Racist stuff in Cochise County, some labor history, and the eternally good words of George W.P. Hunt

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 20 08:01:17 MST 2002


Note by Hunterbear:

I am very glad to quote herewith the time-honoured words of the "Old
Governor" of Arizona -- George W.P. Hunt: words which apply with the force
of an old-time single-jack metal miner's hammer to the current mess in which
our country swims today -- and to the people responsible for it.

This posted article deals with very current Klan-type, anti-Mexican
Anglo-racism centering in Cochise County, Arizona.  Nothing new about these
vile goings on in this general region -- except that the nature and conduct
of the current US administration et al. and the generally poisonous national
mood have provided, in the minds of these thugs, carte blanche.
Fortunately, there have always been many decent and courageous people of all
ethnicities in the Border Country and well beyond in all directions. But the
history of this region has been dramatic and sanguinary.

 Cochise County [Arizona], was the scene on July 12, 1917, of the
Phelps-Dodge Copper organized "Loyalty League" roundup and deportation of
1200 striking copper workers at Bisbee [not counting three that were
killed.]  This was in the context of the great IWW-led copper strike that
stretched from Butte, Anaconda, and Great Falls down to the Mexican border.
The 1200 were taken without food or water by box cars and dumped at
Columbus, New Mexico.  They were Chicano, Anglo, Oriental, and Native --
either members of the IWW or members of Mine-Mill [or both, a practice that
actually lingered through the 1950s in the Western copper situation.]  The
Bisbee Deportation followed the July 10  deportation of about 100 IWW and
Mine-Mill members -- at Jerome, Arizona, just south of Flagstaff -- by a
"Loyalty League" organized by the United Verde Copper Company.  These
workers were dumped in California and then driven back into Arizona by a
California sheriff's posse -- and finally imprisoned at Prescott, Arizona.
In the early morning hours of August 1, 1917, Frank H. Little,  Cherokee
Indian and Chairman of the IWW General Executive Board, was taken from his
Butte boardinghouse by gunmen employed by the Anaconda Copper Company.  With
a rope around his neck, he was dragged by automobile through the outlying
streets of Butte for two miles before being hanged from a railroad bridge
trestle. Frank Little, crippled from a car wreck at Jerome, was on crutches
and was in Butte to assist the strike in Montana where he had just delivered
a stirring anti-War speech.  His funeral was the largest ever held in the
State of Montana.

No one was ever punished for any of these atrocities.  But, soon after these
horrific events, the "liberal" Wilson administration moved through the
Justice Department to round up 150 top IWW leaders on charges of violating
the "Espionage Act" -- hastily passed legislation outlawing anything
construed as "interfering" with the War effort [including, of course,
strikes  fundamentally motivated  by static wages and rampant inflation.]
In three massive Federal trials in 1918 -- Chicago, Wichita, Sacramento --
the defendants were all convicted and sentenced to heavy prison terms.
Eventually, as earlier with also victimized Gene Debs, they were released by
President Warren Harding.


Arizona [with New Mexico] had only become a state in 1912 and its fiery
Governor George W.P. Hunt -- who had come into the Territory on a mule and
who was essentially a socialist -- later denounced the brutal vigilante
actions against copper workers in an extraordinary address before the
Arizona Legislature:

"At this juncture I am sorely troubled for lack of a word, a phrase, an
expression with which to give poignant utterance to that which is in my
heart; to adequately describe a certain sort of thing in human shape that
wears the outward semblance of a man, but yet is a craven cur; whose heart
is as malignant as a cesspool; whose mind is a sink of infamy. . . .Such a
thing is the "profiteering patrioteer," the detestable hypocrite who, with
sanctimonious demeanor, goes through the mummery of patriotic service,
though striving all the while to profit by his country's dire distress; to
vent a personal prejudice under the guise of patriotism, or to gain for
himself a pecuniary advantage under the starry folds of his country's flag
with which he drapes his sorry soulless figure.  There is no word in all the
range of human tongue from Sanskrit to Anglo-Saxon with which to describe
this creature, so I abandon the effort in despair."

>From Vernon H. Jensen, Heritage of Conflict: Labor Relations in the
Nonferrous Metals Industry up to 1930 [Ithaca:  Cornell University Press,
1950], pp. 426-427.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]

===================================================

Vigilante Group recruiting members to patrol Mexican border

The News [Mexico City]
Maria Leon, EFE - 2/20/2002

DOUGLAS, Arizona - Human rights groups have complained about Operation
Falcon, a campaign launched by the anti-immigrant group Ranch Rescue in an
effort to recruit volunteers to help guard the border between Arizona and
Mexico.

Through its Web page, the group made up of Texas ranchers has invited U.S.
citizens to participate in a campaign aimed at stopping illegal immigration
in Cochise County, Arizona, this spring. The group says members of terrorist
organizations may have entered the United States illegally through that
county, which continues to witness the most activity of any on the border
between Mexico and the United States.

Ranch Rescue maintains it is now more important than ever to put border
security into the hands of "good" citizens because the Border Patrol has
been ineffective in stemming the tide of illegal immigration.

This is the second time Ranch Rescue has threatened to patrol the roads
along the border between Douglas and Agua Prieta, Mexico.

In the past, the group has distributed flyers inviting volunteers to join in
a "hunt" for undocumented immigrants, whom they describe as criminals who
come to destroy ranches, rob and smuggle drugs.

According to the information on its Web page, the group plans to descend on
the border between Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora during the last
two weeks of March.

Immigration attorney Isabel Garcia, director of the Human Rights Coalition
of Arizona, said Ranch Rescue was coming to Arizona at the invitation of
Douglas ranchers. A group of armed ranchers led by Roger Barnett has devoted
itself to detaining undocumented immigrants in the Douglas area.

Barnett has stated on several occasions that he has detained and turned over
approximately 1,000 undocumented immigrants to the Border Patrol.

Garcia said the presence of this anti-immigrant group in Arizona is another
consequence of continued militarization along the border and unjust U.S.
immigration laws.

"These groups are taking advantage of the uncertainty existing in our
country to spread their racist hatred and resentment against undocumented
immigrants," Garcia insisted.

The immigration attorney also said undocumented immigrants crossing the
border at Douglas are generally Mexicans or Central Americans looking for
work.

Illegal immigration has once again become a hot topic in Arizona, where
legislators and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials will
meet next week to study a possible increase in the number of agents assigned
to the area.




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