Yesterday We Called, Today We March: Immigration Patriots Rally in Phoenix

The idea of organizing a rally
against amnesty floated around patriotic immigration
reform groups inside the Beltway during the 2006 and
2007 amnesty debates. The American people were



overwhelmingly on our side.
Pro-amnesty forces
brought out



hundreds of thousands of marchers
. Why shouldn`t we
organize a march?


Personally, I thought it was not worth the resources.

Unions, churches, left-wing
organizations, and businesses pay hundreds of thousands
of dollars (never reported, of course) to



bus pro-amnesty marchers

from



across the country
. The patriot side`s
money is already stretched



too thin
.
Despite doing
the
jobs Americans won`t do
,
many of these illegal aliens seem able to take time off
work—sometimes their employers



even give them the day off,
paid—to march in
favor of breaking our laws, whereas our people have



real jobs
.
Nor did I want to get mixed up in the unfortunately
extremely factional politics involved with grassroots
groups like the



Minutemen
.

I also thought that the pro-amnesty
marches, despite their large numbers, were more of a
liability for our opponents than an asset. The site of
Mexican
“Americans”
marching in our streets,


waving
foreign flags
,
laying claim to



US territory
, and demanding their


crimes

be pardoned did them no favors.

I still believe this was the right
strategy in 2006 and 2007. Grassroots



phone calls
alone managed to defeat amnesty
twice. And at that point Middle Americans simply did not
want to take to the streets.

But the



times they are a-changin`.

Obama in the White House is


finally waking up

Americans to the stakes. The Tea Party Movement
regularly turns out hundreds of thousands of



Patriotic Americans.

Of course, the Tea Parties were
organized,


at
least ostensibly
,
mainly in opposition to Obamacare. And many
neoconservative and libertarian operatives are
desperately trying to co-opt the movement before it
begins to turn against immigration too. Thus corporate
lobbyist and self-appointed leader of the Tea Party
movement



Dick Armey
has bemoaned the fact that Tom
Tancredo was speaking at Tea Parties, citing his
“his harsh and
uncharitable and mean-spirited attitude on the
immigration issue.”

[
Dick
Armey Wants Tom Tancredo Out Of His Tea Party Tent
,
by Andrea Nill, Wonk Room, March 10, 2010]

But with Arizona`s SB 1070 putting
immigration back at the center of national debate,
grassroots Middle Americans are ignoring Armey. Case in
point: they came across the country to rally with Tom
Tancredo in favor of SB 1070 at the
“Phoenix Rising”
rally last Saturday, June 5.

Phoenix Rising was organized by Dan
Smeriglio and his group


Voice
of the People
,
neither of which I had heard of beforehand despite years
following the patriotic immigration reform movement.
Smeriglio hails from



Hazleton, PA

and helped organize grassroots support for



Lou Barletta

and the city`s heroic fight against illegal immigration.

This rally had essentially no
Beltway involvement other than co-sponsors Numbers USA
and Team America—which held a fundraiser for J.D.
Hayworth immediately following the rally. When
NumbersUsa`s



Rosemary Jenks

spoke, reading a statement written by Rep. Lamar Smith
(R-TX) and signed by another dozen or so congressmen,
the organizers introduced her by telling the crowd not
to hold the fact that the fact that she works in DC
against her.

In addition to Tancredo and Jenks,
Maricopa County Sheriff



Joe Arpaio
, and


SB 1070

author State Senator



Russell Pearce
also spoke, along nearly two dozen
other patriots before the crowd of two thousand. Some of
the attendees were apparently disappointed with the
size, but I certainly was not: it was vastly bigger than
any other rally against amnesty, and managed to come
together with very little money or backing.

And there was the weather.
Temperatures rose above 105 degrees and there was
absolutely no shade. I will confess that a few of my
friends and I missed over an hour of the rally just
sitting in our air-conditioned rental car.

For this reason, I missed many of
the speakers. But for the most part, it was pretty
simple red meat What Part Of Illegal Do You Not Understand-type stuff. At any
mention of the names of



John McCain
, Eric Holder, Janet Napolitano,
Barack Obama, or



Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon
, the crowd erupted in
boos. Jan Brewer and



J.D. Hayworth
got cheered.

Two of the more perceptive speeches
I heard came from



Terry Anderson
, the African American talk show
host and from Kevin DeAnna leader of



Youth for Western Civilization
.

Anderson warned for everyone to be
wary of the “F
Word”
“first”, as in
Secure
the Borders First
.
He put John McCain, Newt Gingrich, and Bill O`Reilly in
this group, who make secure borders as a pre-condition
to amnesty rather than an end in of itself.

DeAnna quoted George Orwell`s line
that “in a time
of universal deceit, telling the truth is a
revolutionary act”
and drew the corollary: that in a
time when the president supports the interest of Mexico
above the American people, enforcing our laws is a
revolutionary act.

DeAnna made the point that we can
recover from a recession or rebuild from a lost war, but
if we lose the illegal immigration battle, the nation is
literally replaced.

The Main Stream Media accounts of
the rally were relatively positive.[
Thousands rally in
Phoenix heat to support Arizona`s new illegal
immigration law

By Michelle Price, AP June 5th, 2010] Since the
disastrous pro-Mexican Marches of 2006, amnesty
advocates



specifically instruct
their marchers not to bring foreign
flags and hand out American flags, which newspapers
dutifully put on the front page, while ignoring the



Che Guevara
T-Shirts,


Reconquista

slogans, and foreign flags that the marchers still
bring.

I expected the Main Stream Media to
do the opposite—finding one skinhead in attendance to
focus on. But they were given no such opportunity.

The most
“offensive”
signs I saw was someone calling


MeCHA

and



La Raza

the Hispanic version of the KKK and another with
pictures of



Chavez
,


Castro
,
and other Hispanic leaders warning of what the



fate of self government is
in a Hispanic country.
They were far outnumbered by dozens of signs claiming to
welcome legal immigration and insist that the rally was
not about race.

Were it not for the signs, this
could be mistaken as a Fourth of July Picnic.

Demographically, the crowd was
pretty evenly divided between men and women. I would
guess around 30% of the people were under 40. With
everyone in Arizona dressing much more casually than
they do in the East Coast, it was tough to gauge the
socio-economic characteristics of the crowd based on the
clothes. In the parking lot, there were a lot of

SUVs, motorcycles, and pickup trucks
, but
few jalopies or luxury cars. I spoke to a truck driver,
a housewife, the owner of a software company, a Border
Patrol agent, a retired doctor, and school teacher. So
the attendees seem to have pretty much crossed from the
lower to upper middle class spectrum.

Racially, the crowd was


overwhelmingly white.
Perhaps reflecting Arizona`s
demographics, the only African Americans I saw sold
water or were speakers, but there were a number of
Hispanics, both speaking and in the crowd. While they
made up no more than five percent of those attending,
that is certainly a lot more than I`ve seen at any



Tea Party.

One should avoid two extreme
conclusions based on this fact. While we should applaud
these patriotic Hispanics for standing up against the
race-baiting lobbyists who claim to speak for them, the
fact remains that the more Hispanics are in this country
and voting, the harder it will be to fight for patriotic
immigration reform. However, the fact that there were
more Hispanics than attend Tea Parties should dispel the
notion that that taking on the immigration issue will
somehow alienate Hispanics who otherwise would be
appearing in droves.

There only half a dozen protestors.
Two were the usual Hispanic activists yelling
“we didn`t cross
the border, the border crossed us”
. More
interesting, and depressing, was that the rest had
donned



Ron Paul  
rEVOLution


 shirts. They
would speak in fake German accents, presumably to
associate the law with Germans, who



of course are all Nazis.
With typical
nerdishness, one wore a mask from the left wing -wing
graphic comic V
for Vendetta
and their banner included a massive
picture of a Star Wars storm trooper with the words



“Your papers
please”
.

Ron Paul has occasionally said good
things about immigration and he is not to blame for all
his followers. But this spectacle should dispel some of
the illusions that the Ron Paul rEVOLution is
necessarily a positive force for patriotic immigration
reform.

Unfortunately, the Phoenix Rising
event did not totally avoid infighting among grassroots
groups.



William Gheen
of Americans for Legal Immigration
PAC attempted to derail the protest by



parroting

absurd guilt-by-association claims made by the violent
left wing group One Peoples Project against organizer
Dan Smeriglio. The extent of the accusations involved
the fact that Smeriglio had accepted Facebook friend
requests from people who turned out to be alleged white
supremacists. Of course, nobody pointed to anything
objectionable that Smeriglio had said or done.

Whatever Gheen`s
motivations—personal and/or ideological—his smears have
no place in the patriotic immigration reform movement.
And they did him no favors. In fact, they led the Left
to look at his own Facebook friends and



find

supposed neo-Nazis as well. Gheen`s smears did, however,
open the door for the SPLC and Main Stream Media to run
pieces such as



Anti-illegal
immigration ALIPAC breaks with Tancredo over neo-Nazi
organizer
,
[By John Tomasic,
Colorado Independent,

 
May 21, 2010]and



Arizona immigration
law rally loses group due to neo-Nazi links
.[
By
Dan Nowicki, The
Arizona Republic
, May. 22, 2010]

To their credit,


Tancredo

and all of the co-sponsoring organizations of Phoenix
Rising stood firm against these ridiculous attacks But
it is essential that patriotic immigration reformers
continue to fight against both factionalism and
Political Correctness.

All in all, Phoenix Rising was a
tremendous success, and a huge step forward in
mobilizing the silent majority in favor of immigration
enforcement. Dan Smeriglio deserves a great deal of
credit.

Smeriglio says he plans on a second
rally at San Antonio`s



Alamo

in August (If Phoenix in June isn`t hot enough!) When
the details emerge, I will post them. I hope all
VDARE.COM readers will try to attend.

"Washington Watcher" [email
him
] is an anonymous source Inside The
Beltway.