Contact: Rhonda Ramiro
Secretary General, BAYAN-USA
PHOENIX, AZ and SAN FRANCISCO, CA–BAYAN-USA linked arms with allies across the country during a nationwide day of action against Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law SB 1070. Members of BAYAN-USA boarded buses that caravanned hundreds of miles to Phoenix, Arizona, where tens of thousands of protestors marched five miles in 100-degree heat to the State Capitol to condemn SB 1070. “Arizona is ground zero for the immigrant rights movement, and the people here are fighting on the frontlines of struggle for immigrants in the US,” said BAYAN-USA Vice Chair Kuusela Hilo, who participated in the action. Arizona is notorious for the likes of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose racist and anti-immigrant tactics such as forcing immigrant prisoners to parade around in pink underwear and housing inmates in sweltering hot tent cities behind razor wire have earned lawsuits from civil rights organizations, and for vigilantism that has turned the Arizona-Mexico border into a graveyard for thousands of migrants. “SB 1070 is nothing less than state-sponsored racism, as it legalizes racial profiling and imposes militarist law enforcement,” said Hilo.
BAYAN-USA also participated in a solidarity protest in San Francisco, where the Arizona Diamondbacks faced off in a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants. “Ken Kendricks you can’t hide! We can see your racist side!” shouted protestors, referring to the Arizona Diamondbacks owner, who personally contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Arizona Republican Party which was responsible for pushing SB 1070 through the state legislature. “The Diamondbacks and Kendricks are bankrolling state-sponsored hate in Arizona,” said BAYAN-USA Secretary General, Rhonda Ramiro. “Protests will hound the Diamondbacks wherever they play, as immigrants around the country step up the fight to prevent the spread of SB 1070 copy-cat legislation.”
BAYAN-USA also echoed the calls for comprehensive immigration reform and legalization for all, an end to collaboration between local police and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and to stop the skyrocketing deportations which have torn apart hundreds of thousands of families over just the past year.