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Official Leaves Minuteman Group for ‘Patriot’ Movement

By David Holthouse on August 7, 2009 - 2:49 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Providing yet another sign that major elements of the Minuteman anti-immigration movement are broadening their agenda to become part of a resurgent antigovernment “Patriot” movement, a top official of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) has announced that he resigned Aug. 1. Al Garza, who was vice president of the largest and richest Minuteman organization in the country, will now head the newly formed Patriots Coalition, a conspiracy-mongering Patriot group whose website contains jokes about assassinating President Obama.

Garza, who’s been MCDC founder Chris Simcox’s right-hand man for the past four years, wrote in a mass E-mail that he was quitting to launch the Patriots Coalition because “the organization [MCDC] is now on a path that I cannot endorse.  Many of you have shared similar feelings with me and I have heard your calling.”

Garza may have been referencing the fact that in recent months, Simcox has toned down his rhetoric toward immigrants and has disavowed other Minuteman leaders who’ve expressed support for non-border security-related causes such as tax resistance, the secession of Texas and even armed insurrection. Simcox’s moderation has coincided with the early stages of his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Arizona against incumbent John McCain.

In his E-mail, Garza also referred to the latest firestorm of infighting within the Minuteman movement. The intramural sniping was touched off by the arrest of Minuteman American Defense (MAD) leader Shawna Forde and two of her followers for the home-invasion murders of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Pima County, Ariz.

“Unfortunately, the public perception of the Minutemen has been tainted by our detractors and the media, which has successfully been enflamed by the internal and unnecessary strife,” Garza wrote. “I do not see an end in sight for the problems plaguing what was once the greatest citizen movement in America.”

Garza is identified as the “Founder/President” of the The Patriots Coalition. The group’s site is thick with “birther” conspiracy theory materials and jokes about the death of Obama. For example, it displays a digitally altered photographed of a bullet-riddled Air Force One and the caption, “Obama’s first low pass over Texas.” The site also contains information on how to join the so-called “tea party” tax-protest demonstrations as well as the militant antigovernment outbursts erupting at health care reform town hall meetings across the country. The site declares: “Our country has two enemies: ?Those who want to destroy us from the outside and those who attempt it from within.”

Here is Garza’s announcement of his resignation in its entirety:

“Fellow Minuteman, patriots and other concerned Americans:

“The 1st of August 2009, I tendered my resignation as Vice President of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps to its President and CEO, Carmen Mercer.  I’ve had the pleasure of spending several years and many long, hard days working alongside my friends Carmen Mercer and Chris Simcox in pursuit of a mission to secure our borders and protect our national sovereignty.

“Unfortunately, the public perception of the Minutemen has been tainted by our detractors and the media, which has successfully been enflamed by the internal and unnecessary strife.  I do not see an end in sight for the problems plaguing what was once the greatest citizen movement in America.

“Like most volunteers of the Minutemen, I have attempted to focus on the mission rather than internal politics, but I can no longer serve my country and our mission to secure the borders by remaining a part of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

“I have recently been asked and have accepted the post as President of the Patriots Coalition.  It was not an easy decision as I have been honored to work alongside Carmen Mercer, Chris Simcox and other volunteers of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps.  Unfortunately, the organization is now on a path that I cannot endorse. Many of you have shared similar feelings with me and I have heard your calling.

“Through the Patriots Coalition, we will continue the mission to secure our borders and reach out to other Americans who feel disenfranchised by the direction our country has taken.  Many of us have children and grandchildren for whom we seek a better America.  We cannot and will not give up until we deliver on that promise.

“Over the next few weeks, we have many administrative tasks to accomplish in order to gain our non-profit status and develop our infrastructure.  We will continue to communicate with you on our progress and appreciate the yeomen’s work you have always been willing to perform in the name of God and country.

“For God, Liberty and Country.

“Semper Fidelis,

“Al Garza”

  • PaulaGem

    A Patriot is one who supports the Constitiution, the Bill of Rights, and the vision of the fouding fathers.

    Don’t look at the label, look at what they stand for. Mant true patriots are losing their rights and still continuing to fight against the banking cartels and the military-industrial complex.


    I’m talking about the unalienable rights defined in the Declaration of Independence and confirmed in the Constituition of the United States.of America.

    Use’em or lose’em.

  • Mark

    Dont you leftists ever think for yourselves? Sure maybe some of the tea partiers are border warriors who want “illegals” out of this country and they talk about freedom and liberty for Americans but no one else. Dont you dare put all tea partiers in the same category of those nationalists-statists! Maybe you leftists can can learn what a “nationalist” is and you can especially learn what a “statist” is since youve completely abused and devalued words that actually mean something like “racist” and “bigot.” You can enhance your vocabulary and look intelligent in front of your friends. Some of us out there actually want peace, free markets, and people to be free- EVERYONE in fact not just people that were born in the U.S. In fact if you ask me-if it wasn’t for your beloved welfare state I wouldn’t even mind abolishing the border. I do would something much better with it-sell it and privatize it then property owner could make up whatever rules they want.

  • AtlantaPatriot

    You, the SPLC and ADL, are enemies of individual freedom and sovereignty! Here is what Patriots believe…..We believe that ALL are equal, not just some. If anyone is excluded for whatever reason, then all you are doing is replacing one form of tyranny with another. Our movement and fight includes everybody, we do not exclude. On the contrary, the more the merrier as far as I am concerned.

  • beholder

    Sampson —

    Let me refresh your understanding of scripture.

    First you have violated a commandment — you bore false witness against me. Shame on you.

    Second we are told not to judge. Who are you to say I am angry or hateful or anything else? You came here to evangelize and the minute someone shows some critical thought suddenly they are a sinner and their soul is in peril. I suggest you look after your own soul and quit being a belligerant Christian — it looks bad for the rest of us who have faith but don’t feel the need to villify others who may have a different faith than our own. You are encouraging atheism by giving Christianity a bad name. Do not pray openly like the Pharisees seeking the approval of men. Go into your closet to pray. I don’t think this blog is a closet, but I could be mistaken.

    Finally, I was referring to the mansion that is being prepared for you in heaven. Who cares for riches. You cannot serve both God and Mamon.

    You best get back to the good book and read it some more before you get on your high horse about religion. Christ had skin like brass and wooly hair. That doesn’t sound like any white man I know.

  • TY


    didn’t say teach

    she said TAME

  • sampson

    Beholder, You are one angry man I did not wish any such thing on you . Man some white ppl must have really hurt you in your life time . As far a mansion lol lol lol you gotta be kidding just because I am white you think I am rich. Fella you get a suprise coming your way .lol Thats rich . Your hate is so embeaded in raceism that it is sad .I pray for you from my mansion . All 1 bedroom and bathroom and galley kitchen of it .

  • beholder

    A militia necessary for the security of the State is one thing. A militia to destabilize the government and rule of law is another.

  • beholder

    sampson said,

    on August 11th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    If you die tonight I pray it is with jesus in your soul .


    Uh, right.

    Well I’d take that as a compliment but I think what you are really sayin is that you would rather I die tonight than have jesus in my soul. That way you can look down from your mansion into the eternal torment and say, see, I told you not to read Marx.

    If you wish to follow the teachings of a 2,000 year old cleric (or the youth pastor who sorted them out for you), bully for you. But it is an insult to my spirituality to proclaim you have God and I don’t.

  • beholder

    Silva what kind of bigoted nutcase are you? Of course black-latino hate crimes are an issue — Los Angeles has one of the most pressing inner city race wars going on in the entire country if not the world.

    I would engage you further but it would be dishonorable. In a battle of the wits you are sadly unarmed.

  • beholder

    It’s true Kate but like St. Francis, I preach the gospel to the fishes in the hopes that, in their limited understanding, some enlightenment may encroach.

  • JimJam

    Obama has one goal and one goal only. That goal is to destroy the United States. It does not matter to him or his henchmen whether one is black or white or blue. It does not matter whether one is Protestant or Catholic or aetheist. It does not matter whether one is poor, middle class or rich. His actions so far have negatively affected all citizens of our country. His apologies to foreign governments for our country’s past is an embarrassment to every American. He is pushing his anti-America agenda through Congress at lightning speed so as to overtake everyones life before they know what hit them. He will say anything to get his way. Look at all the campaign promises he has broken. He is masterfully pitting right against left so as to obfuscate the true nature of his actions. Some day soon, America will awake either in the midst of a new civil war or in the hands of our new oppressors (the Chinese Communists?). Either way, our country will disappear as we have known it and all Americans will then realize the damage this man and his puppetmasters have done. By then, it will be too late.

  • donna

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

    The 2nd Amendment was put there for a reason. You have to go back and research why. The times are very different now, than they were back then. Circumstances are different. We, under Constitutional law, still have a right to form Militias, but I believe that over the years, proper education about the Constitution and the purpose of Militias, has been severely lacking. Militias are often attributed to supremacists, rednecks, poor southern men swilling beer, as they sit around a campfire discussing Nascar, their 3rd grade educations shining through. This is just not the case, albeit I’m sure there are a few of those scattered in, to be fair. Persons wishing to form Militias, can help themselves to overcome this stigma and be taken seriously. Done properly, I wish them all the best and Godspeed. ( I know I will not be the most popular here for my views, but, let me say that I do not condone anyone who would wish to harm an elected offical, or practice hate crimes, before you all start jumping up and down that I am a toothless, redneck hag, siding with the bad guys). The solution to this problem, is to begin teaching the Constitution in schools, the solution is to get our country back to the principals that our Founding Fathers and authors of the Constitution had envisioned.

  • kate


    You’ve wasted your time trying to tame the deaf and dumb to sing and see.

  • joe

    Please don’t use the Bible to say it’s O.K. to break mans law! Using fraud to be here is just wrong! Yet using fraud to work here is wrong and illegal also! It doesn’t matter how you slice it its a felony crime! Now toss in some tax and S.S.I. fraud along with that and tell me that would be just fine with our Lord!

  • Chris

    C’mon SPLCenter, the Minutemen movement aside, the rhetoric you use in this article just puts you on the flipside of the same coin. You imply that the Tea Parties were/are just one more suspicious ant-government movement, linked to and populated by a bunch of right-wing bigots. They were nothing of the sort. Do your research, please, rather than relying on MSNBC and CNN’s crackpot coverage. You want respect for your organization and your efforts? Be honest in your approach.

  • sampson

    Beholder , Beleive what you like it is not productive to my ministery or the forum to try and prove any knowledge I have . You seem pretty sure that I am an uneducated white guy with time on my hands . Well I have learned throughout my life not to argue with people like you . I can spot them 10 miles away . You are the smartest guy that ever lived we can see that . I am at peace with that . What concernes me is your soul . If you die tonight I pray it is with jesus in your soul .

  • Silva

    BEHOLDER… You mindset which is that of a cult like following Is all i really need to know. Then from what ever comes out of your mouth will be twisted, turned, flipped, turned lopsided. You are one that is too far inside the hate mindset against whitey. Even when you speak of crimes like those of black on the mexicans in LA, wow, did he actually says that..? yes, but then it follows… it’s simply not their fault they are a product of their poor society. I happen to know of plenty of poor people of allcolors and because of the value system andmorals taught to them by someone. These poor people do not commit crimes and these poor people still find a dollar or two to give to someone else in need… you are incredibly transparent to me. seek to teach me nothing, I wouldn’t beleive you if your tongue came notoraized. look in africa to the islamic ones you embraced only because these islamic ones hated the west which your type of hate caused the transfer to become hate for whitey. Behold you opened the doors to your thoughts of mine enemies enemy is my friend and what is this we see.. nigeria blks at war with islams..murders everyday on both sides. ah the art of the islamic ways of TAQIYYA mixed up with the Self Destructive Black types…ohh woe is you indeed. You bring the evil to our doorsteps… You opened yoru arms to them for your own gain.. now that is a very productive destructive dance with evil that larry tries to get through to you. Waste no more time on thisone plz. He will only welcome your arguments and banter about history… it is like candy for beholder and a total waste of your obviouse intelligence, healthy spirit and oh the real enemy of beholder… larrys reasoning skills..

  • Silva

    Larry and friends…

    There are types of people who give money to charities and give their time as volunteers. Some say these are people that are our heros and thank our lucky stars we are blessed by them.
    The there are different types who would say.. yeah, let’s take all the kindness we can get from them until they have nothing to give. And mock these volunteers and givers behind their backs saying things like. Oh what stupid idiots they are. Let us use the fools up until we need them no more and if they have nothing much to give to someone who is in need and right beside them. So What, we got ours didn’t we… The Nature Of The Beast…

  • beholder

    sampson, forgive my scepticism, but you don’t really expect me to believe you have read Marx’s writings, do you? I think you are basing your opinions on what other people have said about Marx and Marxism, which is not the same as reading it yourself.

  • beholder


    Thank you for sharing. Yes I can think about a lot of different kinds of hate crimes that are not about white supremacy. The black/Latino gang violence in LA is one of those that comes to mind, which is rooted in the extreme social conditions of inner cities.

    Other kinds of hate crimes that are not white supremacist per se are those against homosexuals or those against Muslims (that is religious bigotry instead of racial bigotry).

    I hope that helps broaden your understanding regarding your inquiry.

    Also to clarify, “balancing” academic fact with academic fact is one thing. But balancing academic fact with bigotry is altogether different. I am in favor of peer reviewed academic studies such as those from Harvard, Princeton, University of Chicago and elsewhere that have shown the following facts:
    1) immigrants (documented or undocumented) are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens
    2) immigrants (undocumented) do not generally use social services even though they pay for them
    3) immigrants (undocumented) contribute to property tax, sales tax and other forms of taxation without being able to receive the benefit
    4) the presence of immigrant populations creates rather than takes away jobs, and if they were allowed to remain legally, their incomes would grow and more jobs would be created.

  • Silva


    I read what you write. I follow all you say with knowledge of who you are and how important your relationship with Our LOrd Jesus Christ is to you and tomany others. Like me you know of his existence as the Holy Spirit has layed this acknowledgement on your heart, mind, soul, spirit, mine and many others too. I just want you to consider the thought that many Chrisitans and or those who are alike would benifit from more encouragement as many mindsets around us try to distort reality for us all. The Devil comes to lie, cheat and destroy. He is easily detected by some of us but not by all. There is where we may be more useful in these end times. Consider this…. Thou we are to forgive our enemies it doesn’t not mean we must allow them back in to bring harm tous over and over again. Like the man who hits his wife. The wife does indeed have the right to leave this man and forgiveness is vital. But should she allow this man back in? No, some men come back in and hit all over again. I hope you will understand my analogie as a simple on and not one of pointing the finger at a man in general nor that men hit wifes as a norm. I appreciate you and hope I have provoked you to go to another area and share your spirit elsewhere where by it is most productive and very needed…

    GOD BLESS.. and goodbye

  • sampson

    Silvia ,
    Let it be known my only intrest here is to provoke thought . My freinds are in the church and in the community the people here are hate mongers just as they call their enemies . As it says in the bible Galations chapter 3 verse 20 : I am crusified with christ :nevertheless I live ;yet not I,but Christ livith in me : and the life which I now live is in the flesh I live by faith of the son of god, who loved me , and gave himself for me .

    My mission is the gospel. The me part of my life is dead I live for the honer and glory of Jesus . The hate of the world has no effect on me , because it is not my will by thy will that things be done .

    As to commenting about the other movements I have no reaction the them they that follow them will answer to their own actions .
    The whole idea of race against race is a silly idea in my head . God made you and I alongside each other so we should also walk in this life . Division is only in the eye of the beholder your enemys may only be your enemies in your eyes due to their skin color . My enemy is the dark forces that cause such division .

  • Silva

    Dear Beholder…. Your definition of The Patriot is of course your own. I wonder why it is that you choose to state you are all for immigration. Not that I am against immigratation but why aren’t you for balanced news in our country. In fact it is my take from having my eye on you.. get it.. all in the eye of the beholder… that you join in to assist in the unbalanced of news and coverage of groups that are harmful to anyone really. Just another observation of you and this site and of course several others. Tell me.. Can you think of any other hate that is possibly detrimental to the people of America that are not about white extremist ?

  • Silva

    Sampson… I am much more in tune with your thinking that many others but please do not make the mistake to think that these others are your friends. That is one truth that most who think like the patriot and it’s many degrees and or levels. Must not forget. These are not friends…..The Good Lord himself tells us so.

  • Silva


    it’s clear to see what your thoughts ae on the ones you commented about in thi sblog. Tell us what you then think of such people, groups and followings such as Farrahakan? James H Cones, Rev Wright and more? Kill whitey, genocide whitey and so much more. Destroy the USA. Turn America upside down. And oh my so much more.. Well…. picked up on conspiracy charges for some or for all?

  • sampson

    I do not look at the Marxist writings as an unclean object , I just do not beleive that that set of ideological plans are what the american people want . The men and women who have died to defend our freedoms and our country do not deserve such dishoner . Those people will have died in vain if that is the way we allow our country to move forward . I know alot of colleges allow the teaching and encourage the Socialist agenda but that does not make it right any more than a murderer getting off on a technicality . Both are wrong but the system is set up to allow both to happen .
    This country is so divided that frankly it is scary . I may be reading into your post but it seems that you are as far to the left as the people you oppose on the right . All we in the center want is to find a way to avoid a clash of the two sides that will not end in bloodshed or division of our great nation. Can you say you wish for the same outcome or are you also itching for the clash ?

  • beholder

    That somebody wrote a college paper once referring to the Marxian dialectic (as opposed to Hegel’s dialectic) does not mean they are pushing our country to socialism. It means they are educated and have critical thinking skills that go beyond blind faith. People who look at Marx’s writings like an unclean object are simply ignorant. Don’t be afraid of the truth, it will set you free.

  • sampson

    To me the word patriot means one whom beleives in the founding principles of this great god fearing country . If you choose not to embrace god that is your decision but think about this eternity is a long time to think about your decision . I am more center right that extreme right but never the less beleive in the foundations that built this great country . Do I have any illwill aimed at the president or his goons no. I do not agree with any of their policys I think they are moving us into marxism and resist that movement . But it is written in the bible that this day would come . Brother against brother father against son . The begining of the end is near we are in the last days my freinds hold that as a truth . If you don’t think so I encourage you to read revelations the last book of the new testament and see how many parralels are drawn to our time the amount is stagering . Don’t be afraid of the truth it will set you free .

  • beholder

    These disaffected rabble rousers are merely changing their name, “re-branding” to a kind of Minuteman lite. At the core of this movement is idiocy and disgruntlement. No good can come from it. Moderates and the informed left need to reclaim the “patriot” title from these anti-social and hostile fringe groups. I am a patriot because I support immigration. I am a patriot because I pay my taxes and contribute to my community, and value the rule of law. Mobs of vigilantes who cherry pick their rights from the Constitution and ignore the rest are not patriots, they are the enemies of American values.

  • Deborah Sherman de Santos

    What I find scary about these guys is the fact that they quite honestly believe that they are fighting to preserve or save this country. What country do they think they are living in? One of our symbols is the Statue of Liberty. We pledge allegiance to the flag finishing with the words, “with Liberty and Justice for all.” Our Declaration of Independence states that, “all men are created equal,” and goes on to say that they are given by their Creator, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Our national songs all have phrases such as, “and crown thy good with brotherhood,” or “sweet land of Liberty.” What about these words do people like Garza not understand?

    Since there is nothing logical or rational in the beliefs or actions of an individual like Al Garza, I can only figure that this whole “patriot” routine is a smoke screen for a run-of-the-mill psycopath. Bigotry and small mindedness is not what made this country great – tolerance and inclusion did. For this country to return to greatness it must restore that character that welcomes difference and embraces all mankind. The likes of Garza are not helping.

    Why, is this Patriot’s Coalition able to have a web site cracking jokes about killing Obama? Freedom of speech is one thing, but if these guys were all sitting in a bar talking about the same thing, wouldn’t they be picked up on conspiracy charges? What about the internet changes that? What about “criminal threatening.” I’m tired of their bullying and threatening of decent people. They need to be recognized for what they are – and “patriot” isn’t the term I’d use.

  • dave
  • David
  • Snorlax

    The disruptions at Health Care Town Meetings reminds me of the unruly mobs at McCain rallies last fall, who were calling Obama a terrorist and calling for his assassination. They got so nasty even McCain confronted them.

    This is a symptom of a psychotic pandemic on the far right. They feel disenfranchised and angry, and they’re all armed to the teeth

    If elements of the police and military support them, we could have Seven Days in May. And don’t say It Can’t Happen Here.

  • Snorlax

    “The site also contains information on how to join the so-called “tea party” tax-protest demonstrations as well as the militant antigovernment outbursts erupting at health care reform town hall meetings across the country.”

    I wondered who was behind tho organized disruption of the health care town halls. Now we know.

    The Reich Wingnuts are going crazy and I think they’re getting ready to revolt.

    Although they’re pretty revolting already.

  • The Exaggerator

    So much for the “Minuteman” movement being “the greatest citizen movement in America,” or so Mr. Garza claimeth:

    How do we know this isn’t delusuion aggravated by Al Cohol or serious mental disorders as may be playing into his associations with the weird and unwholesome who profess to be acting for G-d and Country?

  • Sylvia

    Where are the many news articles about blacks and mexican gang wars against each other?

    What is the defintion of a patriot?

    Where are stories about hate groups other than the ones that have white people in them?

    What are the different cobinations of supremacy groups in existence today?

  • Philip

    Garza “I do not see an end in sight for the problems plaguing what was once the greatest citizen movement in America”

    I can think of several greater movements and their leaders in America. The civil rights movement with MLK, the union movement and Walter Reuther, the Women’s Right movement and Gloria Steinem, the Obama election campaign…

    Garza finds himself in history closer to the Klan movement and Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, the anti-immigrant Know-Nothings of the 19th century.

  • Anon

    “Unfortunately, the public perception of the Minutemen has been tainted by our detractors and the media, which has successfully been enflamed by the internal and unnecessary strife. ”

    This comment is simply pathetic. Blaming others must be easier than reflecting on your own mistakes and lunacies. Moreover, Chris Simcox as Senator of Arizona sounds about right for that state. God help them.