Tuesday, 03 August 2010

Anti-Arizona Law Weekend Protests

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Arizona protestEven after a federal judge removed the teeth of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, S.B. 1070, hundreds of demonstrators in Arizona in protested the law on Thursday, July 29, the day the law went into effect. Thirty-two of the protestors were detained while 50 were arrested.

Demonstrators refused to remove themselves from the entrance to the Maricopa County jail in downtown Phoenix, forcing Sheriff’s deputies to attire themselves in riot gear and enter the crowd, forcibly removing the protestors.

According to wordpress.com, “Hundreds of protesters harassed and taunted police at the entrance of Sheriff Arpaio’s Maricopa County jail.”

Of those arrested were photographer for The Arizona Republic David Seibert and former 2002 gubernatorial candidate Alfredo Gutierrez.

The demonstrations began at the state Capitol at dawn, moved to a local church for a prayer service, and proceeded to the court house where Judge Susan Bolton ruled down several of the law’s measures.

Singled out by the protestors was Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has declared that cracking down on illegal immigration would be his utmost concern. Much of the protests occurred in front of the jail that Arpaio reserved for likely S.B. 1070 criminals.

The crowds chanted, “Sheriff Joe, we are here, we will not live in fear.” One of the protestors wore a papier-mache Sheriff Joe head and a prison uniform.

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck question the "grassroots" image of the protestors cast by the mainstream media. According to the radio and television host, “The media will have you believe that these protesters are regular, everyday citizens who have just had enough with all the racism from Republicans and conservatives. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Radicals from the new SDS and SEIU were bussed in from out of state to protests.”

However, what is most interesting, and unsurprisingly unreported in the mainstream media, are the images captured of the protestors.

The Drudge Report from this past weekend included a picture of a protestor running through the crowd waving a Mexican flag. Beck remarked, “Why would someone who just loves America so much, who just wants to live here because they love the good ole U.S. of A, be waving a Mexican flag? Unless in defiance.”

Another demonstrator marched with a Cuban flag that bore the likeness of Che Guevara.

One protestor carried an American flag, one in which the stars were replaced with a Nazi symbol.

Demonstrations were not merely limited to Arizona, as protestors gathered in New York City as well. New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams announced, “We won a slight battle in Arizona, we’ve got to continue with the war.”

Arrests at anti-Arizona immigration law rallies have been documented since Governor Brewer signed the law months ago, prompting Fox News host Megyn Kelly to compare Tea Party protests to the anti-immigration law protests Not surprisingly, the Tea Parties proved to be the more sedate protests. Of course, this prompted media outlets like The Huffington Post and News Hounds to attack Kelly as “racist” and biased. But the numbers speak for themselves. Thus far, approximately 120 Arizona law protestors have been arrested, while the Tea Parties continue to boast zero arrests or even detentions.

Perhaps John Adams was right. “Facts are stubborn things.”

Photo: AP Images

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