The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

New ‘Patriot’ Group Begins First ‘Border Watch’ Operation

By David Holthouse on September 30, 2009 - 8:48 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

The Patriots Coalition, a new antigovernment ‘Patriot’ group founded by the former vice president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, is carrying out its first border vigilante operation targeting Latino immigrants and drug smugglers.

Along with Patriots Coalition members, the month-long event, dubbed Operation Spike, is drawing volunteers from other Minuteman splinter factions such as Minuteman of One.

Patriots Coalition founder and president Al Garza identifies the group as part of the Tea Party tax protest movement. The Patriots Coalition website is loaded with “birther” conspiracy theory materials and jokes about assassinating President Obama.

The Sierra Vista Herald reported that on Saturday, Sept. 26, there were 45 participants stationed in just one of several Operation Spike ‘border watch’ sectors. All the sectors are within a 50-mile radius of Palominas, a Cochise County, Ariz., border town located just east of Coronado National Forest.

Garza estimated that 200 to 300 border watchers would take part in the operation, which began Sept. 19 and is scheduled to conclude Oct. 19, though Garza said he may extend it to the end of October, depending upon turnout and results.

Operation Spike participants told the Herald they’d reported groups of 15 and 17 individuals along the border, as well as a larger group of 65 individuals, some of them carrying backpacks, accompanied by four “ninja-dressed” men armed with AK-47s.

“We are seasoned and we know what to look for,” Garza told the Herald. “We know what to find. We know when we see something what to expect of it.”

A Border Patrol spokesman in Tucson served up the agency’s standard Minuteman disclaimer: “We don’t encourage people going out and actively looking because they are not trained as Border Patrol agents are trained. If something happens, they might put themselves in danger or they might endanger somebody else.”

  • laughing at all of you

    To all of you ignorant morons, Al Garza is hispanic, I guess he will have to bleach his skin like m. jackson.

  • DHFabian

    I, too, had to laugh. I’ve read that Canadians are starting to complain about illegals from the US crossing the border to take jobs away from Canadians.

  • Chuck Cossey

    #
    Andora said,

    on October 1st, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    These people hate anyone who doesn’t think like them, act like them and look like them. It takes courage to try and understand and tolerate people who are different from yourself. People like this hide their insecurities and fear behind their violence and extremism, just like the playground bully.

    Actually, this could describe the Southern Law Poverty organization.

  • chris

    I have to say that why this site is good intentioned it is exactly what fuels the radical right. Not having a true sense of how groups such as the Oath Keepers become like they do is part of what pushes them further rather than blunting their fears. Having grown up very liberal with a gay Filipino father I learned about what it takes to achieve real freedoms. Since the 90′s I have discovered that the Left is not always correct in it’s solutions. For many years trying to be a good liberal I did not question ANYTHING the left had to say. I got caught up in the idea that the RICH were bad and if you did not support our cause you must be a biggot and racist. As of late this tactic has exploded, especially with our African-American president. The Right has some good points. They also have a problem of going about it the right way. But as long as the Left irresponsibly labels and dismisses the Right as a bunch of racist, biggoted fantics, the Left will be creating a self fullfilling prophecy.

  • hip9

    WHAT KKK??? I live in Tennessee, and I have’nt seen a serious Klan rally since the early ’80s.

  • Minutemanaz

    @Tezuka

    I tell you what it pisses me off is the SPCL has all the fact and choose to ignore them, they know we are about their saving lives, tell me why is 90% if the BS the splc reports on is focused toward anti-ILLEGAL groups,

    Do you know how many lives we saved we have saved more lives than all of the open border groups in AZ combined, yet the SPLC stereotypes us and any one who is anti-illegal, I think all you people should put the pressure on the to report the TRUE racist , and I will back them ,

    The KKK needs to go down, but explain to me how other racist groups like the Brown berets of de aztlan and the black panthers never, NEVER,NEVER make their list, if is so one sided that it makes the SPLC RACIST….

    Thank you for you comments my friend, no-one in the Minuteman Civil Defence Corp Would EVER hurt harm anyone…….and I have tried to put what we do in the public nut the open border people call it all propaganda…..

    If you have time goto you-tube…..and my home page their is under the same name I have here , and please watch the videos of us hooking them up with food and water and giving first aid to a illegal with a prosthetic foot….

    Take care….

  • Tezuka fan

    @ Minutemanaz

    I’m not sure if you were referring to me, but (if you were) I apologize for generalizing about the group(s) in this article. Saving lives is always a noble deed and I thank you for your efforts. It’s just that, to me, you guys have terrible PR and should probably work on that.
    Again, I apologize for generalizing, and I thank you for saving the lives of your fellow man. If your group has a publicist or PR agent, ask him to focus on reporting on the demographics of your group(25% of your group is Mexican) and your life-saving efforts.

  • Carter

    Who is smashing the emergency water containers? Who are dressing up like LE and parking en mass’ on access roads (approaching anyone who looks Hispanic)?

    I am NOT saying that illegals don’t trash up people’s property on occasion and cut fences. In fact – there is no clear cut distinction of those that are “helpful in dealing with the issues” and those that are “unproductive”. This is a damn complex issue.

    When the Interior Ministry started publishing those comic-books on “how to safely” cross the desert, most objective people recognized that the Mexican government had a different agenda than a simple humanistic one.

    “If you want to own the boat, you get the anchor.”

  • Minutemanaz

    “All you people here commenting on who the minutemen are racist and we dont hate mexicans, we have 25% of our SART is mexican. ”

    Sorry I was reading to my little girl while typing that comment.

    I should of read “All of you people commenting here calling the minutemen racist are a joke….We dont hate mexicans, one quater of our SART is mexican.”

  • Minutemanaz

    I am a minuteman and I am on a Search and rescue team, I SAVE the lives of illegals. All you people here commenting on who the minutemen are racist and we dont hate mexicans, we have 25% of our SART is mexican……We have saved over 380 people from dying in the desert, ask them if we are racist….

    Get you head out of you butt and look at the facts….

  • Joe

    Kenneth Dawsob said,
    “I must be missing something here. Is this legal?”
    Open carry of firearms in AZ is legal.
    There is nothing illegal about them patrolling or carrying weapons.
    The USE or DISCHARGE of those weapons, depending on circumstance and locality, may or may not be legal.

    “And those latin women are often good looking.”
    What does that have to do with the subject at hand, besides the fact that is quite a subjective judgement?

    From the article:
    “…targeting Latino immigrants and drug smugglers.”
    What a joke that line is.
    LEGAL immigrants cross the border through legitimate border crossing areas.
    Illegal Aliens are not “Latino immigrants” they are, by definition, criminals that have broken US law.
    The Big Lie theory in practical application here.

  • Larry

    Our country needs to close at least half our military bases across the globe and protect our borders, the illeagals coming here are not to blame the Mexican Goverment IS to blame. Please check out what Mexico does to people who cross who cross into that country from South America.

  • Larry B.

    “…targeting Latino immigrants and drug smugglers.” Did someone leave something out? Maybe the word “ILLEGAL”. This is just another example of the suttle bias in our media. I’m so sick of bias media. Why can’t people just be truthful. My respect for the producer of this article has dropped another notch.

  • Carter

    Running around near Douglas with a rifle is not illegal (it’s damn stupid but not illegal). One day some of these folks are going to run head long into some cartel people bring people and dope over here and there is going to be some very nasty stuff happening in the quite desert.
    The whole issue is ridiculous because of the consistent double messages. The “wanna’be Citizen-Boarder Patrol” are told over and over to be cool and let the right people do their job; go home and vote if you don’t like the way the gov’t is running the ICE interdiction efforts. The ICE people in that area are hampered because they have false positives tripping the sensors because old Rusty with his rifle is stomping around in a dope trail.
    I would REALLY like to hear how many successes the “Minute Men” (Lord, there are some jokes there) have had…..
    But most important – I just really don’t want to see anyone hurt because of these shenanigans.

  • Eugene Williams

    lol sound like not one person in this room can say anything but negative comments about ppl who identify themselves as such. Conservatives, White, Christians, Patriots, Americans, and i could go on. I read this article and my thoughts are this. It is my understanding that some law to enforce the borders remains. But now many of the enforcers were layed off. So citizens voulunteered. There are actually some negative things about millions of illgeals comming into the country and even the fact that more poor pouring in and needing resources when there aren’t enough to go around will indeed widen the gap of the rich vs the poor people. I would be on the poor end what about you?

  • Conner

    Uh, we want the dope dudes.
    If we are in severe pain we are tired of having to make appointments, waiting for a week or more, arranging transportation, paying to see a doctor who may or may not prescribe adequate pain relief, then having to arrange transportation to a pharmacy and pay for the medication itself.We want to be able get get immediate relief and not play any games.
    Why is that so hard for people to understand? A true patriot would care about his fellow citizens and encourage decriminalization of drugs for easier access, then worry about problems that arise from ones inability to cope with that freedom.
    Instead it is used as a money maker for the government and a wedge between social classes.

  • Eileen

    Is USA becoming another 3 World? Another country where ones life has no value…and can be eliminated due to a persons race, culture or religion.

    Why are the police, FBI, Home Security and the decent people of these areas not doing something about these criminals that have taken up arms against a fellow person.

    What are the States Politicians doing? And does John McCain condone these actions. Why is McCain not addressing this matter during his many media interviews… like this mornings interview on MSM with Gregory.

    USA appears to be becoming more lawless on a daily base. It is time for the intelligent decent people and the Media to take up the cause of addressing this issue…loudly. Get after Home Security, Politicians, Media, Law officers on all levels.

    My heart is with the people being hunted like animals.

    Sincerely,
    Eileen

  • Bman

    These guys are scary. Feels like the 90s all over again. Maybe even a little more intense this time because these groups are getting more mainstream support.

  • Kate Zeiss

    That’s a lot of jobless “patriots” and way too many armed ninjas. Sometimes humanity makes me weary . . .

  • Kenneth Dawsob

    I must be missing something here. Is this legal? A bunch of armed racist buffoons wandering the country side looking for people to rough up? Maybe fill a few holes in the sand. And those latin women are often good looking. Why isn’t somebody, the FBI or state police putting this mob in jail. Steal a tv and you’re arrested. Roam the desert armed with admitted violent intent and it’s okay?

    Remember the marines killed an American boy because he was Hispanic and ‘foreign looking.’

  • Andora

    These people hate anyone who doesn’t think like them, act like them and look like them. It takes courage to try and understand and tolerate people who are different from yourself. People like this hide their insecurities and fear behind their violence and extremism, just like the playground bully.

  • Dakotahgeo

    These Minute Men Misnomers must be joking. Undocumented workers are now going the OTHER way because of our economy, lolol.
    Maybe if they started on the OTHER side of the Mexican border and worked their way north….ROFL!
    Maybe they meant “Operation Spike Jones….” THAT I could live with. Yiyiyiyi. More silliness!

  • Tezuka fan

    “…[A]ccompanied by four “ninja-dressed” men armed with AK-47s.”
    What’s with the ninja get-up?
    Oh, that’s right, because illegal immigrants are too stupid to run away from a guy, clearly visible, holding an automatic weapon pointed at them.
    I know these guys hate Mexicans, but come on, that’s low.

  • beholder

    Operation Spike?

    If this wasn’t dead serious I’d be laughing.