Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Legal Defense for Arrested Tucsonan Protesters

The media is making a stink about a scuffle that occured at yesterday's Immigrant Rights march and rally in downtown Tucson. A group of vigilante freaks assembled in one corner of Armory Park donning t-shirts with racist epithets, holding Arizona and U.S. flags, and spreading verbal diarrhea to the area. Things got heated around 2pm when they burned a Mexican flag, clearly trying to instigate a violent outburst. Tedski from Rum, Romanism and Rebellion has more on the antics of these hate-mongers.
Some members of the group Border Guardians, decided to stand in front of the Mexican consulate on Sunday and burn El Tricolor. These are the guys that raised such a stink a month or so back when a Mexican official dared to give a speech in Spanish at the U of A. One of their leaders, a woman named Lawless of all things, said this to the Arizona Daily Star:
We're not picking on Mexicans specifically, but we're blaming their government and their citizens who are here illegally in the U.S.
We're not picking on Mexicans, but we are burning a Mexican flag. Oh, okay then.

Even their own website says that the burning of the Mexican flag was to protest "Mexican disrespect of American Sovreignty." So, they aren't protesting against Mexicans specifically, but they are specifically protesting against Mexicans.
CNN showed a video of this small group of racists burning the tricolor on Sunday in front of the Mexican Consulate and it has even garnered a heated response from the Mexican government.

"We consider any provocation or vandalism of national symbols to be unacceptable," Foreign Relations Undersecretary Lourdes Aranda said in a news conference.

About 12 people from the Tucson-based Border Guardians burned the flag Sunday on the sidewalk in front of the Mexican Consulate. They carried a sign that read, "Defending American Sovereignty."


Border Guardians director Laine Lawless said the group plans to burn more flags.

"Anytime they take to the streets, we'll burn a Mexican flag," Lawless said.

They kept that promise yesterday as 15,000 peaceful marchers gathered to give a voice to the voiceless in our society. When the flag was burned, a scuffle ensued and a few protesters were removed by force and arrested. I received the following notice a few minutes ago regarding a legal challenge to the charges.
The people arrested, as many of us could see, were brutally assaulted by the police during their detention by the Tucson Police Department. We need FOOTAGE AND STATEMENTS of everything people saw to aid in the defense of these brave people! The deadline is Tuesday, April 11 at 6 pm! Please get all photos and video together TONIGHT and send it to the ACLU legal observer team. The email contact is:

Karen: klutrick@gmail.com

In addition to photos and video the observers need statements from witnesses. Write down what you saw during the arrests, describe to the best of your ability the officers and people involved and get it to Karen tonight. No detail is too small. If you have any questions about these statements please email them quickly to help get this needed information together.

Again, the deadline is Tuesday, April 11 at 6 pm! Scan, copy, download and email all photos and video during the arrests to Karen tonight! If you can't email or have developed pictures the observer team will go to you to get this crucial information! Please email Karen at klutrick@gmail.com with any informaiton you may have.

In solidarity,

The A10 Legal Observer Team
Don't let these media reports fool you, the marches and rallies have been overwhelmingly peaceful and positive in message from their beginning a month ago in Chicago. These vigilante groups are starting to mobilize in conjunction with our Justice events and spew their bile with indignation. Considering the horrible hate speech they were shouting yesterday, it's no wonder tempers flared.

Photo courtesy of the Tucson Citizen

Crossposted at BooMan Tribune and Daily Kos

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