I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it. – Voltaire
Two days ago, I received an extremely distressed phone call from my friend Chuck. At the time, his RV was surrounded by five Yuma police cruisers. That's always a shitty spot to be in for sure. He and several other members of the no-name leaderless activism group I belong to had made the three hour journey from Phoenix to Yuma with the intention of sticking it to the man at Pastor Steven Anderson's dismissal hearing for his refusal to provide information at a warrantless immigration checkpoint; a Border Patrol checkpoint situated 50 miles north of the border.
For refusing to allow his rights to be violated and for refusing to acquiesce to the Border Patrol Agents’ repeated demands, not only was the Pastor criminally charged with Failure to Obey and Blocking the Roadway (minor misdemeanor infractions), the Highway Patrol smashed in both front windows of his SUV, forced his head into the broken shards of glass, and proceeded to Taser him for 30 seconds straight as he screamed bloody murder for them to stop. But that’s another story for another day.When the hearing began, there were numerous delays, mostly to the effect that none of the judges wanted to be the one to hear the case. Someone, I forget who, told me that one judge had offered another to take his entire docket for the day and pay for a “rub and tug” at an Algodones massage parlor if the other would hear the case. Why? Because everyone knows you can’t jump in a bucket of shit and come out smelling like a rose.
Here’s where things get sketchy; I’ve heard a few different versions of the same scenario from people who were there, so I’ll stick to what I know. What everyone I spoke to mentioned was that at lunch time, the group went to Round Table pizza with Pastor Anderson and they were seated in a private room with a closeable door.
At some point during lunch, 4409 (Shelton) noticed two Border Patrol
agents having lunch. With camera in hand, Shelton “confronted” the
agents in a “friendly manner” as they were leaving. Noticing the exchange, the manager became incensed over the fact that 4409 was accosting customers on camera in the restaurant, and in my estimation, she was fully within her rights to a) become pissed off, and b) call the cops; she happened to do both.
I mean really, what the hell?
Confronting government officials or anyone else on the street is a wildly different proposition than confronting them in someone’s place of business. If you’re going to go around acting like the paparazzi, you’ve got to play the game right; the street is the stage.
The libertarian stance on personal property dictates that if you screw
around with someone’s property or business, no matter how innocently,
they have the right to defend themselves against your intrusion.
Ultimately, what was the point? What was there to gain? How many minds were freed by taping two Border Patrol agents at lunch?
As activists, we must play the game with our heads, not our hearts. We must be smart and ever vigilant of our intentions and actions and how they are perceived by the minds we are trying to free. At this point, we’re holding a pair of aces and the government has the rest of the friggin’ deck. Our only trump card is that the founders cared about Natural law, and for the time being, we remain under the societal façade that we are freely able to act within the confines the rights which were given to us by our Creator. Because the Creator is free, and we are created in his image, we are born and remain free individuals.
That is the essence of why I do this; because those rights are non-fucking-negotiable.
The cops didn’t arrive before the group left, but there was little doubt as to why they were in Yuma or where they were headed when they left the restaurant. That is what brings us full circle to the frantic phone call I received. To me, this whole thing reads like a comedy of errors; a waste of time, energy, and resources. As activists, we must ask ourselves these questions; what was the intended outcome vs. the real outcome? Was the freedom movement or Pastor Anderson’s cause or case helped in any way?
I hope those of you who were involved take what I say for what it is and nothing more.