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Zack de la Rocha Protests Arpaio, Who Cozies up to White Supremacists, Plus, Jeff Farias Finds a Home with the Lord

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Following this, De la Rocha signed pro-immigrant posters created by artist Shepard Fairey, he of the famous Barack Obama "Hope" poster, and Fairey collaborator Ernesto Yerena, with proceeds from poster sales to benefit the imperiled Macehualli center.

The poster-signing continued down at Tonatierra, on Seventh Street just south of Roosevelt, where a fundraising party got down, featuring local acts such as the punk band Automatic Self Destruct, folk guitarist the Black River Bandit, and radical Phoenix MC Grime. At first, De la Rocha planned to perform, as he did before the February 28 anti-Arpaio march, which drew some 5,000 souls. But the Rage Against the Machine star was worn out from his activities and all the autographs he'd signed through the night.

On Saturday, De la Rocha marched with thousands of ordinary Phoenicians, as well as notable locals such as Tucson firebrand Isabel Garcia, former state Senator Alfredo Gutierrez, Randy Parraz and Raquel Teran of Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability, former Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez, ACORN organizer Monica Sandschafer, Respect/Repeto's Lydia Guzman, cheeky Phoenix activist Adolfo Maldonado, and Supervisor Wilcox. Guadalupe's Socorro Bernasconi handed out water to marchers along the way, and William Robles, a Guadalupe activist, who on Thursday did his own march from Guadalupe to the Wells Fargo building, took up the rear, banging on a huge black drum.

Although the news channels and other media generally ignored what De la Rocha had to say at the walk's end, he offered an impassioned analysis of the situation in Maricopa County, before repeating the words of the Letter from Estrella a short distance from Estrella Jail itself.

"It is because of your efforts tirelessly in the streets," he told the crowd at one point, "marching and confronting [Arpaio's] racist policy, that his impunity is beginning to crumble. But it's not just about a bigoted and brutal man alone; it's about the federal policy that empowers him. Many of us are here today to confront the racism and the destructive policy of the 287(g) agreements. The practice of this policy has unearthed what I consider to be one of the most dire human rights crises in this country right now.

"So we need to confront also, and get into the specifics of this ugly and brutal agreement. We need to confront the legal lynching that has been systematically woven into this policy as the line between civil law and criminal law has been all but erased, tearing apart the constitutional protections of those of us working here with our without documents."

Well said, but I wonder how many more marches and demonstrations there will have to be in this country before the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security act? Does there need to be civil disobedience, or worse, before Arpaio is called to heel, his 287(g) authority jerked, and his civil rights abuses halted and brought before the bar of justice?

I know there were DOJ personnel monitoring the march. And, recently, both DHS and DOJ had investigators in town to look into Arpaio's actions. But the wheels are turning too slow. Those separated from their families and mistreated in Joe's gulags can't wait much longer.

FARIAS, SAVED

Since the nasty demise of liberal talk radio network NovaM, and the resultant recriminations and finger-pointing, former NovaM talker Jeff Farias has been plugging along with his online Web cast, thejefffariasshow.com, which has got to be one of the only Webcasts of its kind locally, if not nationally, with a die-hard audience of listeners willing to log on every day at 3 p.m. to watch Farias' live feed from his garage studio.

The good news for those locally who want and need some left-wing talk to counter the J.D. Hayworths, Rush Limbaughs, and other far-right tongue-flappers on the dial is that Farias has scored an on-air gig doing his lefty show on a local Christian station, no less, KXXT 1010 AM, where he'll be heard Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Those bound to their desks can catch streaming audio and video of the show at www.1280kxeg.com.

Seems 1010 AM, which owns another Christian station locally, is willing to play with its format a bit. Hence, Farias' recent salvation. However, being devoted to his craft, Farias tells me that he plans to keep doing the Webcasts from the garage at the same bat time.

Does this mean Farias will have to tone down his act for the Lord, play hymns as intros to the show, or preach a little about Jay-sus in between tirades against Republicans? Nah, says Farias, 1010 AM knows what they're getting into. And as for Farias, he says he's happy to be back on the air where anyone with a car radio can hear the program.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons