Firedoglake reports that Shawna Forde, the anti-immigrant leader of the Minuteman American Defense (M.A.D.) who was recently charged with the murder of a 9-year-old Hispanic girl and her father, co-hosted the 2007 Washington State Illegal Immigration Summit that reportedly featured presidential candidates Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Fred Thompson.
The Reagan Wing, a conservative blog dedicated to picking up Ronald Reagan’s “sword” still features a plug for the summit which it describes as “the pinnacle Conservative event of 2007“:
In addition the event is co-hosted by Minutemen American Defense, a Washington state-wide American citizen defense coalition headed by Shawna Forde, a re-born Rock promoter from the days of the music world-shaking Seattle Rock explosion. Shawna will speak.
Representatives (or the actual candidates) will appear from Presidential campaigns for TOM TANCREDO, DUNCAN HUNTER and FRED THOMPSON.
Minuteman leader Jim Gilchrist, who has tried to distance himself from Forde in recent days, also headlined the 2007 event.
The summit, which featured the slogan “The Great Gringo awakens from siesta,” was reportedly attended by “white supremacists, militia types, neo-Nazis, and skinheads.”
Right wing anti-immigration groups are frantically trying to distance themselves from Forde. The anti-immigrant group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), issued a press release this afternoon denying any association with Forde after a video popped up of Shawna Forde speaking as a FAIR activist. The blog Long Island Wins reports that web pages from Gilchrist’s website where he supposedly defends Forde are nothing but broken links in a google cache. VDARE, “the homepage of educated racism” has reportedly also “scrubbed” all of its web pages that once supported Forde. So far, CNN’s Rick Sanchez has been one of the few mainstream journalists to question Forde’s connection to the larger movement against immigration.
SANCHEZ: The nation’s largest minuteman group has distanced itself from Forde we should say. And we’ve learned that within Minuteman circles she is considered a bit of a loose canon. But you do have to wonder: how did Shawna Forde–a supposed fringe element–turn up on PBS as a player in the anti-immigration movement?
Immigration advocates are outraged at the mainstream media’s lack of coverage and are asking their supporters to share the story of the 9-year-old victim’s death. Today, Crooks and Liars posted an emotional recording of the 911 call placed by her mother on the day of the attack.