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Web Site Shows Minutemen Taunting Day Laborers

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Aired 4/19/09

A new Web site features videos of Minutemen at day labor sites around San Diego County. The video shows the anti-illegal immigrant activists swearing at workers and threatening prospective employers and legal observers. The site was created by advocates for migrant workers. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story. 

Advocates for day laborers say they began filming the Minutemen to protect the workers and themselves. They decided to post outtakes on a Web site called Minutemen Unvarnished so people could see what Minutemen are like when the media isn’t around.

In this clip, a woman sitting outside Home Depot on Fairmont Avenue holds an American flag and a sign that’s critical of the ACLU.

Woman: "You come near me with that camera and you’ll have this sign up your ass crossways."

In this one, a man wearing a wife-beater tank top and jeans with an American flag draped over his shoulder shouted at day laborers.

Man: “Mexico sucks. Mexico sucks.”

Claudia Smith is with California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation that’s sponsoring the site. She hopes it entices some Minutemen to improve their behavior. But she’s not holding her breath. Meanwhile, Minutemen say the videographers provoked their reactions, and the clips don’t show the whole picture.

Smith counters that just protecting workers’ rights seems to be provocation enough. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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