In what appears to be a major coup for the activists organizing the anti-Arpaio action the weekend of February 28, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network has announced through a press release that firebrand frontman Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine fame is encouraging people to join the march and rage against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's treatment of the undocumented.
De la Rocha, known for his incendiary lyrics, his support of imprisoned radicals such as Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, and his advocacy for Mexico's Zapatista rebels, will also apparently be in town for the march, according to the release and various sources inside the pro-immigrant activist community.
"To witness what is happening in Arizona and remain neutral," De la Rocha is quoted saying in the media statement reprinted below, "is to be implicated in human rights violations that are occurring right here on US soil against migrants. History will not be kind to Joe Arpaio. He will be remembered with other infamous sheriffs like Bull Connor who subjugated and terrorized communities for shortsighted political gain. I hope everyone will join me in protesting Sheriff Joe."
Los Angeles-based NDLON spokeswoman Yadira Hernandez Herrera confirmed that De la Rocha would be putting shoe to pavement on the 28th. Phoenix civil rights activist Sal Reza of the group Puente, told me they were hoping to get De la Rocha to perform as well.
I put in a call to the label for De La Rocha's group One Day as a Lion at Anti-Records, but so far they have yet to get back to me on the report. If De la Rocha does show, it will be an incredible indicator of how far the anti-Arpaio movement and the movement for justice for Arizona's undocumented has come. But even if he can't make it for some reason, just having him lend his voice to outcry against Arpaio's abuses should help increase the numbers at next Saturday's event exponentially.
Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine Calls on Fans to Turn the Tide Against Hate, Join him on March in Phoenix, Arizona. Famous Lead Singer to Join Thousands to Denounce Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Out of Control Intimidation and Humiliation
Who: National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Puente Arizona, and Zack de la Rocha
What: March to Stop the Systematic Persecution of Migrants and Latinos in AZ.
Where: March Start Location for Feb 28th: 300 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012
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When: March to Stop the Hate in Phoenix to be held 9:00 am on February 28.
"Recently the nation witnessed the ritual humiliation of migrants in a spectacle evocative of some of the most horrific episodes of human history," explains Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "People across the country are outraged at the shameful violations of human rights perpetrated by the Maricopa County Sheriffs and they are being moved to action."
In the last month Sheriff Joe Arpaio intensified his on-going escalation of attacks against Latinos by segregating the county jail and parading undocumented migrants shackled in a chain-gang into "tent city." He erected and surrounded the tent with an electric fence in a grotesque display of human degradation.
Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine responded to the news by saying, "To witness what is happening in Arizona and remain neutral is to be implicated in human rights violations that are occurring right here on US soil against migrants. History will not be kind to Joe Arpaio. He will be remembered with other infamous sheriffs like Bull Connor who subjugated and terrorized communities for shortsighted political gain. I hope everyone will join me in protesting Sheriff Joe."