Monday, October 18, 2010

"The Minutemen" Film Crew Met with Protests, Eggings and a Shit-filled Pie at Chicago International Film Festival

This just in from Chicago Indymedia:
A new anti-immigrant propaganda film "The Minutemen" is touring the country in an attempt to legitimize the racist violence perpetuated by gun-toting vigilante border patrols. The movie has managed to sneak itself into several film fests and even won a few awards including "Best Documentary" and "Grand Jury Award" at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Disturbingly the film has managed to screen at the Chicago International Film Festival where it also won the "Silver Hugo" award.

The film spotlights the work of the California-based Mountaintop MInutemen led by racist Robert "Lil Dog" Crooks who arms his followers and stalks the US-California border from his RV. The Mountaintop Minutemen were in the news in 2007 for releasing a disturbing film showing the shooting of a Mexican immigrant inside the US border.

The screening took place on October 15-16 and Robert Crooks himself was invited to come speak along with producer Nicholas Weissman and director Corey Wascinski (who were obvious minutemen sympathizers). Although we only had a day notice to prepare for the event, we were able to demonstrate strong opposition to the film in a number of ways.

On the 15th, about ten protesters met Robert Crooks outside the theatre with chants of "No Nazis No KKK No Fascist USA" while holding a banner that said "World Without Borders" while dozens of festival attendees, curious bystanders and security observed. Robert Crooks wasn't hard to spot in full body camoflauge fatigues as he arrogantly taunted the crowd. Later after Crooks had several drinks at the bar, he was slammed with eggs as he was trying to leave the festival.

The film screened again the next day at the same time as protesters marched just a few blocks away on Michigan Avenue for the Midwest Regional Anti-war action. After the march ended, folks headed to the theatre to once again greet the film crew with protest. This time around, we acquired several tickets from a sympathetic festival employee and was able to sneak several subversives inside. As the Q & A session started after the film, several people were able to disrupt Robert Crooks with shouts of "Racist Pig!" to Crooks and the film crew, bringing the screening to an abrupt end as security shut down the Q & A session while struggling to escort protesters outside.

If we had more advance notice of the screening we would have utilized more effective ways to shut down the event if we were not able to convince the Chicago International Film Festival the pull the offensive film entirely.

However, antifas were able to confont one of the three people who spoke on behalf of the film. "The Minutemen" producer Nicholas Weissman thought he was going to be giving an interview about the film to a local newspaper, but instead he screamed in surprise as a pie filled with dog shit was brutally driven into his face: a reminder of what to expect if you attempt to bring racist propaganda to Chicago. Folks are encouraged to call Nicholas Weissman on his cellphone at 818-219-0111 asking him how he enjoyed his just deserts.