Anna Gaines, leader of recall drive against Mayor Gordon, arrested at Sheriff Joe book signing, and more...
Wing-nutty Hobbit-lady and recall wench Anna Gaines, from a file photo. Saturday, she was briefly arrested at Borders Books on Camelback...
Capping off a disastrous day both for Sheriff Joe and for the Phoenix anti-immigrant movement in general, Anna Gaines -- the founder and chairperson of American Citizens United, the nativist organization currently gathering signatures in an attempt to recall Mayor Phil Gordon -- was arrested in the Borders Books on Camelback during a Joe Arpaio book signing event there.
According to Phoenix Police Department Sergeant Steve Ong, Gaines was arrested, then cited and released for trespassing after an incident involving Biltmore Fashion Park security. Witnesses said, after Gaines got her book signed by Sheriff Joe, she tried to circulate a petition sheet in the store for the recall of Mayor Gordon. Apparently security asked her to leave and she declined. As she was being detained by Phoenix PD, store goers saw Gaines ask Phoenix police officers to ask Joe to vouch for her. At one point, she dropped the petition. One witness said he saw it, and that the petition was completely blank.
Before she was arrested, I spoke to Gaines while she was in line waiting for Joe's John Hancock, and she swore that ACU had 80 percent of the sigs needed to force a recall of Gordon. I asked her how many of the signers were from Phoenix, as is required by law. She declined to answer the query. I have a very strong suspicion that ACU will submit their sigs, but that a large portion of them will be found to be not allowable for one reason or another. At that point, you can anticipate the nativists will howl that they were robbed.
Prior to Gaines being handcuffed and placed in the back of a PPD SUV, Sheriff Joe punked out of addressing the crowd, once he saw that it had been owned by anti-Arpaio activists. At least 90 percent of the crowd was anti-Joe, and when he observed this, he declined to speak, just like he declined to step foot in Mesa during his anti-brown dragnets in that burg. Store manager Mark Panza announced that Joe was feeling under the weather, and that was Joe's excuse for not addressing the audience before signing books. Of course, that was a major pant-load. Like every bully in history, Joe chickened out when faced with significant opposition. I was truly disappointed, as were many of the pro-immigrant crowd in attendance, who let out a giant, "Awwwww..." when told that Arpaio was weenie-ing out.
Arpaio, seated with wife Ava, greeting one of his few supporters at Camelback's Borders Books...
While he was signing books, several of the anti-Joe folks messed with the Sheriff in one way or another. One woman, with book in hand to be inscribed, asked him why he hated immigrants. Another, challenged him on his bringing terror to Hispanic communities. At one point, a young lady raised a large anti-Joe banner, only to have it ripped down and confiscated by some MCSO bodyguard.
Weirdly, there was a situation in which a man was shoved by an undercover Sheriff's deputy. But after being arrested briefly and taken to the back of the store, he was let go. According to several accounts, he was pushed by the undercover deputy for no reason, and when he asked why he'd been shoved, he was arrested. Thing is, there were loads of attorneys around, and he'd done nothing wrong, so they ended up letting him go.
Though Joe bantered a bit with me and with the pro-immigrant folks, he looked haggard, as he has in other, recent events and press conferences. The criticism and opposition is wearing on him. And I think even he is beginning to doubt whether or not he can win reelection, despite all of his bravado.
The crowd waited him out, chanting, "Speech, speech, speech," at one point. But after he was finished autographing tomes, Joe slithered away via the back entrance. Outside, the anti-Joe people sang that old Steam hit, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye."
The demonstrator is right: At best entering the country illegally is a misdemeanor...
The nativist biker crowd wussed out as well. None of them showed to the Arpaio event, that I could tell. Earlier, activist bad boy Dennis Gilman and I tried to bird dog them down at Grant Park, where they were supposed to have some sort of racist picnic minus the cross-burning. We got there around 10:30 a.m., and nearly everybody was gone, save for a handful of knuckledraggers, seeing to one of their motorcycles, which had broken down while they were circling the park. The park is right across from El Portal, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox's restaurant.
Earl Wilcox, husband to Mary Rose Wilcox, standing guard outside El Portal...
According to Mary Rose's husband Earl Wilcox, about 25 nativist bikers circled the place a few times around 10 a.m. or so, then headed out. (The joke is, there were 25 bikes, and around 60 teeth, total.) I'm getting the feeling that they recognized that the neighborhood -- a Hispanic one -- was not very receptive to their presence.
What, no firetruck? I wanted to see Buffalo Rick's red fire truck, perhaps rented for the event. It wasn't there. The nativists had nothing set up. Nada. Zilch. Zip. The Hispanic neighborhood had them pissing in their pants, unlike alleged public urinator Buffalo Rick Galeener, who reportedly perfers a plastic bottle.
The nativist nitwits tried to cozy up to the members of the American Legion Post next door, Post 41 -- a largely Hispanic American Legion Post, which is historic because it was built by WWII vets, when other American Legion Posts nearby were hostile to Hispanics joining their rolls. Barry Goldwater very famously joined Post 41 in solidarity with fellow veterans there. It's especially ironic that Barry's nephew Don Goldwater had been listed as a scheduled speaker for the nativist biker event, sponsored by United for a Sovereign America, the most vicious racist hate group in the Valley. I can promise you, if his uncle'd been alive to hear that, he would've kicked his nephew's ass on principle. (That's assuming the nativists weren't lying about Goldwater, which is possible.)
The Hispanic heroes mural inside American Legion Post 41; a duplicate takes up a wall outside Post 41, next door to Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox's restaurant El Portal...
In any case, it sounds like the U.S.A.-ers and the men of Post 41 were polite to each other, but one Post 41 member, Oscar Santa Cruz said he asked the nativists to lower an American Legion flag one of them had flying from the back of his truck. They agreed to, but Earl Wilcox says he believes that the nativists did not comply with the request.
As mentioned, one biker had his hog break down on him in front of El Portal. Security for El Portal offered to watch it for him, but the rider was too afraid to let them do it. Ultimately a tow truck showed up to haul it away. As this was happening, an MCSO van slowly passed the Mexican eatery. Later, two bikers came by and took a few pics of El Portal. One of them was this moron named Kevin, who rides a cheap-ass Suzuki and runs a Web site featuring enemies of the nativists called The Pursuit. Word is he has profiles of people like Gilman and myself up there. (You have to sign in to read it -- more candy ass hiding from the nativists.) Lately I've been told he's posted my home address, which I guess is supposed to have me shivering in my boots.
The Suzuki-riding tard who supposedly has posted my address to his Web site...
Take your best shot, Hinckley, I mean, Kevin. And don't you worry about the voices in your head. They just want what's best for you -- a long, restful sojourn at a local mental institution, with plenty of Thorazine, and the occasional lobotomy...
The nativists are claiming their super-dooper-secret meet-up was a success 'cause no one ever figured out where it was. Hey, you racist albino oafs, if a tree falls in the forest, and all that jazz. If your meeting was some giganto success, then why keep it a secret? Unless your event ends up being a pathetic cop-out. (See where the nativists skeedaddled to below.)
They want to keep it a "secret" so they don't have to reveal the depth of their failure. Take the protest at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday. The anti-Joe forces had a huge turn-out, and mercilessly dogged the Supes throughout the event. Why would the pro-immigrant forces want to hide this triumph? (They didn't want to hide it, natch.) You only want a self-announced event to remain secret if it has failed. The nativist picnic was a bust, which is why the bigoted pinheads are so eager to lie about it.
Little Man's Disease: Anyone know this a-hole nativist? He talks big, trying to compensate for his size...
Sunday Update: The white pride wuss-out continues. Seems Rusty Childress' nativist cult United for a Sovereign America assembled elsewhere after chickening out on setting up at Grant Park, which, as they learned, is in a Hispanic neighborhood, and was having nothing to do with them. If you haven't seen a redneck in a while, you can catch pics of some eating wieners at their hide-out, on the Riders U.S.A. Web site.
Check out that racist sign, which falsely claims that 71,000 Americans have been killed by illegal aliens since 9/11. That sign gets around. First time I ever saw it, Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready was carrying it (or one like it) at a demo. Then during the Pruitt's demonstrations last year, a small gaggle of neo-Nazis was seen carrying one. It's bullshit, of course, but it does show you that U.S.A. and the neo-Nazis have much in common.
Riders U.S.A. is the biker arm of United for a Sovereign America. Along with members of other groups, they attempted to terrorize the Grant Park neighborhood with a ride-through on Saturday. It didn't work, and the big bad bikers beat a hasty retreat. Essentially, these local nativists have earned themselves such a poor reputation in Phoenix and elsewhere that they're turning inward, going underground, hiding out, lying about their plans, changing them at the last minute, and becoming increasingly delusional. Their continued impotence bodes well for the local immigrant-rights community.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.