Tag Archives: SB 1070

on the ground in Arizona

*** written with Will

SB 1070, and the white supremacist attacks on ethnic studies and “teachers with accents” is potentially sparking a new round of mass struggle for immigrant rights.

In Arizona, the fight for immigrant rights has been going on for some time.  The Right has been mobilizing to capture state power in Arizona through the Tea Party mobilizations in the state legislature along with attacks against brown and undocumented peoples by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In response, organizers across the country – some new and some veterans of the movement – are contending with questions that were left unanswered after the spike in mass activity around the immigrant rights movement in 2006

The right wing of the movement is using the same tactics to demobilize protesters and organizers, and instead supporting bracero-styled legislation, and appealing to the nativist perception of the ‘brown hordes invading America.’

The challenge facing the rest of the movement will be whether we can build our own autonomous institutions that doesn’t compromise with the right, doesn’t sacrifice some undocumented peoples for a ‘well-behaved’ few, and build united working class power among the different sectors of the struggle.

Below are two articles by Joel Olson, an organizer with the Repeal Coalition, which is calling organizers to Arizona for a Freedom Summer in order to fight against this new round of attacks on immigrants and undocumented peoples.

Major questions still face the movement in terms of what next and how to do it:

  • What relationship should organizers and the movement have to institutions like the City Council of Flagstaff?
  • Can undocumented immigrants be organized at the workplace to fight SB 1070?
  • How do workers stop ICE raids?  Do Cop Watch style groups need to be built in light of what Sheriff Joe Arpaio has done in AZ?
  • What support can be given to the folks on the ground in AZ from other parts of the country?
  • How will undocumented immigrants be won over to revolutionary politics in the course of this fight?
  • Is Sheriff Joe Arpaio representative of proto-fascism, fascism itself, or white populism?  How do we look at the Minute Men and the Tea Party Movement under these ideological rubrics?
  • We should also ask what is the relationship of the economic crisis and the attacks on immigrants.

———————–

New Arizona
by Joel Olson

In the midst of the Arizona state government passing the most outrageous anti-immigrant law since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, several happenings pass unnoticed by the national media. At a packed Flagstaff City Council meeting discussing the law, waves of people declare publicly that they are undocumented, practically daring law enforcement officers to arrest them. At the same meeting, a member of a radical immigrant rights group receives thunderous applause for demanding the repeal of all anti-immigrant laws and declaring the right of all people to “live, love, and work wherever they please.” Even the most conservative city councilman admits he liked the notion. Down in Phoenix, high school students spontaneously organize a school walkout through mass texting, without direction from the established immigration reform organizations. This infuriates the organizations because it pre-empts “their” planned protests. And then these same students chuck water bottles at cops when they arrest one of their own.

Welcome to the new Arizona.

Continue reading on the ground in Arizona

SB 1070: Jim Crow in Arizona

Last Friday, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law the Jim Crow styled anti-immigration legislation known as SB 1070.

In the weeks after state lawmakers passed the bill, organizers called for protests and acts of civil disobedience, and demanded that Gov Brewer veto the bill.

KPHO on the student walkouts in response to Gov Brewer’s decision to sign the bill:
1,000 Students Walk Out in Immigration Protest

Here’s an overview of the bill from Socialist Worker:

Arizona bill is the real crime
by Norma Villegas

LEGISLATION IN Arizona that could become law by this weekend would make it a crime to lack proper immigration paperwork and would require police, if they suspect someone is in the country without documentation, to determine that person’s immigration status.

The misnamed “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” is being described as the harshest anti-immigrant measure in the country. Introduced by state Sen. Russell Pearce, it passed both houses of the Arizona legislature. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer has until Saturday to veto the bill, known as SB 1070–if she signs it or does nothing, it will become law.

The legislation would forbid authorities from releasing anyone found guilty until the full sentence is served. Courts are required to force those found guilty to pay court costs and an additional fine of at least $500 for the first offense, and double that for a second or subsequent conviction. Plus, any second violation of the law, no matter how minor, would be reclassified as a felony.

Continue reading SB 1070: Jim Crow in Arizona