Feathered Bastard

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

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.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons