‘Violent Sect’ of Socialists That ‘Dupes Mainstream’ Playing Role In Migrant Caravan
- A Detroit-based group of racially-focused socialists called “By Any Means Necessary” is encouraging migrants in Mexico to march on the border and try to “remove” Trump.
- It dispatched organizers to Tijuana and distributed literature to migrants blaming the U.S. for conditions in their country and saying of the border “Open It Up Or We’ll Shut It Down!”
- For two decades, fellow socialists and progressive groups have condemned the group for its radical and violent tactics.
A Detroit-based faction operating in Tijuana that’s encouraging the migrant caravan to march to the U.S. border has a history of violence and has been disavowed by Communist and progressive organizations.
BAMN, a Detroit-based group whose motto is “Trump must go or be removed BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY,” is inciting the migrants to march to the border. Its flier, titled “Open It Up Or We’ll Shut It Down! Everyone Must Be Let In!” was distributed to the migrants and its banner hung in the Benito Juarez sports complex that housed the caravan.
BAMN Banner hanging inside the gym of the Benito Juarez sports complex in Tijuana
— BAMN (@followbamn) November 30, 2018
The faction, originally dedicated to affirmative action and affiliated with the Revolutionary Workers League, has been repeatedly condemned by groups it has crossed paths with, dating back two decades.
In 1995, the Socialist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, the Solidarity National Political Committee, and a long list of similar groups wrote: “As socialists, we condemn the actions of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary and the Revolutionary Workers League.”
In 2003, progressive populist and former Berkeley organizer Nathan Newman described his encounter with the group when trying to rally for affirmative action.
When the University of California Regents voted to end affirmative action in the university system, an incredibly vibrant, multiracial student-led group emerged called Diversity in Action. For the first time in a number of years, Berkeley would see mass political mobilization from across the campus, including eventually a 5,000-person rally on Sproul plaza.
However, within weeks of forming, that broad-based student affirmative action group was under assault, not by the cops or the administration, but by a thuggish and violent band called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), a grouplet created by a Detroit-based sect called the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL). The RWL had sent out a number of their leaders to create their BAMN front group, whose members proceeded not just to disrupt the student-led coalition meetings, but to physically assault the students, snatch the microphone from them at rallies, and bring their own megaphones to drown out their speakers.
In twenty years of political organizing, I have never seen such violent and thuggish behavior, a step beyond the worst sectarian acts I had ever imagined.
Newman also described BAMN as a “violent sect” that “duped mainstream civil rights organizations.”
In 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that two BAMN members were tried for throwing rocks at police, a tactic migrants have also used against authorities:
Deputy City Atty. Robert J. Fratianne said the two men, allied with a student group called the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary, were “militants” who knew that their actions would provoke police retaliation.
“You can’t just hurl a rock at someone and then say it’s self-defense,” Fratianne argued to the jurors.
A University of Michigan student publication said in 2000: “BAMN repulses many students for a number of reasons: they inexplicably advocate violence, engage in angry rhetoric, and are organized by nothing less than ‘outside agitators’ — Detroit Trotskyites who clearly possess ulterior motives.”
BAMN STATEMENT ON THE CARAVAN: Our Freedom March is almost over! Our goal of freedom is within sight and we must march on in order to achieve it! https://t.co/3FPsbl9HNF #caravan #CaravanaDeMigrantes #OpenTheBorders #LetThemAllIn #AsylumForAll #TrumpMustGo pic.twitter.com/g4mE6ypN99
— BAMN (@followbamn) November 26, 2018
In 2005, liberal magazine Mother Jones said “BAMN is a front organization for the Trotskyite Revolutionary Workers League … [T]hey probably aren’t the most strategic group to pick as a civil liberties poster child.”
Nonetheless, the leftist group has dispatched its organizers to Mexico to help bring the migrants — all of them — into the U.S., and has attempted to get them to march on the U.S. border.
Similarly, a group that has played a larger role organizing the caravan, Al Otro Lado, which translates to “to the other side,” tweeted on Nov. 30: “BAMN is agitating the caravan to march on the border.”
A GoFundMe campaign called “Help the Caravan Cross the Border and Seek Asylum,” posted on Nov. 28, says:
For the past few weeks, BAMN organizers have been on the ground in Tijuana working with migrants in the caravan to help people be able to cross the border into the United States to seek asylum … We want to provide materials for signs and banners for the march to express the movement’s demands and solidarity. We are calling on everyone who can to come to Tijuana to help the caravan across the finish line into the U.S.
The fliers, which the Epoch Times observed in the migrant camp, say “the US is greatly responsible for the conditions in our countries and that the US government supports the people whose repression has forced us to leave. We are under enormous pressure to present ourselves in the most respectful and non-threatening manner. To say that we are not criminals, or ‘trouble makers.’”
The migrants claim to be fleeing hunger, but have declined asylum in Mexico and are now staging a voluntary hunger strike.
BAMN did not return a request for comment.
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