Why can't Arpaio cross the street without babysitters? Note the bodyguards, and to the right of Joe, little-man MCSO flack Paul Chagolla.
So far, there have been anti-Arpaio demos at Wells Fargo offices in San Francisco, El Paso, and Chicago, all in solidarity with the protests going on 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Wells Fargo bank building in downtown Phoenix. (Check out video of the San Fran protest, here.) Organized by local immigrant rights activist Salvador Reza's group PUENTE and the L.A.-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the protests aim to force Wells Fargo to evict Sheriff Joe and his upper echelon from the two floors they occupy in the posh edifice. The reason: Sheriff Joe's racial profiling, his sweeps and raids, and his continued persecution of Hispanics.
Before the chicken crossed the road: The middle-aged lady with poofy hair on the far right is Lisa Allen, Arpaio's gun moll-ish flack for foreign correspondents.
Now the protests are set to explode across the country, with "a National Day of Actions" to take place in front of Wells Fargo buildings in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, Austin, San Fran, L.A., and numerous other cities from sea to shining sea. This Dia de La Raza is planned for Sunday, October 12, and the focus is opposing Arpaio, ICE, the deportations, and the terror imposed on families and children by Arpaio-style raids nationwide.
Also, today, Friday October 3, a solidarity protest is planned by activists for the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Los Angeles. I've included a demo flier for you to check out.
The flier for today's L.A. demonstration.
From its humble beginnings at the start of September, the Phoenix Wells Fargo action is achieving an impact few would have predicted. Even now, the crowds at the Phoenix Wells Fargo are modest, ranging from 20 to 60 bodies, depending on the day. Arpaio himself struts past them on his way to lunch, his personal Praetorian Guard protecting his every step. NDLON's Chris Fleischman sent me these recent images (above) of a young woman dogging Arpaio with an Arpaio-chicken sign.
Ironically, Arpaio gets off on this sort thing. He feeds off discord and strife. Even detractors help inflate his already bloated ego. But I imagine Wells Fargo isn't exactly wild about the adverse publicity that protests such as these inevitably garner. (A spokeswoman for the bank refused to comment to me when I penned an item about the protests for a recent Bird column.) Arpaio is now a liability for the bank. Evicting the MCSO from the 18th and 19th Floors may seem an unlikely outcome -- especially since Maricopa County currently ponies up $675K per annum in rent. Still, I'll bet you anything there are execs at Wells Fargo who would secretly like to show Arpaio's wrinkly fanny the door.
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.