Jan Brewer's State of the State Speech Protested by Citizens for a Better Arizona (Video)

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Burning driver's licenses, defying DPS, and the arrest of Elmo and his radical stuffed animal buddies were the high points of the only game in town at the state Legislature's opening day on January 13.

That game belonged, pigskin and all, to Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that drove recalled, disgraced former state Senate President Russell Pearce from power, and unsuccessfully sought to do the same to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Dennis Gilman captures all the action from January 13

These days, CBA has been targeting Governor Jan Brewer for her denial of driver's licenses to DREAMers, state Attorney General Tom Horne's lawsuit to prevent DREAMers from getting in-state tuition at community colleges, and Brewer's disaster at Child Protective Services, with its 6,500-plus un-investigated cases.

As captured by intrepid Phoenix videographer Dennis Gilman, some CBA-ers burned their driver's licenses, decrying Brewer's asinine policy of withholding Arizona licenses from those young men and women who qualify to work legally under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA-eligible DREAMer Belen Sisa summed up the situation for Gilman's camera:

"As a DREAMer in Arizona, who's lived here since I was six years old. I feel like it's a complete injustice to be able to work in Arizona, but not have a way to get to work. That's dangerous. You can't get your own car, you can't get your own insurance."

Her message to Brewer?

"With a stroke of a pen, you can make everything better, you can make Arizona a safer place. You can stop discriminating against those who want to be here for the better good of Arizona."

Following the speech, protesters briefly occupied the area in front of state House building where Brewer had been bloviating.

CBA organizer Beto Soto declared a victory, as Brewer had announced during her address that she was abolishing CPS, something CBA had been pushing for.

Activists then marched to the executive tower, where Brewer was having a reception on the eighth floor. At first, officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety blocked the group, but CBA organizer Randy Parraz got in their faces, and as a result, the coppers fell to the sides.

Forbidden from going to the eighth floor, the group went to the seventh, where they huddled, and sent a delegation of women up a floor in the elevator.

The DPS officers were ready to arrest them if they stepped out of the elevator, but activists instead tossed stuffed dolls into the governor's lobby, representing the children hurt by Brewer's policies, as they chanted, "Stop the hate."

No one was arrested, unless you count Elmo and his toy co-conspirators.

Anyone surprised that Elmo is a flaming radical? Sheesh, he's redder than the Chinese flag.

David Morales of Three Sonorans fame was up from Tucson, and also has great video on his site of what transpired, so check that out as well.

Got a tip for The Bastard? Send it to: Stephen Lemons.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.