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San Diego Minutemen Chief Filmed in Migrant Camp Attack

By Casey Sanchez on August 16, 2007 - 10:10 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Members of the San Diego Minutemen (SDMM), including leader Jeff Schwilk, were captured pulling down migrant workers’ tents and makeshift huts in a video apparently shot in McGonigle Canyon in San Diego. Earlier this week, the Voice of San Diego posted the video shot by Christie Czajkowski, a former member of SDMM who told the online newspaper it was filmed last November.

The video surfaced as police continue to investigate a similar attack on the migrant camp last winter. On Jan. 27, migrants returned to their shantytown to find their tarp homes sliced to ribbons and their clothes slashed. This spring, police searched the homes of Schwilk, Czajkowski and an anti-illegal immigration activist named Julie Adams in connection with that investigation. No arrests have been made.

Czajkowski told the Voice of San Diego that the video showed SDMM members vandalizing the camp, an allegation Schwilk denied. He claimed the camp was unoccupied and “you can’t vandalize … an unoccupied structure,” and later issued a press release, in conjunction with three other nativist leaders, calling Czajkowski a “chronic liar.” Czajkowski, who describes Schwilk as her estranged former boyfriend, said she had not supplied the Voice of San Diego with the video, which she said the police have had a copy of since her home was searched.

In the video, Schwilk is seen rummaging through migrants’ possessions and pulling down a migrant worker’s tarp hut. “They don’t build them like they used to,” says Schwilk. In another scene, Schwilk and others stand inside a canyon chapel for migrant workers that has an altar made of pink adobe and is decorated with fresh flowers and a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron saint. “Believe me, I’ve had many a fantasy of coming in here with a sledgehammer,” Schwilk says. Czajkowski told the Voice of San Diego that, off camera, Schwilk had then gone on to smash veladoras, or Mexican devotional prayer candles, in the chapel. The chapel was operated for migrant workers by a local church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, through this January, two months after Czajkowski says she shot the video.

Another scene shows a woman referred to only as “Julie” taking her turn at trying to pull down a migrant shanty made of tarps and poles. “I’m going to be in the paper tomorrow,” she is heard saying. “But not for all this shit.”

San Diego police spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said the Minutemen are not allowed to allowed to conduct “clean-ups” in camps on private land without the owner’s permission. Meanwhile, a coalition of pro-migrant and Latino groups have offered a $10,000 award for information leading to an arrest in the January case.

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  • David

    Why isn’t there this kind of outcry when the police roust a homeless encampment? BTW I’m against all forms of immigration to the US. We have enough people here already! This holds especially true if all of the illegals are granted amnesty.

  • Cathy Meadows

    It’s interesting that someone who calls herself a T.I. (Christie Czjakowski) goes out and harasses, stalks, and vandalizes minorities, and then thinks it’s okay to do it. She’s not a T.I. She’s a perpetrator against T.I.’s. A right-wing extremist perpetrator and she should be arrested just like any perpetrator against targeted indviduals

  • John

    I’m a white native born American who was raised, and still lives, not 10 minutes from where this attack occurred and I’m ashamed of the cowardly way these bigots have attacked those who are weaker then them. These high school drop outs want to blame Hispanics for their own lack of success in life but that is nothing more then classic scapegoating. I suggest that if they spent half as much effort trying to improve their own job skills instead of complaining about people who are willing to work harder then them then maybe they would be better off.

  • truthbrigade

    Why hasn’t anyone been arrested for these crimes is they have evidence who did it?

  • red

    I am White and I am a minute man, and i not only hate mexican but woul l would like to have a race war and kick all non whites out

  • Mandy

    Find it interesting that a country founded on immigration would so willingly turn it’s nose up at the idea of an impoverished people desiring the same civil liberties we speak so freely about. ironic? yes.

    and mjb…painting christians as victims? you’ve been reading too much ann coultier dear.

    no one is attacking you, your faith or your way of life. The us vs. them mentality is as far from christian as one can get. we have a responsibility and a duty to help those who can’t help themselves. i believe THAT is what Jesus would do.

  • Therese McClenahan

    I do not believe all Americans hate the Mexicans. They have been illegally immigrating here for years. Americans have hired them, befriended them. Does not look like hate to me.

    BUT…….Now the Mexicans are coming here with venom, screaming this is their nation, that they are going to take it away from us, Whitey, go back to Europe, you don’t even belong here, etc etc.

    What are we supposed to do. Ignore it? Pretend that they haven’t come here to breed us out? Will they be as kind and tolerent to us if there are more of them?

    Doen’t sound like it to me. So I say, send home as many as we can to take down their numbers. This includes the anchor babies and as many as possible.




  • Gary Jones

    Dear Veronica: Please try not to stereotype those of us who are anti-illegal imigration. I know it simplifes the debate in the short run, but only makes things worse. I do not hate Mexicans, nor do many others I know well. Yes, some people on my side are racial bigots, but many are not. Some pro-illegal imigration people are racists, but that doesn’t keep me from wanting to believe the best about you.

    BTW, I’m white, but it doesn’t matter. Please, let’s try and keep our minds and hearts open.

  • Veronica

    To Lisa: Would you have used the term “illegal” to describe your ancestors, who came from another country and were probably told to “go back where you came from”, accused of bringing disease and crime, and were probably accused of “burdening” the system? Face it: this has nothing to do with whether these immigrants are “legal” or “illegal”. It all boils down to the fact that they’re Mexicans and you don’t like them.

    BTW, I’m Hispanic.

  • NIck Ryan

    Interesting… we don’t have quite the same situation here in the UK (despite what some might argue).

    Clearly there are tensions out there and people afraid of jobs, change, way of life, language, etc, as newcomers move in – illegal or not.

    However, the US was founded on migration, legal and illegal, and simply trying to step up border forces (official or unofficial) is not going to work, IMO. Much better to acknowledge the changes and work with, and within them, to help shape the direction and better the overall outcome.

    Btw, yes there are hate crimes committed by all communities, not just one. It’s a fallacy to talk about Communist regimes, as there are barely any left (North Korea, China only in name).

    True, this is a vexed and complex issue. But the businesses which supply us with comfortable lifestyles are using the labor coming over borders or – if you check – are relocating overseas anyways, to take advantage of cheaper and/or more skilled labor.

    In all my time as a reporter and writer, if nothing else I know one thing for sure: most people want a ‘back and white’ world, easy answers, stability and someone to promise them they can provide this. It always amazes me how quickly mainstream politicians are vilified (rightly or wrongly) and treated with cynicism, and then folks throw their hats into the ring with the first carpet-bagging snake oil salesman that come along (cf extremists).

  • Lisa

    It drives me crazy when people who are in this country illegally are called “immingrants” or “undocumented workers”. They are illegal, illegal, illegal immigrants.
    Nobody in the media or on the left seems to want to use this term.

  • quantumflux

    Crime should not be fought with crime. It is hypocritical.

  • mjb

    What is racist about wanting illegal immigration laws enforced? Not that the beating of illegal aliens should be condoned, but you have an apparent leftist agenda. I don’t see the same energy focused towards African American hate groups or Christian intolerance in foreign countries.

    Racism is not something reserved for the right. Some of the most hateful men came from the extreme left. Communism is an example that comes to mind. Try going to a despotic communist nation and speak out against that ruler. Your mouth will be quickly shut.

    Poverty sucks, but as Christ said, it will always be with us. Racism is atrocious, that was only sparked when evolution propagated a theory that other races (there is only 1 race imo, the human race, or maybe the original term of race – Irish Race, English Race, Italian race, etc…) were lesser evolved to white people. Hitler used that theory voraciously. Stalin too.

    Please focus on black on black crime and black on white crime too. This will help to show that you are not just another ignorant leftwingnut slamming all right wingers (i’m libertarian) as racists mongrels.