U.S. Border Patrol Office Gets "Locked Down"
By Billy Wharton
Thursday, May 27, 2010
May 24, 2010
Immigrant rights activists carried out a bold act in protest of SB1070,
the anti-immigrant bill signed into law by Arizona governor Jan Brewer.
Six activists entered the lobby of the Border Patrol headquarters at
Davis-Monthan Airforce Base at around 1 pm (MST) and locked themselves
down using what organizers describe as a “lock-box.” After managing to
disrupt Border Patrol and ICE operations, the
protesters where arrested by border guards and now face charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Clark, a media outreach coordinator for the action, stated that the
protesters wished to “Bring back indigenous forms of freedom of
movement across borders.” The protest group included members of the
Indigenous Nations of Arizona, migrant workers and white allies. The
group was driven to act, Clark said, because SB1070 “carries with it
the legacy of the human rights crisis developing on the border.”
is widely considered to be a harshly anti-immigrant law. It requires
all forms of law enforcement in the state to check the immigration
status of any person they suspect of being illegal. Immigrants’ rights
activists call this an open invitation to racially profile Latino
communities. Clark took this point further, calling it an attack on all
communities of color in the state.
Protests against SB1070 have
escalated in recent weeks. May Day marches throughout the country
focused on repealing the law and musical artists, including the Hip-Hop
group Cypress Hill, have cancelled concerts in the state. On Monday,
three immigrant rights activists were arrested after staging a sit-in,
in the office of Senator John McCain to protest his reversal of support
for the immigration reform Dream Act.
Clark stated that the
activists were mobilizing for the May 29 demonstration in Phoenix
against SB1070 that has been called by the umbrella group Alto Arizona. Caravans are being organized from Tucson for the event.
message from protesters at the Davis-Monthan Airforce Base is clear –
“Border militarization destroys Indigenous communities.” Direct action
seems to be the primary tactic being employed by anti-SB1070 forces who
are engaged in the largest struggle for civil rights since the 1960s.
Indigenous communities may make unique contributions to this struggle
as they draw upon bonds of affiliation that transcend modern
conceptions of the nation-state.
Read the SP-USA's Statement on SB1070
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