Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Shawna Forde

Shawna Forde's New Passion: The Minutemen

  

Shawna Forde
Shawna Forde
In 2006, Shawna became active in the Minuteman movement, a loosely-knit grassroots anti-illegal immigration group that staged "operations" on the border with Mexico. Groups of Minutemen would station themselves along the U.S. southern border, keep watch out for Mexicans crossing the border illegally and then alert the Border Patrol. By 2006, Shawna Forde announced she had become the media director of the Minuteman Project's Washington chapter. "I will be there to bring attention to Americans that our borders are wide open and we need to secure them," she told The Herald.

Forde gained the support of Jim Gilchrist, head of the Minuteman Project, who called her "a stoic struggler who has chosen to put country, community, and a yearning for a civilized society ahead of avarice and self-glorifying ego." Forde increasingly spent her time patrolling the border in Arizona, eventually starting her own border patrol group, Minuteman American Defense (MAD). Shawna started a website for the group, and kept a running blog on the site called "Shawna's Corner" in which she wrote about her new calling with no shortage of braggadocio:

Minutemen American Defense logo
Minutemen American Defense logo
See, there is a new white girl in town...this one is not afraid and will not tolerate this, not while I'm on post...We can all live in fear or we stand strong and tall and look the criminals in the eye and say "No more." I did not get involved in this movement to be a wallflower and as most of you know me you know I'm a hands on kind of gal.

According to her family, Forde's take-charge attitude led to unconventional plans to fund the group, schemes that veered from zealotry into illegality. In a July 2009 interview, Merrill Metzger told Seattle Weekly reporter Rick Anderson that that "She sat here on my couch and told me she planned to start an underground militia... She said she would rob Mexican drug dealers, steal their money and their drugs. She talked about a store near her in Arizona that kept 40 grand under the counter to cash illegals' checks, and she was going to rob that."

 

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