Feathered Bastard

Four MCSA Demonstrators Arrested Outside County Board of Supervisors Meeting, Dressed as Pets

A chicken (activist Chris Fleischman) is interrogated by plainclothes po-po.

According to witnesses and a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, four members of Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability, an activist group critical of the BOS and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, were arrested this morning while sitting quietly in a lobby outside where a BOS executive meeting was taking place.

Apparently it took some 15 deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to arrest the four women involved, according to various sources. Prior to the arrests, about 40 or so members of MCSA had appeared at the BOS' 10th floor offices, asking to speak with Supervisor Andrew Kunasek, while they were dressed as pets: dogs, cats, and even one chicken.

Hope someone had a pooper-scooper. Maybe Don Stapley?

The point of the demonstration, according to MCSA spokesperson Raquel Teran, was protest the fact that BOS meetings often include, on the agenda, a "Pet of the Month," that County Animal Care and Control is offering for adoption.

"If it takes dressing up as animals to not be ignored, then we'll dress up as animals," said Teran. "They always get on the agenda, why can't we?"

Indeed, the BOS continues to refuse to place MCSA on the agenda and allow them to air their concerns about the Sheriff's office's  racial profiling, long response times, and other issues related to the MCSO. So far, MCSA has only been allowed to address the Supervisors during the regular period reserved for comments from the public. As a result, MCSA has repeatedly walked out of BOS meetings they've attended, or used other tactics, such as duct-taping their mouths, or exiting the BOS meetings singing patriotic songs and waving American flags.

What is this? Dog Day Afternoon?

Teran said the bulk of MCSA-ers left when the court's protective services asked them to leave. However, four demonstrators chose to stay behind, arguing that they were doing nothing wrong by sitting in a waiting area. She identified the women as Monica Sandschafer, executive director of Arizona ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), community organizer Ayensa Milan, ACORN member Guillarmina Pichardo, and Kristy Thelien, Tucson's ACORN director. The women are expected to be released later today.

That's a baaaaad kitty...

As an overreaction to previous MCSA actions, the BOS once locked out members of the public to an open meeting. And after walking out of another Supervisors' meeting, MCSA activist Randy Parraz was arrested for trespassing after being ordered to leave government property by sheriff's deputies.

Awww...how could the BOS turn out this harmless puppy?

The irony of ironies of course, is that the Board of Supes is now looking down the barrel of an MCSO pistol themselves, what with Supervisor Don Stapley having been indicted recently by a grand jury on 118 counts. This, after an investigation by the MCSO and the County Attorney's office. As Stapley is a Republican, and has been known as a friend of Sheriff Joe in the past, the message is a clear one to the Supes that Thomas and Arpaio run this county, not them.

Uh-oh. Raquel's in the doghouse now...

"If these accusations turn out to be false," commented Teran on the Stapley affair, "then Supervisor Stapley is going to understand the injustices that the community goes through with Sheriff Arpaio, and how this type of corruption can destroy people."

All screenshots courtesy of Dennis Gilman. For more of Gilman's work, check out his YouTube site Humanleague002.