Here’s how the cameraman, Dennis GIlman, an AZ pro-immigrant rights activist described what happened:
“This was filmed on the public lawn of the Arizona State Capitol on September 7, 2013 where the “We Are America Tour” added Arizona racist, former State Senate President President Russell Pearce. Pearce is famous for SB1070 and his association and endorsement of neo-Nazi JT Ready, who killed an entire family before killing himself in 2012. The local racists have worked closely with FAIR for years. I was there to film the speakers.
It’s a safe guess that if Minute Man founder Chris Simcox wasn’t sitting in jail for multiple counts of child molestation that he would’ve been a speaker at this event also. Is it any wonder why they didn’t want the “liberal Media” filming them? For my own safety, I refused to leave without a police escort. It took over 7 minutes for any law enforcement to arrive. The video is edited only for length.”
The speaker is Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, a failed former Republican candidate for the Arizona Senate who said such outrageously racist shit that even Jan Brewer had to distance herself from her last year. She tells the (obviously) low IQ crowd that she’s against amnesty and that immigrants should do things the legal way when they want to come to America, just like she did (Apparently what Mrs. Mercer means by that is that—hey, hey—they should all marry wealthy men!). These fucking brain-damaged numbnuts cheer her on.
Although the video pretty much tells the whole story here, as there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of nuance to what transpired, here’s some additional information via The Phoenix New Times:
All of it was unprovoked. It’s almost funny when, after they surround Gilman like a pack of wild dogs, they tell Gilman to “stop pushing.”
Fortunately, playwright James Garcia was on hand, taking pictures of what was going on. He recently posted some of these to Facebook, with an eyewitness account of what transpired. Garcia writes:
“He was exercising his First Amendment right as an independent journalist to document a news event when he was literally surrounded by several people who alternately tried obstructing his view to keep him from videotaping, while a few of them began pushing and shoving him around—apparently intent on trying to provoke him….
“At one point, some of protesters who had surrounded Dennis began to yell out that he was assaulting them. These were blatant lies. The most aggressive thing Dennis did was turn his camera on his aggressors in hopes of documenting their abuse, while he pointedly insisted that they not touch his camera equipment. “
To be fair, assuming the group had a permit for the rally on the state Senate lawn, they could ask Gilman to leave. And if he chooses not to, they could wait for the police to show up to ask him to leave.
Having a permit does not give you license to harass and assault someone. Gilman says that when the authorities showed up, he agreed to leave if they would escort him all the way to his car. Smart move, considering the nature of the crowd, and the fact many of them were packing.
The best thing the nativists could have done is ignore Gilman’s presence. By singling him out and acting like a bunch of schoolyard bullies, they not only revealed their true colors, they ruined a chance to convey their intended message. Now they have to defend themselves by blaming the victim, which makes them look even worse.
Here’s a little free PR advice for them that they won’t take: Apologize to Gilman and promise to ensure his safety at the next demonstration they hold, whatever that is. This would be the smart thing to do, a way of mitigating the damage. But they won’t, largely because they are filled with rage and must attack anyone who disagrees with them.
And also because they are really, really dumb.
For some time, members of the neo-Nazis affiliated “Remember 1986” group (co-sponsors of the event) have been known to show up and harass Mexican day laborers at a spot in Phoenix where they congregate.