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April Gaede responded to her twin daughters Lynx and Lamb announcing they had left the movement with a theory: They’re scamming the Jews, just as she taught them. “The girls are using the Jews [sic] media to make bank as usual. If they had done anything else they would not have gotten any attention,” Gaede said on Facebook earlier this week. “For a money making scheme I guess I can’t blame them too much.”
The message came a day after her two daughters granted an exclusive interview to The Daily on Sunday in which they announced they had renounced the racist world in which they were raised in favor of “a place of love and light.” “We should have been pushed toward something a little more mainstream and easier for us to handle than being front-men for a belief system that we didn’t completely understand,” Lynx said in the interview.
Given their role as what one publication called the “new face of hate,” the announcement sent shock waves through the racist right and drew out many white nationalist and nativist figures eager to respond. Some offered a defense of the Gaede twins, but overwhelmingly the trend was to comfort their mother, April Gaede. Even William Pierce, an author and chief ideologue behind the once powerful neo-Nazi National Alliance, made concessions to practice his beliefs, one commenter said. “Pierce had a Jew publish his books too… Can’t blame [Lynx and Lamb] too much,” a user named Per Olsson said. (Pierce is most infamous for publishing The Turner Diaries, a race war novel that inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.) ( continue to full post… )
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Arizona nativist Laine Lawless, chief of the vigilante group Border Guardians, pitched a fit in 2006 after the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report published the contents of an E-mail she apparently sent to a high-ranking member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) to urge a campaign of violence and harassment against Latino immigrants.
“Steal the money from any illegal walking to the bank or check cashing place. … Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school,” the E-mail to “SS Commander” Mark Martin of the NSM’s western Ohio chapter said. “Be creative. … Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status.”
Lawless, who refused to comment prior to the publication of the Report’s 2006 article – even after being sent copies of the E-mail over her signature to Martin – later told the media that the message was fabricated. In a long rant on her blog, she declared that the SPLC is part of an “essentially EVIL … Communist conspiracy” intent on destroying America. She was no neo-Nazi or racist, she insisted.
So it was particularly enlightening to learn that she took some time out from immigrant-bashing last Thursday to go to a speech by British writer David Irving in Phoenix. Irving, author of an infamous and ahistorical Hitler apologia called Hitler’s War and some 20 similar books, has cultivated a reputation as the world’s most prominent Holocaust denier. In 2000, at the conclusion of an exhaustive British trial in which he accused a Jewish scholar of libeling him by calling him a Holocaust denier, the judge of the London High Court ruled flatly against him. The judge concluded that Irving “displays a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias” and is “an active Holocaust denier” who “deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.” Later, in 2006, Irving served time in an Austrian prison for denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. He has been barred from entering Australia, New Zealand and Germany for similar reasons. More recently, he has suggested that the Jews’ best friend in 1930s Germany was Hitler. ( continue to full post… )
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Concluding a three-week trial that exposed the most unsavory side of Arizona’s militant border vigilante movement, a jury on Monday found Shawna Forde guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for the May 2009 killings of Raul Flores, 29, and his 9-year-old daughter in the border town of Arivaca, Ariz.
The jury deliberated for seven hours over two days before reaching a guilty verdict Monday. On Tuesday morning, after hearing arguments from both sides, they unanimously pronounced Forde eligible for the death penalty. They cited the facts that Forde was motivated by money, participated actively in the robbery, and intended the murders to take place as factors that warrant the ultimate punishment.
It is now up to Pima County Superior Court Judge John Leonardo, who presided over Forde’s trial, to review all the arguments and evidence and determine whether Forde should be executed or sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors said Forde, head of the border vigilante group Minuteman American Defense (MAD), and two accomplices – MAD Operations Director Jason Eugene “Gunny” Bush, 34, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, a local MAD member – planned the May 30 home invasion because they thought they would find drugs and cash to fund their group’s operation. According to prosecutors, the three broke into the victims’ trailer, where Bush shot Flores, his wife, Gina Gonzalez, and their daughter Brisenia. Gonzalez, who survived, managed to return fire with her own gun. “Oh my God,” she can be heard shouting on a 911 tape. “I can’t believe they killed my family.” Bush and Gaxiola will each be tried separately this spring. ( continue to full post… )
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Laine Lawless, the Mexican flag-burning leader of the vigilante group Border Guardians, has been one of the few anti-immigration leaders to support accused nativist killer Shawna Forde.
Soon, those who can’t get enough of justiceforshawnaforde.com, Lawless’ unabashedly pro-Forde website, will be able to read her book about the case. The soon-to-be-released Blonde on the Border: The Government’s Case Against the Minutemen promises to dish out more dubious defenses of Forde, who is charged with murder in the killings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter during a home invasion on May 30 in Arivaca, Ariz. Forde led Minuteman American Defense (MAD), an Everett, Wash.-based splinter group of the Minuteman movement, whose adherents conduct armed patrols of the border.
Based on a short excerpt that’s published online, the book appears to rehash Lawless’ theory that Forde is the victim of a government conspiracy and a racist, sexist media campaign. Lawless, who asserts on her website that Forde was “racially profiled” and that she is a “political agenda prisoner,” again suggests in the book’s title that Forde’s prosecution is the result of a government vendetta against the Minutemen. In the excerpt, she also calls the details about Forde’s alleged involvement in the killings a “left-wing media-manufacture.” Lawless is virtually alone in this view: After the murders, Minuteman leaders scrambled to distance themselves from Forde, who faces the death penalty if convicted in the gruesome double murder. Even before the deaths in Arivaca, Forde was a controversial figure in Minuteman circles because of her supposed efforts to take on dangerous drug smugglers and because of her claims — never substantiated — that she’d been the target of a series of violent attacks. (Lawless also has been a lightening rod: In 2006, she privately wrote the nation’s largest neo-Nazi group urging members to harass and assault undocumented immigrants. She later told the Arizona Daily Star that the E-mail was fabricated.) ( continue to full post… )
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A major nativist group known for its armed border patrols is disbanding.
In a Monday E-mail to supporters, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps President Carmen Mercer said the MCDC will no longer exist as an organization, though she encouraged supporters to continue its work independently. “I predict Americans, on their own, will lock, load and do what the feckless cowards in Washington refuse to do — and frankly I hope Americans do take up arms to defend this great nation,” she wrote in the “urgent alert.”
MCDC is an offshoot of the Minuteman Project, a month-long civilian border patrol that was covered extensively by journalists five years ago. (Then-President George W. Bush called the Minutemen “vigilantes” in March 2005.) In 2009, MCDC had at least 74 chapters in nearly 30 states, making it the biggest of the Minuteman spin-off groups. But MCDC and the larger Minuteman movement have been plagued by infighting, allegations of financial impropriety and civil litigation. In addition, the leader of Minuteman American Defense (MAD) was charged with the May 2009 murder of a 9-year-old Latina girl and her father during a home invasion in Arivaca, Ariz., setting off furious accusations and counter-accusations over who had supported MAD’s Shawna Forde over the years.
The announcement of MCDC’s dissolution also followed an E-mail Mercer sent a week earlier, in which she urged supporters to bring their long arms to the border and to “forcefully engage” the “criminals” who try to cross without documentation. Mercer wrote on Monday that she received hundreds of responses to that E-mail, including some that sounded over-enthusiastic. “It was obvious that many had decided to return to the border who had tired of the sometimes futile watch and observe methods. It showed me that people are not willing to be silenced anymore; it also showed me that people will be less likely to follow the rules of engagement in a desperate attempt to stop the criminals who violate our borders every day. That is not what we want and we cannot take the responsibility for this.” ( continue to full post… )
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Laine Lawless, the Mexican-flag-burning founder of the Arizona-based hate group Border Guardians, admitted last week that she met with fellow nativist vigilante leader Shawna Forde less than 24 hours after Forde allegedly took part in the home invasion slayings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca, Ariz., near the Mexican border.
The admission from Lawless came in response to a Sept. 9 Everett (Wash.) Herald article in which Minuteman activist Chuck Stonex revealed that Lawless had accompanied him the night of May 30 when Stonex met with Forde and Jason Bush, the alleged triggerman in the slayings, which had occurred in the early morning hours that same day.
Two weeks later, Forde and Bush were arrested and charged with the murders along with a third accomplice. Soon after their arrests, Stonex went to police and said he’d treated Bush for a gunshot wound at Forde’s request the night after the killings. He said that Forde claimed a ricochet had struck Bush in the leg while he was on vigilante border patrol.
According to law enforcement authorities, Bush suffered the injury when the wife and mother of the victims shot him during the home invasion robbery that was orchestrated by Forde, the founder of Minuteman American Defense.
Everett, a suburb of Seattle, is Forde’s hometown, and the Herald has been following the tangled local-girl-gone-bad story with extensive coverage of the Arivaca killings and their fallout since mid-June.
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Last week, prosecutors in Pima County, Ariz., announced they’re seeking the death penalty for Minuteman American Defense leader Shawna Forde, who allegedly masterminded a May 30 home invasion robbery in which a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter were shot to death.
But those prosecutors have it all wrong.
At least, that is, according to a new website proclaiming Forde’s innocence and portraying the border vigilante leader as the victim of a government conspiracy abetted by a racist, sexist media smear campaign.
“Shawna’s become the target of a socialist government’s clumsy attempts to marginalize and terrorize America’s patriots,” declares a recent post to JusticeForShawnaForde.com. The site also blames “the unholy government/Marxist-media alliance” and Latino corrections officers in almost the same breath: “The evidence is there: Shawna has been set-up to be punished for things she didn’t do by the (mostly Hispanic) Corrections Officers (CO’s) in the women’s side of the prison.” No evidence at all is offered to support this assertion.
The Arizona Daily Star identified the creator of the website as Laine Lawless, a militant feminist and hard-core border vigilante with a history of coordinating with neo-Nazis (although she denies corresponding with leaders of the National Socialist Movement, telling the Star that the E-mail in question was fabricated by unknown persons). “I’m tired of women getting screwed over by men in this movement,” Lawless told reporter Tim Steller. “Nobody in the Minuteman movement except for me is willing to talk to her [Forde].” ( continue to full post… )
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In late December, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) reportedly let go Joseph Turner, its western region representative, who had been hired just 13 months earlier, in November 2006. Calls to Turner and FAIR officials seeking an explanation for Turner’s unannounced departure were not returned, but a Hatewatch call to the FAIR switchboard asking for Turner met with this hard-to-misunderstand response: “He’s no longer with the company.” This comes in the wake of an Intelligence Report story that detailed FAIR’s ties to white supremacy and designated FAIR a hate group, a move that garnered some national publicity. The Intelligence Report story pointed out that Turner was the founder and long-time leader of a group the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group —Save Our State, which developed a reputation for allowing neo-Nazis to participate in its rallies.
Although Turner has denied being a racist, he has defended white separatism. “I can make the argument that just because one believes in white separatism that that does not make them a racist,” Turner wrote in Save Our State’s Web forum in 2005. “I can make the argument that someone who proclaims to be a white nationalist isn’t necessarily a white supremacist. I don’t think that standing up for your ‘kind’ or ‘your race’ makes you a bad person.”
Some in the most radical sectors of the anti-immigrant movement have claimed publicly that FAIR fired Turner. A person identifying himself as “Al Lewis” of the Americans for Mass Deportation Yahoo group wrote: “Joe Turner has been fired from FAIR by [President] Dan Stein, apparently because of that pro-illegal outfit the southern poverty law center [sic] called [sic] FAIR a ‘hate group’ or some nonsense about Joe being a racist.” ( continue to full post… )