(NaturalNews) A group of veterans and other concerned Americans are calling on all Americans to join them at the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego on July 5 to demand the release of a U.S. Marine who has been held in a Mexican jail since March.
The event, dubbed "Cinco de Julio" or "July 5th" in Spanish, was organized by John Harrington; Guerilla Media Network is also involved, providing coverage as the group protests the imprisonment of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
"We're gonna have a ride on the fifth of July, we're calling it 'Cinco de Julio,' and it's up to our American politicians whether or not that's gonna be a ride of celebration or something [pausing] altogether different," Harrington says in this video describing and promoting the event.
"July fourth, it stands for freedom, the Declaration of Independence, it defines who we are as Americans," added a man who goes by the handle "New York Myke." "So we want American bikers from all over" to join in Cinco de Julio.
'He couldn't turn back'
The upcoming event builds on an earlier ride to the border and resultant protest there by Harrington on June 14.
"Let's go to the border, let's demand that this Marine gets out of jail," said GMN host Pete Santilli, in describing the earlier event.
"Sgt. Tahmooressi was just driving in the area and made a wrong turn" when he was intercepted by Mexican authorities March 31, said New York Myke. Mexican border police arrested Tahmooressi because he had registered firearms in his vehicle; guns are strictly regulated in Mexico.
"He couldn't turn back," New York Myke continued in the video. "He didn't mean to go to Mexico, number one. Number two, since he's down there in a Mexican prison, he spent the first month chained to a bed, okay, chained, tethered to a bed by his arms and legs, for the first month... This is no place for a Marine who served two tours in Afghanistan, who's currently a Marine reservist. He's supposed to be reporting for duty, like, right now."
The video shows a clip of President Obama saying that the U.S. doesn't leave troops behind, but that is followed by Harrington, who says, "He left four behind in Benghazi; he's leaving our man behind here."
According to various reports, Mexican federal authorities have granted Tahmooressi a new hearing on the weapons charges July 9. His lawyer, Fernando Benitez -- the third one to represent the imprisoned Marine -- urged patience ahead of that hearing. He also said judicial proceedings, not diplomacy, will have to resolve the issues.
"This is a federal court and as in any democratic nation you will not find an executive calling up a judge and ordering the release of a suspect," Benitez said. "It makes no difference if it is a mayor, governor, or the president, there's not a phone call in the world that will change this."
'I might just go get him'
Critics have grown impatient, because the process to get Tahmooressi before a court seems to have been tainted from the beginning. Fox News reports that some sources have said his first two attorneys were fired because they did little but send his family legal bills. They also report that his lawyer said appealing to President Obama for help would be a waste of time:
Still, lawmakers led by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., have been calling for his freedom since Tahmooressi was arrested at the Tijuana Port of Entry March 31. He alleges he accidentally drove into Mexico confused by poorly placed and lit freeway signs. He was charged with possession of weapons and ammunition used by the Mexican military. Both, according to Benitez, are very serious charges and could result in some 10 years in prison if he is convicted.
Benitez maintains that his client is innocent and that he will prove as much in court.
Added Harrington regarding his event: "We're hoping to bring him home. I don't know what we're gonna do when we get down there, but like I stated from the beginning, you know, I was willing for it to just be me holding a sign, 'turn around for Tahmooressi,' but everyone has said, 'well, what difference to you think you're gonna make?' Well, I don't know, but I know that if you go with me, now I've increased my effectiveness by 100 percent.
"People keep asking, 'What are you going to do when you get down there?' I don't know. I guess if I turn around and see 300,000 people behind me... I might just go get him."