Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law Sparks Fightback

By Paul Teitelbaum
Tucson, Ariz.
Published Apr 24, 2010 7:11 AM

April 23 — When the Arizona Senate passed a sweeping, racist anti-immigrant bill on April 19, it unleashed a firestorm of outrage from Arizona’s oppressed communities. The bill legalizes racial profiling and criminalizes all undocumented people as “trespassers.” It also contains provisions attacking day laborers, allows for the seizure of any vehicle used to transport an undocumented person, and calls for the arrest of anyone who provides assistance to an undocumented person.
Leilani Clark arrested
for supporting justice.

Gov. Jane Brewer signed the bill into law today, April 23. It is only the first in a stream of right-wing sponsored racist bills that are working their way through the Arizona legislature.

A few days earlier, on April 15, some 800 or more Department of Homeland Security and other federal agents descended on Tucson’s oppressed communities. The feds terrorized families, stopping buses transporting children to school and setting up what amounted to a six-hour military occupation of the south side of the city.

In response to this repression, a group of nine community college students from throughout Arizona courageously chained themselves to the State Capitol building in Phoenix on April 20. The students refused to leave until Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill. The nine are calling for a national movement to employ nonviolent civil disobedience as the next phase of the Immigrant Rights Movement.

While carrying out civil disobedience, the students were arrested by Maricopa County deputies and hauled off to the jail run by the infamous anti-immigrant Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Now known throughout the state as the Capitol Nine, the students were released early April 21.

Leilani Clark, a Pima Community College student and member of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), was one of the nine students arrested. She said that the struggle against Senate Bill 1070 and all of Arizona’s apartheid legislation demands a statewide and national response.

Clark encouraged everyone to take action. Speaking on behalf of the Capitol 9, Clark told Workers World, “Don’t be divided or delayed by different interpretations of how to act — just act. Walk out, protest, educate, boycott, march, sit in, carry out civil disobedience. Anything and everything. ASAP!”

In a news release published April 20, this is what the Nine said about SB 1070:

“Among other things, the bill would require law enforcement officers to investigate, detain and arrest people if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that a person may be undocumented. This would give police agents absolute power to racially profile on the basis of race, skin color, language, and/or accent. SB 1070 is only the latest attack that will turn Arizona into an apartheid state, where brown-skinned people are politically, legally and economically discriminated and segregated.”

Protests continue in the thousands

By the afternoon of April 20, about 100 people gathered in downtown Tucson to protest SB 1070 and to demand that the governor veto the bill. The next day, some 200 high school students walked out of class to protest the bill. There are rallies and demonstrations planned throughout the city for each of the next few days.

On April 22 thousands protested outside the Capitol in Phoenix, and other actions took place April 23 in Phoenix and Flagstaff demanding that Brewer veto the bill. Students, including many high school students, held a demonstration April 23 in Tucson, walking out of school to do it.

In their statement, the Capitol Nine explained the importance of their action: “Arizona is ground zero for apartheid legislation and it must also be ground zero for organized action. ... A people can only remain oppressed for so long before they rise from the shadows, from the margins, from oblivion. This is why today, students and community members have resorted to Nonviolent Civil Disobedience. We chain ourselves to the Arizona State Capitol because nothing else has worked. We stand for justice and reclaim democracy. Our purpose is to expose Arizona’s apartheid legislation and uphold our dignity and human rights.”

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

1 comment:

Montana said...

Arizona can pass race base laws, pass Birthers laws, pass no permit conceal weapons laws and the state boycotted Martin Luther King Day, well the rest of the Country can boycott the state of Arizona and spank them where it hurts them the most their pocket book. Their phony patriotism is sickening, they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Let’s face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions). The Birthers and the Tea party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it’s about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called “facts”. Let’s face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that’s like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that.