UPDATE FROM CALEXICO BORDER PATROL ‘RIOT’: Charges dropped on two, but third charged with felonies

by on November 14, 2007 · 12 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Organizing

Here is an update from the Calexico “No Border” folks — this is in regards to the arrests and injuries that resulted from Border Patrol agents charging into a crowd of demonstrators protesting the border in Calexico on Sunday, November 11th. Charges have been dropped against Erik Wackernage and Steve Murphy. However, the third person arrested, Juan Ruiz, was arraigned on Tuesday, November 12, and pleaded not guilty to two felony charges that include assault on a federal officer.

It is fortunate for Wackernage and Murphy to have their charges dropped. Ruiz is not so lucky. Yet, anyone who has witnessed the video of the Border Patrol agents’ charge (‘the charge of the Lite Brigade’ seems fitting) and their indiscriminate firing of pepper spray and rubber bullets — the video is available below — can tell that Juan Ruiz, the drummer, was clearly not assaulting anyone. Ruiz is a resident alien who has lived in this country since he was four years old, — and these charges may have serious repercussions for his immigration status.

Meanwhile, those demonstrators injured by the rubber bullets are having their wounds seen by medical professionals and documented.

Further, the video showing the Lite Brigade has now circulated into the mainstream press, although not too surprisingly, the San Diego Union Tribune has yet to publish a single word about this incident

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Joe November 18, 2007 at 7:09 pm

I think it is outrageous that no local print media has covered this! Has anyone seen it in the Reader or City Beat?


PiePipper November 18, 2007 at 9:35 pm

How can you call this a border patrol riot? Or are you? There was no riot here. Just a bunch of anarchists confronting law enforcement officers, daring them to arrest them. and they did. what is so surprising about all of this?


OB Joe November 18, 2007 at 10:18 pm

PP – are you a progressive? I noticed some of your comments on this site and they sound kind of conservative?
The Migra officers clearly were the ones out of control here. That is what a riot is. There have been police riots before – the Chicago Convention way back in the 1960s is one.


PiePipper November 18, 2007 at 10:22 pm

I don’t know how old you are OBJ but my left credentials go way back. I am tired of the left being full of hyperbole and not calling something for what it really is. The kids in this video were egging on the officers, there is no denying that. Why? Had they made their point already to the thousands that were watching?


anon anarchist November 18, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Human beings are not illegal. Borders are just created to divide us from each other. We all live on one planet . Nations are out -of -date, old school ways of living. With the planet getting warmer, I bet you’ll see some nations disappearing. where are their people to go?
Now, Mexicans and other people from south of us are dying in the border area. Some people go out and rescue them before they die, some people go out and arrest them, some people go out and bury them, some people make lots of money off of them, and many americans can nice salads and fruit because those that survive the harsh border region pick the lettuce, tomatoes, avos and other fruit. And some people go to the border fence and protest. Some people charge those people and arrest them.


Molly Maquire November 18, 2007 at 11:30 pm

I support the demonstrators right to protest. I just think the position “no borders” is untenable politically at this historic moment in our history. Yes, the treatment of Mexican immigrants and others – especially in the borders – borders on cruelty and torture. And I agree with AA that we wouldn’t have our nice salads without the migrants. But the border has always been a faucet, turned on and off depending on the labor needs for the large farms, orchards and factories that depend on migrant workers. The more migrant workers you have, the more money, the more profit you can make. So, we punish the employers? Okay, then who will do the work? I don’t see lines of American citizens lined up at the tomato fields ready to bend over, do you?
We have a two-tiered labor system. We have for decades. Certain sectors of American capitalism needs these workers. Did you see the movie when all the Mexican workers disappeared?
Immigration is a very complicated issue. And the Republicans will try to make it an wedge issue over the coming months. How can the left talk about ‘no borders’ when the right is hysterically demanding closure and armed guards along the border?
The left must come up with a tenable position about the border and immigration. I agree that no human is illegal but in this stage of capitalism, borders are a reality. Mexico enforces its borders on its southern flank and shamelessly mistreats Guatemalans who sneak across. Plus Indian peoples in Mexico are also mistreated. The point is no one is blameless. But let’s stop playing the blame thing and figure out something that we can live with.


JEC November 25, 2007 at 5:17 pm

No borders – anywhere – that’s the goal of global capitalism. No borders, no cultural distinction. No democracy or local variation. The right of might and ownership over the rule of law. Only through a democractically constituted legislative process can labor ever hope to balance the power of ownership and acquire something resembling equal rights. This process depends on the concept of sovereignty. I do not view the position of the “No Borders” folks as progressive; nor enlightened. As imperfect as we are, we have aspired to higher ideals – the Civil and Voting Rights Act, affirmative action. While machismo was still strong in Mexico, women in this country were achieving a new, more equal status.


Everglow January 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm

PiePipper, you said “The kids in this video were egging on the officers…” and “…daring them to arrest them. and they did. what is so surprising about all of this?”
Never once did you mention anything about a protester commiting a crime. It looks to me like you put the police on some sort of pedestal, like it’s ridiculous to speak ones mind out of fear of them. Heads up, they’re not the Gestapo. We have a little something called the first amendment. You should move to your own little fascist island, where you’re allowed to beat the shit out of anyone who dissagrees with you.


PiePipper January 28, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Everglow – Hey! Who do you think you are? I’ve been around as long as your rich mommie & daddie sent you to college. To equate me with being a “fascist” because I dare to criticize your fellow anarchists is to become one yourself. You do not understand what I said. Maybe it’s because you never really learned to read, as you have your head in a computer all day long. I come from the left where we don’t expect cops or border patrol officers to be “nice guys and gals”. We know who they work for. Why someone would literally taunt the officers over a federal policy that these individual officers have no control over – and then act surprised when the officers “break” and go out of control and shoot a few of those who pissed them off with pepper balls. That’s like going up to a police officer and berating him or her for filthy landlords who are protected by “the law.” Get a grip!


casique February 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm

The so call noborders camp video in Calexico 2007 was Edited immidiatelly by the providers, they only show what the Border Patrol did, and do not show what the crow did.

Stop crying and whinning about the law enforcement’s job. persoanally if anybody ever put their hands of me i will personally make sure is the last time anybody do.

i dont even have to be law enforcement agent to do that.


Jake February 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Check out the new DVD that explains why congress is refusing to protect our borders even 6 years after the devastating impact of 9/11 movie is “Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement” available at netflix


Oliverio Gonzalez May 19, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I think we are forgetting the larger issue at hand. These people were exercising their first amendment right to protest and I absolutely sympathize with them. Border enforcement is nothing more than a false sense of security given to flag-waving, fake “patriot” rednecks who want to protect the motherland. I find it extremely unethical to call someone something so degrading as “illegal”. For people to be swept under the rug and treated like a threat to national security is completely immoral and unacceptable.
As for the protesters, I cannot blame them for what they did. Militant activism is a sign of desperation and quite possibly an act of fear. I can’t blame someone for being so afraid that they are compelled to take matters into their own hands, especially when their nation is hijacked by an oppressive and increasingly totalitarian regime.


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