Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Yesterday, about 50 racists from the Border Watch, Minute Men, and Tea Party rallied for over 5 hours in front of the HEB Store at 28520 Tomball Parkway. The Tomball City Council's recent rejection of anti-immigrant proposals has energized these extremists and increased their numbers. Only 12 people showed up for our counter-protest, so we were badly outnumbered.
With our sound system and portable cd player, we drowned out the racists' rants with chants, Hispanic music, reggae, and labor songs. A couple of passers-by stopped to join us. A couple of others rejected the racists' lies after discussing the immigration issue with us. Despite our tiny numbers, we outlasted the racists again, chanting "Ya se van, ya se van, los racistas ya se van" as they departed.
Unfortunately, the extremists were able to get several passers-by to stop, sign their petition, and join their rally. Two carloads of racist youth drove through the site repeatedly, shouting, "White Power!" Confederate flags on the back of some trucks and signs in support of Joe Horn, the Pasadena man who killed two Hispanic burglars, conveyed the same racist message. A local Constable's Deputy honked in support of their rally as he drove by.
The morning included a physical confrontation in which one racist assaulted one of our organizers, who suffered a minor abrasion of his left arm but did not require medical attention. Frankly, we know the possibility of such incidents deters some progressive people from coming out to oppose these racists. But substantially increasing the numbers at our protests will minimize the likelihood of violence and help to defeat the Border Watch, Minute Men, and Tea Party.
Do we have a choice? Does anyone believe that ignoring these racists or foregoing counter-protests will make them go away? Does anyone doubt that the hysteria against immigrants, coupled with growing anti-Muslim bigotry, the racist backlash against Obama, rapidly changing demographics, and the continuing Great Recession provide fertile soil for an American fascism that wraps itself in the flag and the cross?
We urgently appeal to you to join us next Saturday, September 25, beginning at 8 am, in front of the HEB Store at 28520 Tomball Parkway. This event is being organized by the Latin American Organization for Immigrant Rights and the Progressive Workers Organizing Committee. We'll bring the sound system, signs, water, gatorade, a canopy, folding chairs, and sunscreen. And we'll be doing some outreach to Tomball residents during the week. But we need you to come out and join us. We also need a videographer. Please call us at (832) 692-2306 or Juan at (832) 282-6997 if you can help or would like more information.
David and Rona