If ever there was a time for people to raise freakin' hell in this city, July 29 is the day. As we all know, that's when SB 1070, Arizona's new "breathing-while-brown law" is slated to start harassing Latinos, assuming federal Judge Susan R. Bolton doesn't put the kibosh on it.
And by raising hell, I mean with creative, non-violent direct action and civil disobedience, natch. Riots are so 1990s...
There will be plenty of opportunities to get your activism on over the next few days, and even be arrested, which, with the right kind of crowd, will get you treated like a Medal of Valor recipient.
Seriously, how do you treat people who got arrested during the Civil Rights Movement? One day, you too could be able to tell your youngins about how you put your body on the line to stop a racist law that was backed by an army of ignorant rednecks led by neo-Nazi-huggin' state Senator Russell Pearce.
So here's a run-down of some of the activism that will ensue. Get off your duff, be a part of history, and go growl at some toothless pro-SB 1070 hillbillies, because you know they'll be out there.
1) The Procession of La Virgen
There have been people quietly holding vigil at the state Capitol for more than 100 days, praying for a stop to SB 1070. Beginning at 4 a.m., there will begin a procession, led by activists carrying the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe from the Capitol to Trinity Cathedral at 100 West Roosevelt Street.
2) Interfaith Service
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4) Civil Disobedience
5) CODEPINK on ICE
At 11 a.m., the women's peace group CODEPINK plans to "occupy and block" the driveway for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at 2035 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. Organizer Liz Hourican tells me her people are ready to face arrest, and they invite all anti-SB 1070 types to join them.
CODEPINK is specifically targeting the federal government's 287(g) program, which allows local cops to enforce immigration law if their agency has a contract with ICE. Sound hypocritical for an administration that's suing Arizona over a similar state effort? Well, it is. Which is one reason why I'm glad to see Hourican and her sisters in activism give ICE a little taste of civil disobedience, CODEPINK style.
6) Day of Non-Compliance Jailhouse Rock
If you haven't been collared after a long day of shaking your fist at the bulls, then you can head down to 5th Avenue and Madison Street in Phoenix, right next to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 4th Avenue Jail, and rock out as you await the release of your fellow protesters, some of whom may still be stuck inside.
The rally and concert will take place from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will feature such local acts as the punk/reggae/ska band Fayuca, rapper Grime, and Mazameh. In fact, they're looking for acts, so if you've got a band and want to perform, check out the Facebook page for the event. Meanwhile, I'll be digging my banjo out of storage...
7) Camp Out at Jan Brewer's House
Now, this sounds like it just might be the most fun of all: The women of CODEPINK are planning an all-weekend camp, right outside Governor Jan Brewer's house in Glendale. They'll sing, swap stories, and hopefully make s'mores or roast some weenies. (Like maybe Attorney General Terry Goddard, if he's around.)
They're calling it Camp Hermana (hermana being Spanish for "sister"), and the Girl Scout party-gone-political begins at 7 p.m., Friday, July 30 and lasts till Sunday at the same time. The locale? The Facebook page has got all the info on that.