This past Saturday, Sept. 17, activist groups gathered in Austin to march against the Minutemen and honor Mexico’s Independence Day.

    Among them were the Cesar E. Chavez March Committee, League of United Latin American Council (LULAC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF).

    The Minutemen are a group of volunteers who concentrate on the Arizona-Texas border in an attempt to stop illegal immigration. Many of the Minutemen are armed and thus have been called vigilantes by the activist groups that oppose them.

    Recently, the Minutemen attempted to expand their operation into Texas, which prompted the recent protest in Austin.

    The march started at Congress and Riverside with approximately 400 participants.

    Many carried signs and shouted chants, such as “Minutemen, KKK have to go,” and “down with racism.”

    The protesters made their way to the capitol where Minutemen and their supporters waited.

    The Minutemen carried signs and shouted chants of their own: “Go back to Mexico; we don’t want you here.”

    Jaime Martinez, president of the Texas chapter of the Labor Council for Latin America (LCLAA) was in Austin to protest the Minutemen.

    ”Our people are being scapegoated by all kinds of organizations, including the Minutemen,” he said.

    The Cesar E. Chavez March Committee, LULAC, NAACP and MALDEF are seeking support for illegal immigrants in the form of amnesty. Prior to Sept. 11, politicians at the state and federal level were working with these groups to provide amnesty, but negotiations have since broken down.

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