Our Community Under Siege

Where do we turn when law enforcement threatens citizens like a grim force of nature?

Constitutional scholar and dean emeritus of the ASU law school, Paul Bender, pointed to a rather shocking solution, given his background.

People must resist.

Lawyers are necessary. Courts are a refuge. The laws of government are a foundation.

But people must resist.

In a discussion about Thomas, Arpaio and Wilenchik, and their treatment of the "others," Bender did not mince words: "If law enforcement got the idea they could attack enemies who criticize, that's extremely dangerous . . . if they succeed in terrorizing people it becomes a crisis . . . I cannot imagine what was on Wilenchik's mind . . . very, very, far out assertions . .  . virtually bizarre . . . gross violation of the First Amendment . . . the Sheriff's roundup of immigrants, very questionable . . ."

Bender's solution is not procedural.

"The judges stood up to him [Thomas]," Bender told me. "You stood up to him. The people stood up."

That's rather grand; after all, there are many incapable of standing. They are on the run or in cells. How do we get "the people" to see their bond with "the others," the Mexicans, the prisoners?

How do we convince our readers that their community is linked directly to migrants?

In Sacred Heart church, they have stained glass windows depicting the Corporal Acts of Mercy.

These are the Biblical admonitions calling, if not for a sense of community, at least for a sense of responsibility.

Instead of the customary — visit those in prison — Sacred Heart's stained glass urges, "Ransom the captives."

In Phoenix, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has created a 14-year run of terror directed at inmates. Andrew Thomas has painted a bull's-eye on Mexican migrants. And when Arpaio finds illegal aliens kidnapped and held for ransom in drop houses, they are charged and deported.

This series hoped to make clear the larger community. We sought to link prisoners, political enemies, journalists, migrants, judges and readers.

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My Voice Nation Help

to citizen of phx , I myself am glad this Phoenix New Times prints the truth and informs citizens and keeps an eye out for the lawbreakers.Why wouldnt Arpaio and Thomas turn them selves in? as you sugggest for others . I am glad they are standing up and questioning them Why would a sheriff dept and prosecuting office care if they were doing things on the up and up???what position were you promised for your letter?


Why is it Mr. Lacey that you mention that the Sheriff's Office, the County Attorney, and Dennis W. broke the law or violated the Grand Jury statute, but you don't quote any statute? Perhaps it's because they did no such thing. That subpoena may have been overbroad, but you had a remedy. You could have shown up on the court date listed and explained your side of the story. No laws were actually broken. In fact, Sheriff Joe, Andy Thomas, and Dennis W. have never committed any crime and you know it. But, someone did commit a crime in this whole fiasco and you know who it is. It was you and your partner in crime. You blatantly broke the law. You were given an opportunity to do things the right way and you chose to break a law and then you cry when you were arrested. Why don't you demand to have yourself prosecuted? That would be the right thing to do. How on earth can you continue to call this a newspaper? You don't honestly report any news. You have no regard for the truth. The first ammendment does not provide you any right to spread lies. This rag is no better than the National Enquirer. Maybe it's worse, at least the Enquirer will admit to being a tabloid.


Sheriff Joe Arpaio was there in his glory this morning at the installation of the Phoenix Mayor and new and re-elected City council members. I noted that he now has his employee on the council: Thelda Williams. She gave her due to the Sheriff in her speech.


It's all very frightening. What is also scary is that so many are so blind and still support Arpaio. It is simply astonishing!

I applaud New Times for exposing the sadist for what he is. I'm sure it is true or Joe would sue your sox off. Since the Republic does not see the problem with his many violations (shame on them!), I'm very happy to have a source of information. I've had first-hand experience with his inmates so I know how cruel he really is. But the public has no way of knowing how he runs his jails or abuses his authority in other ways. Thank you!


The closest McDonald's is more than a mile from Dachau. Dachau did not "evolve" into a concentration camp. It was called a "concentration camp" during a press conference on the day before it opened. The Red Cross gave Auschwitz passing marks, as well as Dachau. The Reverend Martin Niemoeller was put on trial for treason and convicted. He was sentenced to time served and was then sent to Dachau as "an enemy of the state," because he refused to stop breaking the law. He did not mention the sick or the mentally ill in his famous quote.

Jim Cozzolino
Jim Cozzolino

Well said Michael. Keep up the good fight. Many, many of us are standing right beside you, and will be all the way to the end.See you soon.

MaryK Croft
MaryK Croft

"People must resist."

We're resisting as fast as we can. Arpaio is correctly shown as a tip of the iceberg, only the visible representative of what all is wrong. For the tip of yet another iceberg, simply look up on a day when there are streaks of funny-looking clouds across the sky, clouds that really don't go away, but are joined by other clouds in both parallel and perpendicular lines. Then Google the word "chemtrails" and find out what you, the individual, can do about it. Look for my name, and my brother Don, and see that there are indeed activist resistors.

We're doing it.

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