Joe Arpaio Blasted by John Conyers, Zoe Lofgren, Mary Rose Wilcox Tomorrow in D.C.

Check this video the group America's Voice has been using to gather signatures for the anti-Joe petition to be ballyhooed tomorrow.

This is one I wish I could be in D.C. for: Tomorrow at 1 p.m., House Judiciary Chair John Conyers, Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, and apparently our own Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, along with other national and local civil rights leaders, will publicly call on the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

(I called Congressman Conyers' office, and a staffer there confirmed that Conyers is scheduled to be at the event. I also put in a call to Supervisor Wilcox's office, where her Chief of Staff said Wilcox is in D.C., but was unsure about the event itself.)

The group will present over 35,000 signatures (mostly from residents of Arizona) demanding for Arpaio to be investigated. This follows up on the massive anti-Arpaio demonstration on February 28, led by Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, as well as the searing letter sent by Conyers and other House members asking for the DOJ and DHS to look into Arpaio's alleged civil rights abuses and review his 287(g) agreement with the Feds.

But a letter, no matter how well-publicized is one thing. Media events such as this one raise the issue's profile considerably, help garner national press coverage, and embolden other politicians and activists when it comes to going after Arpaio.

Also scheduled to be at the event are Arizona ACORN leader Alicia Navejar, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (you know, the folks who helped organize Phoenix's massive anti-Arpaio march), and Raquel Teran of the Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability, the group that's been bird-dogging the Board of Supervisors for the last year or so over Arpaio's misdeeds.

Below is the press release from the pro-immigrant organization America's Voice for the Arpaio-lashing tomorrow. How much money you wanna bet that Joe and his PR flunkies cook up some stunt locally -- maybe even a sweep or a raid -- to try and divert attention from the Conyers event? That would be standard operating procedure for the MCSO, after all.  

** Wednesday, March 11 at 1:00PM **

National and Local Leaders Join Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren in Calling for Investigation of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Washington, DC - On Wednesday, March 11th, leaders from Arizona and across the nation will join U.S. Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), as well as other members of the House Judiciary Committee, to deliver a petition calling on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the controversial Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ. Under a banner reading "Americans United to Defend Civil Rights," the leaders will present over 35,000 petition signatures that have been gathered to date.

Over 2,700 lawsuits have been filed against Arpaio, including repeated allegations of civil rights violations. Recently, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers, Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Lofgren, Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Crime Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security calling for an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Arpaio. And last week over 5,000 activists from around the nation marched in protest of Arpaio's tactics. The situation has sparked a nationwide outcry and become a tragic symbol of the wrong approach to immigration law enforcement.

WHAT: National Leaders Present Petition on Capitol Hill, Call for Investigation of Sheriff Arpaio

WHO: U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Chairwoman, House Immigration Subcommittee, Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA de Maryland, Pablo Alvarado, President of National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Alicia Navejar, ACORN Leader from Arizona, Raquel Teran, Project Director for Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability

WHEN: Wednesday, March 11 at 1:00pm

WHERE: Rayburn Building - Room 2203
Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20003

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