July 20, 2017/Press

Did Gov. Greg Abbott call on private militia for campaign protection?

Austin, TX — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott made his first reelection visit to Rio Grande Valley last week and the Latino families of South Texas were also greeted by Abbott’s friends, the so-called Texas state militia, “a private group that has patrolled the state’s border with Mexico.”

“Militia members wore camouflage fatigues and openly carried military-style rifles, as they stood by with McAllen police observing the peaceful protest.” [Raw Story, July 17, 2017] 

[Rio Grande Guardian, July 16, 2017]

“La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) along with several other organizations in the Valley united outside of the restaurant to protest the controversial SB 4… Daniel Diaz, a community organizer for LUPE and a counselor at La Joya ISD, said he was protesting Gov. Abbott over SB 4 and how it personally affects him as a counselor to undocumented students.” [Rio Grande Guardian, July 16, 2017] 

Texans deserve answers from Gov. Abbott

The Statesman reported that State Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) made two public records requests for information about why armed militia were present at Gov. Abbott’s campaign stop in McAllen. [Statesman, July 19, 2017]

“In a letter sent Tuesday to the governor, the lawmaker writes, ‘…I have grave concerns about a private group, that is not bound by the same constraints of law enforcement, seemingly asserting authority (by virtue of their military-style uniforms and possession of assault-style rifles) in the name of the governor over peaceful attendees at political events.’” 

Texas Democrat Rep. Gina Hinojosa asked the Texas Governor’s Office:

  • “Did you, a member of your staff or your campaign, invite, authorize, or encourage the presence of the Militia at your event in McAllen, Texas on July 15, 2017? If not, did you, a member of your staff, or your campaign coordinate with the Militia about your event in McAllen on July 15, 2017?”

  • “What was the Militia’s role at your event?”

  • “Was there an agreement with you, a member of you staff, or your campaign with the Militia to provide security or any other services at your event in McAllen on July 15, 2017?”

  • “Was the Militia paid or otherwise compensated to provide security or any other services at your event in McAllen on July 15, 2017, and by whom?”

  • “What rights or privileges did the Militia members have that the others attending or protesting did not? For example, were they permitted in areas that the other attendees or protestors were not?”

Learn more about Abbott’s private militia:

  • Austin lawmaker asks Abbott to explain militia group’s presence[Austin American-Statesman, July 19, 2017]

  • Abbott and His Armed Militia [Austin Chronicle, July 21, 2017]

  • ‘No need for semi-automatic weapons’: Protesters intimidated by Texas militia at GOP governor’s event [Raw Story, July 17, 2017]

  • Abbott’s campaign stop in McAllen brings protests over SB 4 [Rio Grande Guardian, July 16, 2017]

  • Lawmaker Questioning Abbott And Armed Militia Connection At Campaign Event [KVEO, July 20, 2017]