New Mexico’s Domestic Terrorists: Birds of a Feather

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You need to know that the Proud Boys are the same people as the Boogaloo Bois, are the same people as the NM Civil Guard – the people who protected their shooter buddy yesterday. The City of Albuquerque Police Chief Michael Gier said that APD will be holding the NM Civil Guard accountable “to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution” …but the Proud Boys are already designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center has done extensive pieces on the Boogaloo Bois – the armed militia group the showed up to “protect property” at a George Floyd Vigil in Las Cruces last week. These are the same people with the same ideals – to protect White Supremacy including the monuments that glorify it, like the Oñate statue. 

Last year, we covered the Proud Boys and the Hiwaymen’s “flag-waving” rally in support of Trump, where shortly after the “rally” they pulled a gun on a community member.

These are the same people who showed up to the 2nd Amendment Rally during the 2020 Legislative Session where several GOP State Representatives and Senators spoke to a group of hateful fear-mongering extremists. Birds of a feather, the Proud Boys were in good company with many toating their weapons on the Capitol grounds. 

These are the same people who claim to be the “New Mexico Civil Guard” a self-appointed armed militia that created a new Facebook page to rebrand themselves as something other than Proud Boys and Boogaloo Bois. (You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.) These are the same folks that APD called “armed friendlies” on their scanner. They are the same people that showed up armed to a George Floyd memorial in Las Cruces as the “Boogaloo Bois” and proceeded to doxx and out ProgressNow NM staff on their NM Civil Guard Facebook Page. These are the same people that we at ProgressNow NM, alongside so many community activists like NM Right Wing Watch, and Albuquerque Community Defense have been calling out for years. 

In their latest act of fascism, here is the New Mexico Civil Guard defending their buddy Steven Baca after Steven first throws a woman to the ground and then SHOOTS a protester at the Oñate statue in front of the Albuquerque Museum. 

Steven’s dad was a former Bernalillo County Sheriff and Steven ran for City Council last cycle. This information matters because people who are actual facists are trying to gain political office – although some would argue many who are fascists already hold political office (Trump, anyone?) but that’s for another blog.

The big takeaway here is that law enforcement – APD in particular – is watching, coordinating with and arresting the wrong people.

The big takeaway here is that law enforcement – APD in particular – is watching, coordinating with and arresting the wrong people. 

Instead of APD standing in front of community members to protect them from the Proud Boys at the flag rally, APD started encroaching on community members when tensions started rising between the two factions.

Instead of APD turning their eye to the NM Civil Guard wannabe law enforcement officers, seeing them as a threat to our community and tracking them, APD instead focused their efforts on tracking and arresting Clifton White, a community organizer, partner, father and friend who was helping lead our local Black Lives Matter movement. 

Instead of APD figuring out whether other community members were shot at or hurt after Steven Baca fired a gun and shot someone yesterday, they came late, brought in tanks and tear gas and used them on unarmed, peaceful protesters.

In what world is this okay? 

We’re joining the chorus of thousands by calling on all electeds – especially those who spoke out against the shooting yesterday evening – to defund the police as we know them today. And yes, we mean that. We’re in the middle of a budget crisis and we spend millions of dollars on things like tanks and tear gas that we’ve never seen used against anyone else here in New Mexico except peaceful protesters who are seeking racial justice. 


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Executive Director 

Marianna Anaya

Deputy Director 

Lucas Herndon

Energy and Policy Director 

Josette Arvizu

Communications Director 

Jackie Aguirre

Communications Specialist 

Edgar Cruz

Communications Specialist 

Alissa Barnes :: Executive Director
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you should know

Alissa Barnes is Executive Director at ProgessNow New Mexico where she leads a team that works on message development, issue and voter education, and amplification of progressive messages and values. She leads the organization in strategy development, fundraising, and organizational growth and sustainability.

Alissa’s background includes nearly 12 years at Roadrunner Food Bank where Alissa led the development and creation of multiple programs that are now national models, invested in community building and collaborations, and worked closely with elected officials, educating about hunger and why policies would either benefit or hurt clients in food lines. She has a BA from the University of New Mexico and various non-profit certifications.
  • If she followed her childhood dream, she would be a Broadway tap dancing star
  • Has seen Frozen 1 and 2 over 100 times
  • Loves heavy metal concerts
Marianna Anaya :: Deputy Director
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Marianna oversees strategic messaging and creative implementation tactics for issue-based and political campaigns. She leads the team’s digital and earned media programs, bringing a New Mexico values-based approach to her work. 

Marianna’s background includes race and ethnic studies in education as a focus at UT Austin and UCLA, political campaign work, staffing former Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as leading organizing and communications work for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.

  • She currently serves as the Board President of Emerge NM. 
  • Her hobbies include getting more women, queer folks and BIPOC elected to office.
  • She has three cuddle-worthy dogs at home
Lucas Herndon :: Energy and Policy Director
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you should know

Lucas’ focus is on all things energy and environment, election integrity projects and general messaging strategy. He is often the front facing voice for PNNM when it comes to issues surrounding methane, renewable energy, oil industry accountability, and public lands issues. 

Lucas has an extensive background in public lands and solar energy. He was instrumental in the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 2014 and has participated in every local election since 2012 through phone banking, online organizing, and poll watching. Lucas is a lifelong resident of Las Cruces where he has served in various capacities of leadership including as President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, District Director for the Dona Ana County Democratic Party, and attending and completing the inaugural classes of the Las Cruces Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Las Cruces Tree Stewards. 

  • Owned a tattoo shop called Omega Tattoo & Supply 
  • Once got a chin bump “what’s up” from James Harden on an airplane when Harden saw Lucas’ beard 
  • Has a minor in Medieval and Early Modern History
Josette Arvizu :: Communications Director
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Josette Arvizu is the Communications Director at ProgressNow New Mexico where she oversees the development and implementation of systems that further the external and internal communications of the organization.

Josette’s background in marketing includes copywriting, paid media, SEO and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits, including convention and visitor bureaus from Bermuda to Anaheim. She began her career teaching writing to college students while in New Mexico State University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her previous work promoting diversity and inclusion includes coordination of writing and traditional arts workshops for Native American youth at the Tucson Indian Center.
  • Is a cat mom to an obstinate orange tabby named Quasimodo and a restless grey cat named Squirrel
  • Hasn’t heard a pun she didn’t like
  • Minored in dance in college and is an avid follower of ballet on Instagram
Jackie Aguirre :: Communications Specialist
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you should know

Jackie’s focus is on graphics and social media marketing that promote progressive issues across our state. 

Jackie’s background includes work in the Reproductive Justice space focusing on Latinx, Chicanx and Mexican-American communities.

  • She is a co-owner of a community art gallery celebrating BIPOC artists
  • She is a long-time volunteer for Planned Parenthood and works with college students to provide condoms/dental dams, menstrual products & other resources
  • She is a part of a group of women who love craft beer and hosts monthly beer shares with beer from all over the country
Edgar Cruz :: Communications Specialist
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you should know

Edgar Cruz is a Communications Specialist at ProgressNow New Mexico where he focuses on video creation and research that promotes progressive issues across our state.

Edgar has a background producing multimedia initiatives. With over five years of radio production experience, he is a movement agent who believes in exploring all avenues of media to inform and engage community.

  • Is a host of Espejos de Aztlan on KUNM
  • Is a member of Generation Justice
  • First discovered his passion for organizing as a high school student after joining the Youth Alliance in 2009