Arizona Immigration Law Resisted - Statement on SB 1070 and Beyond (vom 25.06.2010),
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[25. Jun 2010]

Arizona Immigration Law Resisted - Statement on SB 1070 and Beyond

On April 23rd, 2010, the Governor of the State of Arizona signed into law SB 1070, a bill that makes it a crime for non-citizens not to carry immigration documents at all times, and allows police to arrest anyone without papers.

This law, a blatant encouragement of racial profiling, allows police to stop anyone on the street that they suspect of being in the country illegally and demand to see their papers. The United States is experiencing the same wave of fear of and hate towards immigrants that we are seeing right now in the UK, focused in the States on sans-papiers (immigrants without legal documents) from Mexico, who often complete a dangerous and harrowing journey through the desert to come to the States for the possibility of better work and a better life for their families.

It didn't take long after the 23rd for US citizens to take to the streets in protest. In fact, the week before the governor signed the bill, 2,000 high school students from across Phoenix walked out of classes in protest and marched to the capitol building. Many of them were Hispanic and thus targets themselves of the bill, but many others joined them in solidarity. After the bill was signed, demonstrations were held in Phoenix for days, which a local resident describes as "strange, because people here rarely come out in big numbers for anything, except a Suns game, or anti-abortion rally." May Day marches saw 100,000 turn out in Los Angeles, 20,000 in Dallas, and more than 10,000 in Chicago and Milwaukee. Thousands more marched in Washington, DC, with 35 people arrested during a sit-in outside the White House. Protests were international as well, with 4,000 people marching in Cuenca, Ecuador, in solidarity with Ecuadorian emigrants in Arizona.

Various groups are organising protests and boycotts against Arizona companies and even sports teams, including the major-league baseball team the Diamondbacks, whose owner supported SB1070 and uses the publicly funded Diamondbacks stadium to campaign for anti-immigration candidates. Even city councils in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and St. Paul are ceasing to solicit any new business with Arizona companies.

Eighteen students at UC Berkeley in California went on hunger strike for 10 days in protest against the law, demanding that the UC Berkeley chancellor renounce the law, make Berkeley a sanctuary campus, and importantly, stop cuts to low-wage employees. They connected this strike with the student protests against education cuts that began last year by also demanding that charges be dropped against students who had occupied a campus building in November.

Americans are connecting the struggles of immigrants with the struggles of the domestic working class, and realising that borders and immigration restrictions are just another tool that the government and the ruling classes use to oppress the poor. Immigration restrictions in the US and the UK disproportionately affect the working class and ethnic minorities; it is no surprise that racist government officials in Arizona support impenetrable borders and a surveillance state. The widespread and varied resistance to this oppression is the real story.

Statement on SB 1070 and Beyond

This came from a group in Tucson

Today we come together in resistance, taking action for the mobilization and safety of our communities. The police are supposed to implement public safety, but instead they are responsible for state violence.

We stand for the empowerment of our communities, and our ability to protect ourselves. We stand against racist legislation, including SB 1070. We condemn the attack on ethnic studies, I.C.E. raids, violence against womyn and queer people, the expansion of the prisons, the border wall, and the militarization of our everyday lives.

Border militarization and the expansion of law enforcement destroy the earth, harm indigenous communities and create a terror campaign against migrants and communities of color in Arizona and beyond. The new legislation is part of a racist campaign that aims to create a terrorized and criminalized class that is more vulnerable to exploitation. Migrants are blamed for crime, unemployment, and the current economic crisis in order to distract the U.S. public from seeing what is really to blame for this crisis: capitalism - the system that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

SB 1070 is a direct attack on our families, friends, neighbors, schools and communities.

SB 1070 is part of a history of colonial occupation. We live in a country founded on slavery, genocide and exploitation. The U.S. took over Native land and, in 1846, waged war against Mexico, established borders and imposed itself over the entire Southwest. SB 1070 comes from this legacy of colonial occupation.

SB 1070 is a symptom of white supremacy. SB 1070 is only the latest attack on people of color that makes Arizona an apartheid police state, where brown-skinned people are politically, legally and economically discriminated against and segregated.

SB 1070 does nothing to address the root causes of migration. U.S. economic policies and wars have displaced and impoverished millions of people all over the world. Money-driven policies, such as NAFTA, create poverty. Not only do they consume and exploit land, water, petroleum, and laborers (i.e., human beings), but they also displace us from our homes, forcing us to migrate in order to survive. If policymakers were serious about stopping "illegal immigration," they would end capitalist exploitation and stop their military "interventions" abroad.

SB 1070 is the product of a system that oppresses people not only for being undocumented or non-white, but also for being poor, young, womyn, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

This is why we affirm our human dignity and promote the well-being of all people living and working in these lands. We stand for community control and autonomy. We assert the rights of migrants and all people everywhere to feel safe and live free of state violence.

In order to STOP SB 1070, we need a new vision for social change. We believe in autonomy-where we are independent and free to make our own decisions as a community. Real change comes from those who struggle for dignity. We must depend on our own strength and power to create the new world we want to see!

Under these circumstances we make the following CALL TO ACTION:

If SB 1070 is enacted on July 29th, 2010, we must organize direct actions in our local communities and demand that racial profiling and police state terror end.



The article "Arizona Immigration Law Resisted" was published first in :: Resistance bulletin issue 123 June 2010, the "Statement on SB 1070 and Beyond" from a group in Tucson was published first on 07. Jun 2010 by ::