The kids are alright: Give 'em hell, El Break...
I was heartened over the weekend to learn of the hunger strike starting today by these college students who have a radio show on 1190 AM called El Break. According to the press release, they'll be parked outside of Congressman Ed Pastor's Phoenix office for a week in support of the DREAM Act, which would give children of illegal alien parents a path to citizenship, and reverse the effects of AZ's Prop 300, which denies these kids access to in-state tuition. The press release in part reads:
In Arizona, Proposition 300 has obligated undocumented students to pay out-of-state tuition – three times as much as locals – causing many dedicated students to put their higher education on hold. Also concerning is a law Governor Napolitano recently signed penalizing employers who hire undocumented workers, which is yet another burden on the families of these students.
The Youth Strike demands that Ed Pastor, and all Congressmen and congresswomen from the state of Arizona, work on a solution to allow undocumented students to continue their higher education with the same opportunities that other hardworking students have in this state. Not only will this benefit the quality of life for thousands of students, but will also help the state of Arizona to develop a strong, educated constituency.
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As I'm on deadline for another story, I don't know that I'll make it down there till tomorrow or the day after. Spokesman Evan Storey told me that the protesters are encouraging people to either join the hunger strike, or give up something they enjoy, like watching TV, eating chocolate, whatever, in a Lent-like action to support the effort, all while wearing a symbolic green ribbon.
Given my circumference, I personally could benefit from a hunger strike. But I may have to do something less drastic, like, give up porn for a week. Wait a sec, a whole week? Uh, let's just say I'll be with the El Break crew in spirit.
Kidding aside, Storey told me that the group got the idea from a similar action in California. I'm hoping that it will be the beginning of weekly, sustained protests by various Hispanic groups in AZ as we get closer to the Super Bowl coming to town. There has already been talk of work-stoppages and boycotts, and the notion of such activism is starting to scare whitey. Last week, questioned about a possible Super Bowl boycott, Gov. Napolitano said Hispanics should register and vote instead of protesting. Well, except for those who can't vote because of their status, right?
The Super Bowl is seen as a huge, sacred cash cow by the political and business power structure. Personally, I hope activists in the Valley will put that cow on the barbie and grill it up for dinner. The lead-up to the statewide tailgate party will be the perfect time for people to take to the streets, make their voices heard, and expose Sand Land's racism to the light of day. If you don't like it, Guv, tough shit. It's going to happen. It's all protected under the First Amendment, and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it.