The Colorado Minutemen, a virulently racist anti-Mexican group, held a meeting at the Englewood Library on Saturday, February 21st . RAIM-Denver became aware of the meeting less than a week in advance and was eager to oppose it. With little time to coordinate and promote a large protest, we decided instead to hold a picnic. RAIM-Denver was serving up non-alcoholic wine, cheese, and the best part: crackers.
RAIM-Denver was joined by a couple Denver-area anti-racist comrades, making our picnic only a handful in size. That didn’t stop us from getting our point across. As was done at Denver’s last confrontation with the Minutemen, klan hoods were offered to the racists as they entered the building. We made some banners also.
RAIM-Denver understands that the U.S. Southwest is land stolen from Mexican and Indigenous peoples. Thus RAIM comrades proudly displayed the Mexican flag. Other comrades held a banner that read,”If you don’t like Mexico, get out!”
The event was intimate. Nick, a RAIMer, went inside the library lobby where a few Minuteman gringos were waiting. He even offered to share the picnic bounty. “Cracker?” he said as he offered each of them a saltine. Unfortunately, the Minutemen crackers were stuffed full of race pride and doughnuts and ready to get to their business of organizing against an imaginary Mexican invasion. Thus, they all declined and the meeting began promptly at 10am.
Standing outside, we could only guess how large the meeting inside was. The Englewood Library has two entrances and we only had one covered. Some wagered that the Minutemen’s numbers were at parity with our own. Others thought that the Obama election had caused a minor White backlash, leading to a higher attendance for the hate-group meeting. Still others were unsure. The issue was resolved after a RAIMer suggested we enter the library and disrupt the meeting.
The plan was set. We would inconspicuously enter the library; find the room where the meeting was taking place; burst in while waving the Mexican flag and chanting, ‘Get off Stolen Land, Deport the Minuteklan!;” and promptly exit before security could arrive. Needless to say, the plan went off without a hitch. We even left the saltines for the crackers to enjoy. The racists were shocked at such a bold move. It was hilarious. The message was unequivocal: organized white-supremacy will be confronted.
In terms of their numbers, in the brief moment while we were in the meeting room, we estimated 15-20 crackers present. These numbers should be put into context. During the Democratic National Convention, the Minutemen had a “national gathering” in Denver of a mere 50 people. That so many racists would be at a local chapter meeting should be a wake up call to the Denver so-called left, whose opposition was all but absent.
That said, the picnic was a major success, one that belongs to both RAIM-Denver and our anti-racist allies. Through such cooperation and flexibility, not only did we put out a strong message, but we did so with deeds. We freaked out the Minutemen, who now know that they will be opposed. Next time, Fiesta!
Update: We have a video of the event too – https://raimd.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/a-raimd-picnic-confronting-the-minutemen/