Breaking: Protestors in peaceful act of civil disobedience in Phoenix are arrested

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The First Amendment is under assault in Arizona today.

More than a hundred protestors blocked Washington Street near Phoenix City Hall Thursday in a mass act of civil disobedience and anger over the enactment of Arizona's tough new immigration law. Arizona immigration law protesters arrested after blocking street:

At least 14 were arrested and are confirmed in custody; more arrests are possible, as other groups of individuals are lying down in the street or standing with their arms linked in the roadway. Police in riot gear began moving in against the protestors just after 10 a.m.

The protestors were chanting "Hey Ho, Hey Ho, SB 1070 has got to go," as they blocked the street, snarling traffic in the downtown area, and delaying at least one light-rail train, which had to be rerouted.

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Earlier this morning, three people, including former state legislator and activist Alfredo Gutierrez (photo right) were arrested outside the federal courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

The other individuals who were taken into custody identified themselves as Dan O'Neal and Doris Perez.

It was not immediately clear what charges they might face.

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The epicenter of this morning's protests have been in the area immediately surrounding Sheriff Joe Arpaio's offices at the Wells Fargo Building in downtown Phoenix.

Several different groups appeared to join together in that general area around 9:30 this morning, with activists milling around in nearby Cesar Chavez Plaza and in front of Phoenix City Hall.

For most of the morning, the mood was calm, with occasional outbursts of chant and song.

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Eventually, protestors moved into the street, blocking Washington. That's when the arrests began. Police on site were protesters ample opportunities to consider leaving, to get their bags and belongings together before arresting them.

A group of legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild was also at that location, helping protestors fill out paperwork with familial contact information, name and date of birth in case they got arrested.

"We want to make sure they don't get lost in the system," said Thomas Cincotta, of Boston, who said he was a researcher at Political Research Associates.

Other activists are now marching to the 4th Avenue Jail, where about 100 people had gathered by 11 a.m.

Many are blocking the jail entrance at 3rd Avenue and Madison, chanting, "No Justice, no peace, no racist police."

"We're not trying to get arrested, we are trying to make a point," said Ruben Lucio, 21, of Phoenix. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Phoenix, was also at the jail demonstrating.

She said she came to the jail because "I am standing for human rights. Not one more person, not one more mother, not one more grandfather will be taken from their family."

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This morning's protests and marches began with a prayer vigil and march from the Arizona State Capitol to the Trinity Cathedral in downtown Phoenix.

The number of protestors is only expected to growth throughout the day, as they are bolstered by supporters from other states.

Gustavo Ramirez, director of the activist group Phoenix Rising, said Thursday that 13 buses filled with protestors left Los Angeles this morning en route to Phoenix. They will be joining with demonstrators this afternoon, he said.

Demagogue Sheriff Joe Arpaio was quoted saying:

"These irresponsible individuals (who) plan to create so much congestion around the jail that we cannot accept prisoners will end up prisoners themselves," said Arpaio, who has beefed up security measures for himself and his staff.

The AP has more. Dozens arrested in protests of immigration law:

Arpaio vowed to go ahead with a crime sweep targeting illegal immigrants. It was Phoenix police who made most of the early arrests, but other protests were planned later in front of a county jail.

"My deputies will arrest them and put them in pink underwear," Arpaio said, referring to one of his odd methods of punishment for prisoners. "Count on it."

Compare what is happening in Phoenix to what is happening in Los Angeles today. More from the AP:

In Los Angeles, about 200 protesters invaded a busy intersection west of downtown Los Angeles.

Police shut down the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Highland Avenue and diverted traffic away after demonstrators moved into the street and sat down at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

The protesters chanted, "These are our streets" during the raucous demonstration. Police say there have been no arrests.

U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke should focus the attention of his civil rights division on Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

0 responses to “Breaking: Protestors in peaceful act of civil disobedience in Phoenix are arrested

  1. Let’s see, I can take your word for it, based upon anecdotal evidence of your limited personal experience, as well as your personal biases and prejudices and irrational fears, or I can rely on decades of government and research institute studies on this subject. Hmmm… That’s why we have scientific studies, to discover the facts.

    “Nearly half the twelve million people illegally in the country didn’t cross the desert or pay a smuggler. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, they crossed legally at a port of entry.”

    In addition, the government knows to whom it has issued a visa. It is a question of monitoring and enforcement, which has improved dramatically under president Obama.

    “The tax system collects its due, even from a class of workers with little likelihood of claiming a refund and no hope of drawing a Social Security check. [T]he latest figures available indicate it will amount to billions of dollars in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes this year. One rough estimate puts the amount of Social Security taxes alone at around $9 billion per year.”

    “Study after study has shown that immigrants grow the economy, expanding demand for goods and services that the foreign-born workers and their families consume, and thereby creating jobs. There is even broad agreement among economists that while immigrants may push down wages for some, the overall effect is to increase average wages for American-born workers.”

    The specific example you give, children of illegal immigrants in public schools, is a special category protected by federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Americans do not punish children for the actions of their parents.

    December 2007 CBO report “The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on The Budgets of State and Local Governments”

    Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.

    Most unauthorized immigrants are prohibited from receiving many of the benefits that the federal government provides through Social Security and such need-based programs as Food Stamps, Medicaid (other than emergency services), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. At the same time, the federal government requires that state and local governments provide certain services to individuals, regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay, in order for those states or localities to participate in some of its assistance programs. Various court decisions also restrict the authority of state and local governments to avoid or constrain the cost of providing services to unauthorized immigrants who reside in their jurisdictions. In general, state and local governments bear much of the cost of providing certain public services—especially services related to education, health care, and law enforcement— to individuals residing in their jurisdictions.

    In preparing its analysis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reviewed 29 reports published over the past 15 years that attempted to evaluate the impact of unauthorized immigrants on the budgets of state and local governments. (See the bibliography for a complete list of those reports.) CBO did not assess the data underlying those estimates or the validity of the models used to prepare them. The estimates—whether from formal studies, analyses of data on particular topics, or less-formal inquiry—show considerable consensus regarding the overall impact of unauthorized immigrants on state and local budgets. However, the scope and analytical methods of the studies vary, and the reports do not provide detailed or consistent enough data to allow for a reliable assessment of the aggregate national effect of unauthorized immigrants on state and local budgets.

    All of the estimates that CBO reviewed, regardless of the jurisdiction examined or programs considered, reached this conclusion. Rules governing many federal programs, as well as decisions handed down by various courts, limit the authority of state and local governments to avoid or constrain the costs of providing services to unauthorized immigrants. For example, both state and federal courts have ruled that states may not refuse to provide free public education to a student on the basis of his or her immigration status. Furthermore, many states have their own statutory or constitutional requirements concerning the provision of certain services to needy residents.

    The amount that state and local governments spend on services for unauthorized immigrants represents a small percentage of the total amount spent by those governments to provide such services to residents in their jurisdictions. The estimates that CBO reviewed measured costs associated with providing services to unauthorized immigrants that ranged from a few million dollars in states with small unauthorized populations to tens of billions of dollars in California (currently the state with the largest population of unauthorized immigrants). Costs were concentrated in programs that make up a large percentage of total state spending—specifically, those associated with education, health care, and law enforcement. In most of the estimates that CBO examined, however, spending for unauthorized immigrants accounted for less than 5 percent of total state and local spending for those services. Spending for unauthorized immigrants in certain jurisdictions in California was higher but still represented less than 10 percent of total spending for those services.

  2. You can all continue to throw out statistics and make statements that you know nothing about. Until you are directly affected by illegals you will continue to defend them. I worked in a school where I tutored 14 illegal students. Not one of their parents were here legally. Most of them go back and forth from the US to Mexico often. They were very open about the social services that they received. Food stamps and free lunch and breakfast for all of them and their siblings. If there are children in the family they will receive benefits. You can argue this point all you want but I saw it first hand.

    AZ BlueMeanie….to respond to some of your statements

    “First of all, nearly half of all undocumented individuals in the U.S. came here LEGALLY on a visa and have overstayed their visa”
    How in the world could you or anyone else claim to know this? Nobody knows how many illegals are here. They certainly don’t step forward to be counted. All these presumed numbers are thrown around and nobody really knows. I would think the fact that their are 12 million or more undocumented people in the US would be somewhat alarming to American citizens.

    “Those undocumented individuals who do enter the country illegally have committed only a misdemeanor for being “undocumented”

    So since it’s just a misdemeanor (which by the way is still breaking the law)do you propose it should not be enforced? Going through a red light is a misdemeanor too. There are many excuses for going through a red light or speeding but law enforcement is not expected to just look the other way or not enforce the law because the intent might not be criminal. We have laws for a reason and ignoring them and not enforcing them bring consequences often tragic consequences. Blowing a red light can and often does end up killing someone. Well, that was not the drivers intent so should we just let him go. Of course not. That is no different than the guy or people who climb a fence to enter this country illegally. They know it is wrong and they are taking a risk. There are consequences for breaking the law.

    “[C]heating the system by not paying taxes and claiming they have no income so they can receive all the social services for their families”? Seriously? The depth of your ignorance is astounding. ”

    I would have to say to you also that the depth of your ignorance is astounding.
    Do you really believe all those day laborers who come running up to the vehicles are paying taxes on that money.

    As far as those who do pay taxes. They take nuch more from this economy than they contribute.

  3. “[I]llegals have broken into our country ILLEGALLY and drain our resources and continue to demand rights for these people.”

    First of all, nearly half of all undocumented individuals in the U.S. came here LEGALLY on a visa and have overstayed their visa. They did not have to “break in,” they applied for a visa through proper legal channels and the application process and were granted a visa by the government.

    Those undocumented individuals who do enter the country illegally have committed only a misdemeanor for being “undocumented” (the equivalent of a traffic ticket) under federal law, not for “breaking in.” A second offense, following a deportation, is a felony. If Sen. Russell Pearce had his way, it would be “felony trespass” punishable by a death sentence no doubt. Oh wait, for many border crossers it already is a death sentence.

    Anyone in this country, regardless of citizenship status, is entitled to the protection of our laws. They do not have to “demand rights” that the law already affords them. The protestors were arguing that their rights should be protected (and respected) equally under the law.

    “[C]heating the system by not paying taxes and claiming they have no income so they can receive all the social services for their families”? Seriously? The depth of your ignorance is astounding.

    Undocumented workers in this country DO pay taxes, including social security/medicare payroll taxes for which they will never receive benefits. The “value added” to our economy in consumer spending and taxes paid outweighs the cost of any emergency room healthcare received. As Philip D points out, Prop. 300 precludes undocumented individuals from receiving state assistance. The major costs of illegal immigration are due to Arizona’s focus on incarceration and prosecution.

    There are more federal resources on the border now than at any time in history. The Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that hire undocumented workers.

  4. LUV_AZ,

    You’re emoting anger about stuff that isn’t even true. In 2006, by a 70% plurality, Arizona passed Prop. 300, which requires state agencies to verify the immigration status of applicants for state-funded services such as child care and adult education, in-state tuition, etc. And just so you know, the Legislature gets reports detailing how effective this measure has been. For example, in the first six months of last year, first six months of 2009, 71 percent of the 485 applicants for family literacy courses were denied benefits because they couldn’t prove legal immigration status. State employees who allow benefits to go to illegals are committing a crime, so it is not happening. So your complaint about illegals draining our budget because they are receiving all the social services is hollow.

    And your second assertion, LUV_AZ is also nonsense. You say the Feds won’t enforce the law? Our immigration courts have been working overtime, handling astronomically huge caseloads, and the number of deportations is up dramatically compared to previous years. Not only is the Obama administration deporting many more illegals, it has also stepped up workplace enforcement, going after companies that hire illegals, imposing more than $6 million in fines. (

    Just so you know, this is what enforcement looks like!

    SB1070 is not an effective tool. Catch one, send back across the border, and what stops him from just turning around and coming back and resuming his life? Nothing.

    Now, it’s obvious you’re angry. I am too. But I am angry with Jon Kyle and Mitch McConnel who pledged months back to block any kind of effort to work on a Comprehensive Immigration Bill.
    (see their words from April: The Senate Dems have a proposal to turn off the jobs magnet (which is what Sheriff Joe has always said will work), tighten up the border even more, and to readjust the visa program to more closely fit the realities of today. Kyl and company are obstructing any and all efforts. We have an open sore, that is festering and erupting, and Jon Kyl and the senate Republicans are rubbing their hands with glee. They should step up and do their damn job!

  5. It was frivolous legislation, guaranteed to cost the state millions in lawsuits from both sides, and many more millions from trying to enforce this damn obscenity. And Brewer, Pearce, Arpaio, and all the other morons knew the consequences beforehand. Now THAT’S what I call criminal.

  6. What is ridiculous is that they will just ignore the fact that illegals have broken into our country ILLEGALLY and drain our resources and continue to demand rights for these people. If they are honest hardworking people who just want to do the right thing then they should “do the right thing” Apply for citizenship according to our laws and work and pay taxes instead of breaking our laws and cheating the system by not paying taxes and claiming they have no income so they can receive all the social services for their families. We have enough fraud and abuse from our own citizens we certainly shouldn’t have to deal with other countries citizens who have no regard for our laws.

  7. Not every protestor is an illegal. There are plenty of LEGAL citizens who feel the law is ridiculous, and who are protesting it.