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Anti-Immigrant 'Tea Party' Confronted in St. Paul

By staff |
November 15, 2009
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Immigrant rights activists hold banners to oppose the anti-immigrant message
Above:
Immigrant rights activists make their presence felt in opposition to the anti-immigrant "tea party". (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Some of the people at the anti-immigrant "tea party" rally
Some of the people at the anti-immigrant "tea party" rally
Right:
Some of the people at the anti-immigrant "tea party" rally (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Left:
Some of the people at the anti-immigrant "tea party" rally (Fight Back! News/Staff)

St. Paul, MN - On November 14, immigrant rights activists in the Twin Cities confronted a "tea party" rally of about 40 right wing anti-immigrant extremists at the Minnesota State Capitol. The anti-immigrant "tea party against amnesty" was in opposition to immigration reform legislation that may be introduced soon in the U.S. Congress, which might provide legalization for some undocumented immigrants. The tea party organizers oppose any legalization and instead support repressive mass deportations of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country. The anti-immigrant extremists gathered to hear speakers and held signs with messages such as "If You Are Illegal Go Home" and "Pack Their Sack and Send Them Back".

However their message did not go unopposed. They were confronted by about 30 immigrant rights activists standing up for legalization and full equality for all regardless of immigration status. The immigrant rights presence was initiated by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAc). Immigrant rights activists chanted during the anti-immigrant speakers, and held banners that said "Stop Raids and Deportations" and "Immigration is Not a Crime". The immigrant rights protesters clearly frazzled the anti-immigrant organizers throughout their event.

One immigrant rights activist going by the name of Robert Erickson even tricked the anti-immigrant rally organizers into letting him speak at their rally. He began his speech with what sounded like the usual hateful anti-immigrant message. But as he continued, it became clear he was not criticizing Latin American immigrants coming across the Mexican border. Instead he was condemning the European colonizers who came here starting 500 years ago and stole the land from Native Americans while committing genocide against them. At first the anti-immigrant crowd cheered for him until they slowly realized he was not giving their message. Then they fell into silent confusion, as immigrant rights protesters shouted their approval.


Video: "Robert Erickson" Tricks Anti-Immigrant Rally Organizers

The following video clip shows immigrant rights activist "Robert Erickson", who tricked the anti-immigrant tea party organizers into letting him speak at their November 14 rally. His speech at first sounds like an anti-immigrant speech but then changes the message part way through. This left the anti-immigrant forces confused and speechless, while immigrant rights protesters shouted their approval.

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