Anti-Arpaio Protest Today - marchers aim to raise national awareness (by JJ Hensley of The Arizona Republic)

In the 11 months since Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon kicked off the informal campaign against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with a speech at the Cesar Chavez luncheon, politicians and pundits from around the country have followed suit.
They've written letters calling for federal investigations, staged demonstrations at meetings of the county supervisors, picketed daily outside Arpaio's office in downtown Phoenix and held candlelight vigils.
And little has changed.
The profile of those calling for federal intervention has risen, from Gordon to the head of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers.
Still, workplace raids and immigration dragnets by the Sheriff's Office persist.
Today, organizers say nearly 1,000 demonstrators are scheduled to march through downtown Phoenix in another effort to call attention to Arpaio's immigration-enforcement tactics and the agreement with the federal government that allows sheriff's deputies to act as immigration officers.
"They're trying to use me as the whipping boy," Arpaio said.
"The underlying effort is to get the president to do something about illegal immigration," he added. "I have no objection (to the protest), but I'm not going to change my policies."
This protest does come with a dose of celebrity - former Rage Against the Machine lead singer Zach de la Rocha asked fans to join him in protesting Arpaio - but organizers agree with Arpaio that the march is designed to bring national attention to Maricopa County as much as it is to raise the awareness of residents.
"I think the people of Maricopa County have become numb to the outrageousness of Arpaio's actions," said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and one of the march's organizers.
"The rest of the country is here to shake Maricopa County by the shoulders and say, 'What has happened in your community is not right,' " Newman said.
Voters failed to heed those same cries in the fall.
In the months leading up to Arpaio's victory over former Buckeye Police Chief Dan Saban, that was the consistent message from Arpaio's critics.
Arpaio went on to receive just more than 55 percent of the votes to win his fifth consecutive term in office.
That's probably part of the reason this incarnation of an anti-Arpaio campaign has a national flavor, said Michael McQuarrie, a sociology professor at the University of California-Davis.
"The civil-rights movement was successful by really leveraging national-level politicians and national-level allies and outflanking the local folks," McQuarrie said.
The tactics, goals and outcomes of the civil-rights movement are frequently invoked in this campaign against Arpaio, who is sometimes depicted as a "modern-day Bull Connor," the Birmingham, Ala., police commissioner who famously fought civil-rights activists with attack dogs and fire hoses.
Arpaio points out that he is simply enforcing the law, and if people want him to stop, they should change the laws.
Changing the federal policy that allows local law-enforcement agencies to serve as immigration officers is one of the main objectives to this weekend's activity, Newman said.
President Barack Obama, who appointed former Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of Homeland Security, has signaled a shift in immigration policy that would rely less on work-site enforcement and focus instead on employers who hire illegal immigrants and overall immigration reform.
Napolitano also has signaled her intent to review all immigration programs, including the 287 (g) agreement.
Even if that federal authority were voided, a pair of state laws would allow Arpaio to continue the workplace raids: using the state's employer sanctions law to launch ID-theft investigations and work-site enforcement, and arresting illegal immigrants on suspicion of being co-conspirators in their own smuggling.
Given the support residents here have shown for Arpaio, along with politicians and ballot measures that are tough on illegal immigrants, holding Arizona up as a national example of immigration enforcement gone wrong is the best hope for change, organizers said.
McQuarrie said the prospect of today's march getting lost in the wave of anti-Arpaio activism makes it imperative for organizers to seize on something positive.
"When the civil-rights people were doing the protest thing, that was sort of new. Now, protests have become an important performance, but it's accepted as performance, and it doesn't come with the same sort of moral outrage as it used to," he said.
"But protest often works because it forces people to make a choice. It's impossible to ignore the disruption."

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Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

While I love reading this blog and know of this sheriff from his TV shows, etc. I do applaud his effort in trying to deport and arrest illegals. Jon you are not from the USA. You dont know what it is like to not have health insurance. Illegals are allowed free hospital care and do not have to pay it back, taking away the money set aside for Americans that dont have insurance so that they can use these hospitals. Each hospital has money set aside for citizens without health care. But Illegals take advantage of this. I am glad that the Sheriff actually does something to deport and stop these criminals.

I cannot just go to Britain and take advantage of the system, although I would like to, why should these criminals that take our jobs, send our money to their families in their home countries etc, get away with their crimes. COWARDS run from their countries. Many of them are drug dealers, etc. I am tired of my country being invaded by illegals. You have no idea how much they take advantage of the system. Why do you think there are so many middle eastern owned small businesses in America? it is a big tax scam on the Americans. This is only a comment so I am not going to go into that.

While do not agree with his treatment of prisoners, I do applaud his efforts in deporting and arresting illegals. At least someone is doing something. If they dont want to be arrested then they shouldn't break the law.

Anonymous said...

i would encourage anyone who holds such animosity towards those who have immigrated to the united states of america to look further into reasons for doing so. perhaps looking at how u.s. foreign policy, support of certain economic policies, the backing of and support of certain political groups/ leaders (involvement in iran and iraq in the 70s and 80s inclusive of backing S Hussein, support of the coup in chile 1973 and subsequent Pinochet regime, the whole of operation CONDOR and the continued training of latin american troops on military bases such as Ft. Benning in columbus, ga) would be a good start at understanding the role of the u.s. in this.

in 2006 (i believe) we saw the impact of latin american workers quite clearly when on May 1st (labor day to the rest of the world) they held a day of strike. i can only encourage those who feel "illegals" milk the u.s. of money due only to those of us who were born here to see how significant latin american workers (working/ living in the u.s. legally or not) are to maintaining the basic needs of the economic system (and other systems) in the u.s. and just how one day of disturbance was able to shape the business at home and abroad.

and before blaming the milking of the system on those who might have their hospital bills paid (which is something i'd like to find out about since insurance companies in the u.s. don't have to sell me health insurance) i would encourage some one to learn of those who benefit most from tax payers in form of handouts, subsidies or whatever you might call them. corporations making huge profits have long since received tax breaks, incentives, pay outs, etc. wal-mart would be a great starting place for self-education of those who really milk the system.

i would also encourage those who have been born in the u.s. and are citizens by birth to attempt passing the test that all who become citizens must pass. ask yourself, "could i really pass this test? could i learn another language enough to understand and answer these questions? do i really know the laws of my own country? could i afford to pay the fees for immigration documents to be processed? could i afford the cost of an atty to help me with these documents in a language foreign to me?"

and lastly i would suggest that anyone who is especially not of full, native american/ indigenous blood to kindly avoid such racially and ethnically charged comments about new immigrants in the u.s. before presenting to the world a more disgusting view of u.s. citizens. for so few years we who are not of said heritage have occupied this land after having ancestors come over on boats often without proper documentation and certainly without paying fees and filing documents while doing quite a significant amount of illegal activities, committing crimes (genocide anyone?) and drastically changing a land.

Chris Phoenix said...

Re: ""They're trying to use me as the whipping boy," Arpaio said." According to _The Sociopath Next Door_ the surest way to identify a sociopath is their appeals to pity.

Re: Arpaio's claim that he's just enforcing the law: The law does not allow torturing prisoners to death by suffocation.

Re: Anonymous's comment that Jon doesn't know what it's like to have health insurance: in his most recent post, he describes how he can't get dental care.


Anonymous said...

Urgent NHS care is free for all. The US chooses not to have a 'reciprocal' arrangement with the UK beyond that. Note my malpractice policy specifically excludes Americans and Canadians, the only 2 exceptions. With no insurance, you don't get to see me, but that's because of the legal system over The Pond, not my want of money. I'm a dentist. If you break an arm, you'll have more luck. Try getting treatment for nothing (urgent dental treatment is $25 under the NHS, but hard to find if you are American) in the US if you're a tourist.

Unknown said...

Thanks! Can you make the title and post snippet different font size and color? Also, how to put a line break in between the title and snippet?
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