Phoenix, Arizona has been a hotbed of activism recently. With spending cuts gutting education and social service programs, many people have taken to the streets near the state capitol complex to make their voices heard. This form of raw democracy continues on Saturday (tomorrow) as many pro-human rights groups unite to protest the abuses of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
For many years, Arpaio has taken any opportunity to exploit state law and his 287g agreement with the Department of Homeland Security so he can target undocumented workers in Maricopa County, and because of his racism, the greater latino community. Pressure has been building against the sheriff, who is already under investigation by the FBI for abuses. The scope widened recently when the chairman and several members of the House Judiciary Committee issued a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano raising many of the same concerns of latinos in the Valley.
Who: National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Puente Arizona, and Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine
What: March to Stop the Systematic Persecution of Migrants and Latinos in AZ.
Where: March Start Location for Feb 28th: 300 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012
When: March to Stop the Hate in Phoenix to be held 9:00 am on February 28.
(More info available from the Arizona Advocacy Network at AZNetroots.com)
This Saturday is an opportunity for bottom-up politicking by those of us who feel threatened by Joe Arpaio's control of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. We are already seeing the national spotlight move in his direction, and while he loves to be flogged by the media, it's only a matter of time before the greater Phoenix area realizes that the sheriff is bringing attention that is not welcome; hopefully tightening the leash around Arpaio's neck.
If you can't make it to the protest tomorrow and would like other ways to get involved, our friends at America's Voice have several starting points. The petition is just shy of our goal of 10,000 signatures, so please spread the word.