|Part of the U.S. Border Guard contingent at Occupy Phoenix; NSM member Harry Hughes not pictured|
The U.S. Border Guard, which regularly patrols the Vekol Valley and other Arizona border areas to interdict illegal aliens, showed up at the Occupy Phoenix rally in full patrol regalia on October 15th, 2011. Over 1,000 people took part in the rally, championing diverse causes while united by grievances against corporate greed and political influence. The targets of protesters’ anger ranged from partisan paralysis in Washington, D.C., to the abuse of children by Catholic priests. Many of the protesters tied those issues to abuses by wealthy corporations; Green Party members and Tea Partiers protested side by side. The Arizona Republic also published a story; KPHO reported that 46 arrests were made, mainly for criminal trespass.
But the presence of the U.S. Border Guard at the rally was intended to be non-political, according to J.T. Ready:
The U.S. Border Guard deployed an urban combat trained security squad to the Occupy Phoenix rally today [Oct. 15] as armed peace keepers and legal observers. Border Rangers who patrol the border took a non-political stance to defend peaceful assembly and free speech of all citizens by exercising our right to keep and bear arms. Phoenix Police units were on scene also keeping the peace. Our founding fathers and founding mothers knew full well that the 2nd Amendment is what protects all our other amendments from tyranny. The U.S.B.G. protected the rights of all parties involved.
Naturally, one itinerant anti-racist blogger tried to spin it, and even lied outright. In a post hysterically entitled "The National Socialist Movement scum show up armed to counter protest #occupyphoenix", Phoenix Insurgent tried to claim it was an NSM operation. NSM member Harry Hughes promptly debunked that notion, explaining on his own blog that he was the only NSM member standing with the Border Guard contingent and that the US Border Guard is not a front group for the NSM. Initially skeptical of Ready's plan to show up armed, Hughes quickly figured out that showing up armed would deliver an extremely strong message, making it difficult to ignore them and guaranteeing a public reaction.
Harry Hughes also noted that most of the Border Guard's interactions with the crowd were positive; only a few anarchists tried to stir up trouble. Almost everyone with whom Hughes spoke had something in common with him. National socialist activists tend to get their most positive reaction from the public when they show up attired in a manner that the public can identify with. The same analogy can be applied to other White racialist activists as well.