Plan To Pitch Tents Hit Roadblock

Protesters Blocked From Camping In Canyon

A rally to protest migrant camps drew about 180 Minutemen and 20 counter-protesters to a Carmel Valley canyon, but their numbers dwindled to about 20 people total by late Saturday afternoon, according to city police.

The rally was held near McGonigle Canyon, the site of numerous encampments set up by migrant workers or day laborers.

Overall, the event was peaceful, said police Capt. Boyd Long.

Carmel Valley residents upset about the camps, along with the Minutemen and their supporters, planned to pitch tents in the canyon as part of an effort to get city officials to disband the encampments.

However, the protesters did not camp out in McGonigle Canyon as they intended because it was made off limits to the public, said Jeff Schwik, a Minuteman representative.

Landowners, including developer DR Horton, closed off the property and sent a security crew to keep protesters out, said police Lt. Chris Ellis.

Instead, the city of San Diego allowed protesters to gather on city-owned land next to the canyon.

Long said the camps had not been disbanded as of the early evening, although landowners have announced plans to do that.

Pro-immigrant activists helped the migrants leave the area before the protesters showed up, according to broadcast reports, which also showed pro-and anti-immigration activists yelling at each other.

"They're just having a good old time out there," said Schwik.

The migrants reportedly do farm work in the area.

The canyon is located at the end of Torrey Santa Fe Road, south of state Route 56, at Camino del Sur.

Some of the participants carried "Minutemen-type" signs, while others appeared to be pro-immigration counter-protesters, Schwik said.

No injuries or arrests had been reported, Ellis said.

Police Capt. Boyd Long said Saturday that a significant number of officers would be at the rally to keep the peace and discourage protesters from camping.

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