The human rights activists of Tonatierra and the Barrio Defense Committees will do the annual PF Chang's 13.1 mile marathon one better this Saturday by holding a 13.4 mile march for human rights and dignity, beginning at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's notorious Fourth Avenue Jail and ending at Glendale Police Headquarters.
Along the way, marchers will stop at downtown Phoenix's Wells Fargo Tower and the Phoenix Police Headquarters at 620 West Washington Street, protesting what activists say are policies allowing local law-enforcement officers to profile Latinos and deliver undocumented persons to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"They're racially profiling just like Arpaio does," said march organizer Sal Reza. "That's become standard for police departments in Phoenix and Glendale."
Essentially, Arizona's racist Senate Bill 1070 gives the cops cover to racially-profile, according to the activists. Reza points to a November incident in Glendale where Univision used a bait car to play a game of "gotcha" on the Glendale PD.
Within just a few minutes of the bait car's Latino driver pulling out onto a thoroughfare, a Glendale police officer stopped the vehicle, supposedly for impeding traffic. Though the video tells one story, the Glendale PD denied there was any racial profiling involved and that the stop was legit.
Which is one reason Reza's army of demonstrators is making the long trek on foot to Glendale. Another reason is to put the Obama administration on blast for not living up to its pro-immigration rhetoric.
"Janet Napolitano remaining at the Department of Homeland Security for another term means four more years of Gestapo tactics," Reza said, speaking of the recent news that Nappy will stay in place for the second term.
"That's a very strong message from President Obama," Reza continued. "I don't know why people are so blind that they only see that promise of immigration reform and don't want to see the reality."
Indeed, as I observed in my column this week on the struggle for justice here in Arizona, the Obama administration deported a record 409,849 persons in fiscal year 2012 alone.
So while the carrot is held off in the distance, the stick is forever present and waiting to strike.
Reza says people will begin gathering around 8 a.m. tomorrow, with the march to get under way around 9 or 9:30 a.m. He estimates the march will end in Glendale around 4 p.m.
The veteran human rights advocate is also encouraging people to boycott the Mexican National Team's soccer match against Denmark at Glendale's University of Phoenix Stadium on January 30.
This, to protest the Glendale PD cop's behavior in the Univision report.
As far as Saturday's march goes, consider it exercise for your body and your soul.
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.