Last week, the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps announced that it will officially dissolve. The announcement distributed by President Carmen Mercer of Arizona mentions that the organization’s termination grew “out of concern for their volunteers’ safety and accelerating liability threats.” She cited concern about being held liable if members take their anti-illegal immigrant crusade too far. For those of us who remember the murder of Brisenia Flores last year by alleged spokesperson for FAIR and leader of the Minutemen American Defense, Shawna Forde, Mercer’s concern with violent associations is not surprising. Meanwhile, in the wake of the announcement, minutemen affiliates and former members have released statements attempting to take over leadership of the group’s estimated 1,200 members.
Since Mencer’s announcement last week, the Patriot Coalition president and former vice president of the MCDC, Al Garza, announced they would welcome all former MCDC members into their organization. Al Garza formerly served as the Vice President of MCDC and split from the organization in the summer of 2009.
The Declaration Alliance (the umbrella organization for MCDC), however announced that it appointed Chris Simcox as the honorary chairman of the Declaration Alliance: “We are also pleased to announce that Chris Simcox, who five years ago was a founder of the Minuteman movement to do the job our government failed to do — secure our borders — will be rejoining us as honorary chairman and policy strategist…the movement to secure our borders, halt amnesty and stop the illegal alien invasion will continue, with a renewed and urgent emphasis on political action.”
Jim Gilchrist of the Minutemen Project also threw in his two cents saying, “I have always supported independent Minuteman organizations like Chris Simcox and his MCDC no matter how large or small, as long as they are on mission. I wish Chris and his friends the best and encourage him to join our ranks; he is always welcome at the Minuteman Project, Inc.”
In response to the Declaration Alliance’s press release, the Patriot Coalition responded by circulating an email from Al Garza attacking Declaration Alliance for being a “money mongering” organization. He notes “Organizations like Declaration Alliance (MCDC was a project of Declaration Alliance) will infer that they are actively supporting “Minuteman” style operations and will, instead, use donated money for their own purposes. Even though MCDC is shut down, they will be using Minuteman and MCDC monikers and professionally crafted words to lure generous and patriotic Americans into giving money to causes with which they may not agree.”
Since the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps announced its dissolution last week with a specific concern to liability issues, two things have become blatantly clear. First, the leadership of the organization has not officially denounced violence. Second, the leadership of the organization is scrambling for power and resources.
Minutemen Civil Defense Corps may be defunct, but far right extremism in America is just gearing up.