20,000 march to protest anti-immigrant sheriff

1AntiArpaioMarch

PHOENIX - Brown, black and white, young and old, more than 20,000 people marched here Jan. 16 to protest the indiscriminate attacks and race-based raids conducted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio against residents of Maricopa County. United Farm Workers union leader Dolores Huerta and singer Linda Ronstadt were among the participants.

The sheriff has conducted these raids based upon the hated "287(g)" regulation that allows his county officers to work with federal officials based upon phony allegations of terrorism. "These raids are criminalizing entire communities," Salvador Reza, president of the committee that organized the march here, said at a press conference Saturday before the event. "We cannot move forward on immigration rights unless we address human rights," he said.

It was a national day of action. Buses and vans arrived from all over the country for the noontime march. In addition to places like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, Calif., El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., contingents came from as far away as New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Oregon, New Orleans and Miami.

After a rally at Falcon Park marchers proceeded past the sheriff's prison, which has been condemned by Amnesty International for its brutal treatment of prisoners. Marchers carried signs reading, "No More Hate," "We are Human" "and Si Se Puede." Anther rally was held across from the prison.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors member Mary Rose Wilcox pointed out that "our community is more important than Joe Arpaio" and vowed, "We will stop him!"

Linda Ronstadt told the crowd that Arpaio only breeds divisiveness and "it's time for him to go."

Legendary Farm Workers leader Dolores Huerta called for a halt to the incarceration of children and said the money needs to be spent on education instead. She called for the defeat and removal of public officials like Arpaio and those who support his policies.

Former Phoenix City Councilman Calvin Goode called on President Obama to do something about the human rights situation in Maricopa County.

Sheriff Arpaio is currently under federal grand jury investigation on charges that include abuse of power in targeting and retaliating against government officials who oppose his policies. Two years ago he offended the bordering city of Mesa when he raided City Hall unannounced. The nearby town of Guadalupe has suffered economically since the sheriff's raids because people are afraid to go out shopping.

"He's out of control, said Arizona Peace Council and march committee member Rob McElwain. "There is no accountability for his actions."

Opposition to Arpaio is growing as evidenced by a Jan 14 Arizona Republic ad from 60 national African American religious leaders, including the Rev. Kazi Joshua of Pennsylvania, who say they are fed up with his policies.

As usual, corporate media are dwelling on an incident at the end of the march, when young anarchists reportedly threw rocks at police horses and the police rode horses into the crowd and pepper-sprayed people. One report said women and children were overcome by the spray.

But the real story was the mass peaceful march of 20,000. It was much like the big immigrant rights marches of 2006 when millions marched across the country, including the Phoenix 200,000 person march of April 6, 2006 on "Somos America (We are America) Day," where "Today we march, tomorrow we vote" was the slogan.

Photo: Leading the Jan. 16 march, from right to left: musician Zack de la Rocha, right, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, second from right, musician Linda Ronstadt, musician Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors member Mary Rose Wilcox, and others, in front of the Maricopa County Jail and courts complex. (AP /Ross D. Franklin)

 

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  • Congratulations on the post! People need to be aware of this! I was in the march on April 6 of 2006. My father is Brazilian and he was an honorable guy, and loved and respect this country. I truly believe the only way to get attention to this issue is with the minorities getting together and showing their faces, their indignity with this treatment and requiring respect from this autorities. America no longer a country were prejudice is acceptable!

    Posted by Long Distance Movers, 11/22/2010 7:02pm (4 years ago)

  • Let me see if I got this right....

    IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.

    IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY.

    IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET SHOT.

    IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED.

    IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.

    IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED.

    IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT.

    IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET:

    1 - A JOB,
    2 - A DRIVERS LICENSE,
    3 - SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
    4 - WELFARE,
    5 - FOOD STAMPS,
    6 - CREDIT CARDS
    7 - SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE,
    8 - FREE EDUCATION,
    9 - FREE HEALTH CARE,
    10 - A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON
    11 - BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE

    12 - AND THE RIGHT TO CARRY YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT

    I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION...

    Posted by Frank, 03/10/2010 9:58am (5 years ago)

  • The festering pus of an America infested with corporatists, capitalists tearing at the bowels of Democracy, infecting the very spirit of humanity! To know the true enenmy of America, and his power, star by google, torrent the movie "Who Stole The Electric Car" Study the political implications! The Corporate power unleashed on the American in the street here! Understand who is really in control, them fear them!

    Posted by Uncle B, 02/27/2010 12:47pm (5 years ago)

  • You can invoke whatever name you like. Hate is wrong and it needs to be renounced. Oppression and repression and the pride of power are at the center of our corrupt government. Arpaio is just a buffoon like Bush 43. WTF give everyone freedom with or without papers.

    Posted by Mahatma, 01/22/2010 1:22am (5 years ago)

  • The anarchist/indigenous bloc was attacked. There was no throwing of stones, only pepper spraying from the cops. This is an ongoing tragedy that unfolds before my eyes, which still sting from the chemical weapons.

    Posted by sasha, 01/19/2010 8:23pm (5 years ago)

  • @JT Just saw your extremist website. So why don't you keep your racist comments on there and stop polluting the place.

    Just remember Jesus was an immigrant, ya'll.

    Posted by Rhonda Hudson, 01/19/2010 5:50pm (5 years ago)

  • I was at the march and I'm a proud American for having done so. This country was founded on the "pursuit of happiness" by our immigrant forefathers. Unless you are a Native American or of slave descent, every person in this country comes from a family of immigrants. Immigrants who came to this continent to escape tyranny, oppression, in pursuit of the "American dream". Who among you if faced with poverty and an immigration system that is overburden and discriminatory would not come to this country "illegally" to feed your family.

    To those who equate Sheriff Arpaio to Jesus, shame on you. You are obviously not familiar with the teachings of Christ and are no Christians. Jesus taught peace, love, coexistance, and civil disobedience in the face of hatred and injustice.

    Posted by Steve, 01/19/2010 10:42am (5 years ago)

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio - the closest thing to a Jesus Christ today. He believes in LAWS, and these LAWS are a haven for life loving people, not the NARCO STATE maniac godless lawless scum coming from Mexico and beyond!

    Arpaio and people like him are the last things in the US that make it worth living here, to make it even appealing to these MS13 drug cooking narco-state lawless scum to pour over our border.

    If the very first thing you've done is violate US law to get here, you should be beaten savagely and deported.

    Posted by Mick Russom, 01/19/2010 2:29am (5 years ago)

  • The signs said..."Today we march, tomorrow we vote". It appears that the promise of tomorrow we vote never comes. It's a group of Pseudo Leaders revving people up to march and then there is no follow through. When are we going to do the right thing? Assimilate! Register our people to vote and make a true change in our communities.

    Si Se Puede!
    Yes We Can!

    Posted by , 01/18/2010 8:48pm (5 years ago)

  • If it looks like an el pato, walks like an el pato and quacks like an el pato. Arrest it and send it back across the border from which it came illegally...

    Keep up the fight Sheriff Joe... Wish we had someone like you here in California...

    Posted by jont, 01/18/2010 6:55pm (5 years ago)

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