Monday, August 02, 2010

No one is illegal! Direct action and protest against Arizona's racist immigration law

The last few days have seen large scale protest and civil disobedience in the United States as disgust with Arizona's racist new anti-immigrant law SB1070 bubbles over. Here is a couple of highlights from the alternative news coverage of the day of action on July 29. You can see a good round up of the days events at Infoshop News.

Standing up to a racist law

Read the full article by Alan Maass at SocialistWorker.org

THE CALL for solidarity against Arizona's anti-immigrant law got support across the country, with activists on opposite ends of the country holding actions that blocked New York City's Brooklyn Bridge and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

But ground zero for the protests was naturally in Arizona's capital city of Phoenix. A steady stream of demonstrations led up to July 29, from several civil disobedience actions to a banner drop the day before from a 230-foot-tall construction crane in downtown Phoenix, sending the message of "Stop hate" for all to see.

The first protest of July 29 took place the minute the law took effect--at 12:01 a.m.--in Guadelupe, a small town outside Phoenix where the mostly Native American and Latino residents have long resisted the policies of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the man who has become the ugly face of Arizona's anti-immigrant bigotry. About 80 people blocked the intersection at the entrance to the town and held it for several hours, according to a report by writer Jordan Flaherty at the Truthout Web site.

By 6 a.m., observers were at sites where day laborers seek work to talk to workers about their rights--and to record and protest civil rights abuses. Arpaio had vowed that he was going to carry out his idea of immigration enforcement regardless of Judge Bolton's injunction. Indeed, one day later, around a dozen organizers were arrested for blocking sheriff's deputies from entering a day laborers' center.

The first big demonstration of the day took place as the business day began in downtown Phoenix. Around 1,000 people gathered in front of the Wells Fargo Building, home to not only one of the biggest crooks in Wall Street's theft of untold billions, but also the pricey offices of Joe Arpaio and his sheriff's department.

As protesters took the streets, chants of "Arrest Arapio, not the people!" rang out from dozens of bullhorns. The demonstrators held their ground for several hours. Eventually, around 25 people who intended to be arrested were handcuffed and taken away by police.

One person risking arrest for the first time was 22-year-old Joanna of Las Vegas, who said:

We've just gotten to a point where enough is enough. They're arresting and criminalizing the wrong people. If they're going to arrest us anyway, it should be for resistance. We're really following in the footsteps of immigrants themselves, who by crossing the border are refusing to comply with an unjust law.


Tucson Interstate Temporarily Blocked

Read the full communique at Arizona Indymedia

On the morning that SB1070 is scheduled to take effect in the state of Arizona and three days before Obama deploys 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, a group of concerned community members blocked traffic on I-19 south of Ajo Rd. in Tucson, AZ. A blockade of tires covered in tar and broken glass were placed across both southbound lanes along with a banner reading:

“Stop All Militarization! The Border is Illegal!”

This blockade is a temporary shutdown of the very road that is used to deport people deemed “illegal” as well as a direct disruption of the flow of capital. By blocking I-19 we have halted the transportation of migrants and the profits Whack-n-hut and Corrections Corporation of Amerikkka make by these inhumane acts of separating families, communities and loved ones. This morning we interrupt the privatization of the criminalization of people of color.

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