Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Gulags on Lockdown for Candlelight Vigil

Yep, you read the headline right. Because a group of interfaith leaders and activists plan a candlelight vigil near Tent City on Saturday, June 23, starting at 8 p.m., "America's toughest most cowardly sheriff" will be placing his vast incarceration complex on lockdown for the day, preventing inmates from receiving visits from friends or family for 24 hours.

Is Sheriff Joe afraid that the Unitarian Universalists leading the demonstration will pray those jail doors open? 

Nah, he just wants to punish his prisoners because his cruelty and bigotry is being opposed. Makes you wonder if the beatings at Fourth Avenue increase whenever church folk assemble nearby.

An MCSO press release states that Arpaio "will be present at the demonstration Saturday in order to defend Tent City and his jail policies." 

Um, from whom, God?

Evidently Arpaio ain't a believer, because if he were, he'd be worrying about one day having to justify all the wickedness he's promoted all his life. 

Technically, Arpaio is Catholic, but then, so was Torquemada. 

Not that I'm religious, but if I ascribed to some form of Christianity, I'd reckon Arpaio will be keeping Saddam Hussein company in hell once the octogenarian croaks of natural causes. 

Nor am I holding my breath waiting for Arpaio to shuffle off this mortal coil. The guy's living proof that only the good die young.

In any case, the vigil will take place at West Durango Street and 35th Avenue in Phoenix at the aforementioned time and date. 

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, which is currently holding its general assembly in Phoenix, will congregate there along with other religious groups, the human rights organization Puente, and numerous other organizations and individuals.

On a related note, Puente organizer Carlos Garcia has written a powerful essay describing what needs to be done to counter the hate of Senate Bill 1070, Arpaio, and so on. I encourage all to read it, and to check out the HuffingtonPost's recent interview with Garcia on the same subject.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons