Best Activists - 2011
The Puente Movement
In Spanish, puente means "bridge." And the peace warriors of the Phoenix-based Puente Movement are building a bridge to an Arizona future free of nativism, bigotry, and hateful anti-immigrant laws pimped by the likes of state Senate President Russell Pearce. Yeah, they're nonviolent, but they kick much nativist hiney and have fun doing it. Their leader Sal Reza, can put a hundred thousand pro-immigrant protesters in the streets like it was nothing. Sometimes he and his people get arrested performing acts of civil disobedience, like their heroes Gandhi and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. And sometimes they're targeted for retaliation by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom they regularly assail while protesting him outside his headquarters at the Wells Fargo Building downtown. It don't sweat 'em none. They know their vision will one day be triumphant, though they may have to wear a few steel bracelets in the meantime.