Citizen Journalist Dennis Gilman and His Video Camera Take on the Valley of the Sun

The cops march down Jefferson Street in black riot gear, lobbing tear-gas canisters that erupt into clouds of violet and lawn-green. Even the bursts of electric-yellow pepper spray they unleash on protesters add to the psychedelic color scheme. Anarchists with black rags over their faces chant slogans. A woman in a wedding dress stands with a sign. Amid the chaos, police and demonstrators ignore an accordion player.

As police escort a gang of neo-Nazis toward the U.S. District Court building in downtown Phoenix, the avowed racists grin at members of the crowd fleeing the tear gas.

"Gas those Jews!" some of the men standing beneath swastika flags chant.

The 50 neo-Nazis are marching to show support for Arizona Senate Bill 1070. The crowd, several times that size, has shown up to hurl rocks and themselves at the Mexican-haters.

Dennis Gilman is there to film it all.

Gilman gets doused four times that day with pepper spray, sending him into coughing fits and welling his eyes with tears.

He's never been pepper-sprayed before. But it's common for the activist-videographer to be threatened with physical violence.

A Tea Party geezer once lunged at him, poking him with a sign that read, "Dennis Gilman is a Pimp." (The meaning of the insult has always escaped Gilman, but imagine getting beaten with your own name.)

The 5-foot-5 Gilman holds the camera up by his tripod to show a better view as the protesters throw themselves into the police officers' clear-plastic shields in human waves. A 28-year-old neo-Nazi — who a year after the march will be arrested with pipe bombs he intends to bury near the border — screams into Gilman's lens:

"I'm gonna take your camera and stick it up your ass, Jew boy!"

Gilman points the camera at the man's pumpkin-shaped head, responding that what the racist really wants to do is "lick [his] ass."

The man in a black commando shirt yells, "Why don't you suck a dick, faggot boy!"

"You're just jealous because you don't have a dick," Dennis ripostes.

Some protesters hurl rocks at the neo-Nazis, then pull metal newspaper bins into the middle of the road in a vain attempt to prevent the procession from making it to the federal courthouse here.

The neo-Nazis finally arrive in front of the massive glass-and-steel structure; they sieg heil! repeatedly and play the U.S. national anthem as the demonstrators seethe.

Before this all got under way, Gilman had bantered with the Phoenix area's most infamous neo-Nazi, J.T. Ready, there to participate in the procession. Ready had been a pal of recalled Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce's. The extremist pol, author of SB 1070, the infamous anti-Mexican law that the march is all about, had sponsored Ready's entry into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was Gilman who'd helped expose Pearce's ties with Ready. Gilman's video titled "Exclusive Footage: Russell Pearce Endorsed J.T. Ready," attracted 18,000 views. The video shows Ready's Mormon baptismal record, signed by Pearce, and captures the then-legislator praising Ready as a "true patriot."

As the march gets started, neither Ready nor Gilman have any idea that the clash will turn into a melee. Nor did they foresee that, two years later, Ready's temper would explode and he'd shoot dead his girlfriend, two other adults, a 15-month-old baby, and himself.

Over the years, Gilman had talked to his racist adversary many times. He considered Ready an "asshole" but not a murderer. When he heard about the multiple slayings, Gilman drove to the house where they had happened, lit a candle for the poor baby, and symbolically burned sage to purify the dark spirit that had occupied Ready.

Gilman's video of the November 2010 march to the federal courthouse and its aftermath is among 150 he's made of heated confrontations — including the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's notorious anti-immigrant raids. All the videos can be seen on Gilman's YouTube channel, Humanleague002.

Why does this middle-aged installer of security systems suffer abuse and risk injury to document the antics of unscrupulous politicians, extremists, and sometimes out-of-control cops?

Gilman gives two reasons: "It's the right thing to do to help people who aren't in a position to help themselves," and he enjoys confronting right-wing zealots: "They think they can fuck with me, and that's a big mistake — because I welcome it."


Dennis Gilman and other Arizona activists — some call them citizen journalists — mostly have moved past just carrying signs and yelling through bullhorns. These days, they produce videos or blog about injustice and political causes.

In 2010, then-state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne wrote and championed a bill that ended a Mexican-American studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. If the school district refused to comply, it stood to lose $15 million in funding.

Students and activists protested mightily, even chained themselves together during a school board meeting. It all prompted Tucson local David Morales to start a blog, Three Sonorans. All along, Morales had marched in protests over the frustrations of the minority community in Tucson, and he came to resent tepid nightly TV news coverage of the issues affecting Latinos. The mainstream media, he felt, never captured the desperation of a community under siege.

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46 comments
Cozz
Cozz

Respect and admiration for you Dennis, without your work and devotion, the truth would have never been known just how racist and third world country Arizona really is.

Keep up the great work buddy !

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

Thanks all for the kind words but I stay behind the camera for a reason   I'm not nearly as interesting as the people I film.  Now its time for me to do some shameless self promotion and post my new video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1uBksODUTM



brinvinn
brinvinn

OK wow, so rol lthat beautifl bean footage!


www.AnonStuff.tk

swmkm
swmkm

From this article: 3 in 5 residents of Guadalupe are Latino. An incredible 36% of Guadalupe residents are below the poverty line. Which is exactly why we don't need any more of these uneducated, unskilled, poor people. All they will do is turn America into a poor nation rife with poverty, crime, drug cartels, etc. Legal immigrants from various countries make this a better nation. A never ending stream of poor, unskilled, uneducated citizens of Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala will only bring this nation down. Stop kidding yourselves liberals. I know you like to pretend to love everybody and act like you're such wonderful, compassionate people, but be REALISTIC.

swmkm
swmkm

According to him, the Tea Party is 1,000 times worse and full of more hate than the Neo-Nazis. And that's where all the credibility goes out the window. How are they more hateful? Because they want smaller government? Because they hate taxes? Obviously they are a much bigger threat to the liberal agenda than a few neo-Nazis, and that's why they were targeted and discriminated against by the IRS and the EPA. 

swmkm
swmkm

OMG!!! He is so scary!! Because he has a CAMERA!!!! And it's RECORDING!! (GASP!) Yes sir, I will now believe what your views are!!!!

robert_graham
robert_graham

By the way in the news today the judge won't reconsider the drivers license ruling. Amen to that!

allanbartlett
allanbartlett

vaginatrailkaren supports child molester enabler arpaio. teabilly

prisonabolitionist
prisonabolitionist

AZ wouldn't be the same without you, Dennis - thanks for all you do!

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Well written story of recognition for pioneers in our midst. 

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Mr. Gilman,

I certainly owe you a shot of Crown Royal Black for all the hard work you do exposing the corrupt, narcissistic degenerates we call public officials (not all of Arizona's public officials are corrupt narcissists. Sheila Polk comes to mind).

Now to shout out the motto of my beloved homestate of Virginia: Sic Semper Tyrannis (thus always to tyrants)

luisoncln
luisoncln

Ive been following your videos on youtube for quite a while now. Thank you Sir for all that you do. May my God bless you with good health and keep you from any harm so that you continue doing what you do. 

ChemTrailKaren
ChemTrailKaren

DEAR SHERIFF JOE,

Now that the activist judge has rukled with the lawbreakers and you cant arrest illegals would you please do us all a favor and arrest GILBOY THE OPEN BORDER MARXIST SCUM. He is a traitor to this nation and a law breaker.  GILBOY IS WHITE. You can arrest him for traitor acts and disorderly condiut.  GOD BLESS YOU SHERIFF. 

ChemTrailKaren
ChemTrailKaren

This is garbage. The worst article ever about a disgusting person who terrorizes patriots.   

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

thats some intestinal fortitude you are walking around with Dennis. you are doing a job nobody else wants to do. you are doing a job where you dont expect or recieve the praise and recognition you deserve. you are fighting for those who need your help and doing it at the risk of your own health and safety. reminds me of me when i joined the Marines in the 80's. i got a rifle, you have a camera. i was better prepared and yet you still go in as proud as i was and at twice the age.  well done sir, well done

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

good article about Gilman, great work by Gilman.  way to go Dennis, good to see you get your accolades that you have earned. (you do realize, your article is longer than Joe's write ups right?  he is going to be soooo jealous)

wtf...
wtf...

long due recognition for Mr Gilman!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Thank you Mr. Gilman for exposing the sometimes ugly truth about Arizona.

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

Dennis, you do a great job despite a ton of adversity. hats off to you sir! 

deniseaz2003
deniseaz2003

thank you Dennis for catching the videos you do .and thank you as well to the others as well . this state needs such works shown world wide,  and those responsible for the hate need to be exposed and thrown out of office . only then can AZ start to heal from hate and bigotry .

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@dennis20 love the 2012 clips of Arpaio giving a speech and laughing that he is costing us millions in lawsuits. NO true leader laughs at costing his people ANYTHING.

luisoncln
luisoncln

@swmkm Allow me. ill be if you will a little more realistic. if I may. Todays migration is structured by contemporary relationships among countries and regions and by their history of ecenomic inequality. Unequal economic relationships should be changed, not because they lead to migration- but because they lead to human suffering and an unsustainable world. High levels of migration are a symptom of a global economic system that privelages the few at the expense of the many. It could be called capitalism, it could be called neoliberalism,it could be called globalization or even neo-colnialism. As long as it keeps resources unequally distributed in the world, you are going to have people escaping the regions that are DELIBERATELY? kept poor and violent and seeking freedom in the places where the world's resources have been concentrated: in the countries that controlled and been beneficiaries of, the global economic system that took shape after 1492! should I be MORE clear?


danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@swmkm hate to tell you this, but those uneducated and unskilled people are our people. thats why we want people from other countries bringing their educated and skilled here......because our schools are among the worst. our education system is probably the worst in the world or at least pretty damn close. why should other countries send their people here to help us when we wont even help people who you claim to be worse than us? most Americans are below the poverty line and its the result of things like our current administration and people like Joe Arpaio who seem to want to spend our money (what little of it we have) like it is going out of style. Mexico may be supplying drugs, but who is the country that is creating the demand? the people who are turning America into a poor nation rife with poverty, crime, drugs, etc....are Americans. at least the Mexicans are smart enough to take advantage of the market we have created for drugs, and our people are to F***ING stupid to make the drugs, we have to get them from a country that is supposed to be uneducated. and our people are too damn lazy to work so we get laborers from a country that is supposed to be unskilled. i am against illegal immigration, but put the blame where it belongs

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@swmkm lol first, as we now know the tea party groups werent targeted..check Rep Cummings recent promise to unload ALL transcripts of interviews which detail the lies Issa and the rest of have been saying. (or selectively using statements that benefit their accusations, but in reality arent true or are completely out of context). 

Second, the tea party has turned into a fascist, ultra religious cult type group that lashes out at their own for going against the grain..truth be damned. They threaten, intimidate, and try to coerce people into their way of thinking..The politicians use their anger and hatred of whatever to drive them into a frenzy, then unleash them onto the rest of us. This is precisely how the Nazi's got into power. 

Lastly, how are they NOT more hateful than the Nazi's (before the war that is..after you are right, no comparison....yet)? maybe its because you are a tea party member..but try not being one. Or just say one thing that dissents from the party opinion. Enjoy the belittlement, the irrational threats and logic, and the attempts at intimidation to get you to change. Facts? HA those arent in the cards. They just fabricate whatever to suit them at the moment, whether its hypocritical or not. 

allanbartlett
allanbartlett

the teatards are ignorant, uneducated, liars and they smell like fetid outhouses.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

You mean the ruling where GED Jan is violating the Equal Protection Clause to the 14th Amendment Robert?

That means the Executive Order is void.

ChemTrailKaren
ChemTrailKaren

@luisoncln  GILBOY deserves all the harm and bad health the good lord jesur will send him and I pray he gets it.  He's an open boarder anarchist with marxist ties to terrorists.  AND HIS VIDEOS SUCK

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@ChemTrailKaren only traitor is you..traitor to the Constitution, traitor to the Christian faith...you are a disgrace

robert_graham
robert_graham

How about if he arrests you -- for talking stupidly.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

LMAO idiots like you and JAF are exactly the reason why Arizona continues to be a third world country.

In the event you dropped out of school, Arizona was part of Mexico until 1848. So, Arizona has a colorful history and it's damn proud of its Hispanic ancestry.

Get a clue before you spew your drunken, incoherent babble.

luisoncln
luisoncln

@ChemTrailKaren  You are a moron! The concept of human rights is based on the recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of every human being.

Under international law, ALL MIGRANTS WITHOUT EXCEPTION OF ANY KIND are entitled to: the right to life;the right not to be tortured or ill-treated;the right not to be subject to impermissible discrimination;the right to recognition before the law;and the right not to be subject to slavery.

In addition, all migrants, REGARDLESS OF STATUS, are guaranteed the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;as well as the right to education.

The principle of non-discrimination is central to the protection of the human rights of all migrants. Any differences in the treatment meted out to migrants must conform to international law – they must not breach migrants’ internationally recognized human rights. 

The USA has ratified, and therefore has an obligation to adhere to, many of the key human rights treaties that guarantee these fundamental rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD); and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 

The USA has signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social 

and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against 

Women.

As a SIGNATORY to these treaties, it has an obligation to refrain 

from actions that would defeat their object and purpose.

International law also obliges the USA to protect and fulfill human rights 

and to safeguard individuals from infringement of these rights by third 

parties, the principle of “due diligence.”

This includes an obligation to prevent human rights violations, investigate and punish them when they occur, and provide compensation and support services for victims.

allanbartlett
allanbartlett

slimetrail karen's vagina terrorizes pee pee's.

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@ChemTrailKaren the only disgusting people that terrorize patriots are people like you and the tea party! you arent a patriot, youre the furthest thing from it. You hate your fellow Americans, you stand against the Constitution when it suits you, and you are a fascist! oh, and ive watched the tea baggers try and assault him, as you so wish for..lol theyre lucky they didnt break a hip in the weak attempt. 

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

LMAO Karen, you wouldn't know the definition of the word "patriot" if it bitch-slapped you in the face.

Dontbelieveit
Dontbelieveit

@danzigsdaddy Excellent , and very well put Yes us Americans Have created the demand and yes they are taking advantage of it .....Were still up against stupid laws and extremely ignorant people . It will run its course and if the powers to be stay in office nothing will ever change here in sandland Love this State was born and raised here and have slowly seen it go to shit with all these slime balls running it . They all cover themselves with the same sheet . It makes me sad that the Arizona that I grew up in has turned into a dumping ground for rapists pedophiles and weird fucks like jiffy and his pappy smoking joe the convicted RACIST.

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@ChemTrailKaren LMAO and the American Taliban strikes again! 

i bet you sleep upside down dont you? you sure are bat shit crazy enough 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@ChemTrailKaren wishing death and harm? and doing it in the name of christ?  just exactly what church do you go to?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

LMAO the narcissistic old man wouldn't have a job by the time I'm through with him if he even tried to pull that shit on me.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan  if he could do that, you would  have been a 3 time loser long long ago. they only give you 3 strikes and you used them up

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@dennis20 dont want your thanks Dennis, this article is about you and you should be enjoying it. (appreciate the modesty though). soon enough the jeers will start hitting, so enjoy the kudos while you can

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Zigs, Karen very likely attends Westboro Baptist Church... you know, the odious cretins who claim the war dead deserved to die....

 
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