small delegation from the Canadian side approached their American commrades even further, got out a soccer ball, and a cross-border match ensued! After speaking to the media and handing out flyers to cars passing by, everyone got out of the rain and were welcomed into a nice, small restaurant literally 50 feet from the border. The restaurant was owned by Syrian refugees who had left the US to come to Canada after September 11th, 2001, and the racist backlash against Arabs that followed. Knowing very well themselves how borders act as a detriment in peoples lives, the restaurant staff were happy to open their doors to the protestors and fed them a wonderful, warm meal.

Throughout the afternoon, there were confirmed reports from journalists that several Minutemen were posted in the forest surrounding the Derby Line, but remained unseen by the group from Montreal. Knowing that they would face severe opposition from protestors and the community, the minutemen couldn't work up the courage to face the public.

In the end, there was an agreement that the demonstration was a success. The group from Montreal brought their message that no one is illegal, and were met with widespread sympathy and support. The Minutemen can mobilize their forces and bring their racist rhetoric to the borders, but they will be exposed and confronted! The Minutemen shall not pass!

For photos of the demonstration, visit:

For more info: