I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Monday, October 19, 2009

Arpaio Champions Civil Liberties Again!

Hey all. I fell behind on things for a few days, and it may take awhile to catch up. The title above is facetious, by the way. It's just more of the same. Here's a summary:

Awesome Anti-Arpaio/racial-profiling march and rally downtown Friday with Sal Reza and Puente - well-attended by a cross-section of the community; lots of creative street theater and costumes. Will try to upload some coverage or photos. 

There was a celebratory tone to the event: if there's any hope of redeeming this state, a lot of it will lie with the strength of the Latino community here. Watching Puente mobilize against these racial-profiling exercises, train and organize police observers, maintain a daily protest presence in front of Wells Fargo, rally support around those the Sheriff tries to intimidate and prosecute, repeatedly take to the streets in a march that always goes by the jail, and negotiate the sometimes delicate networks of relationships between different Anti-Joe constituencies, I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. I'd march in their line and carry their sign any day, any place.


Things are getting kind of interesting with Copwatch and the MCSO these days. The Sheriff's elderly posse members are armed with palm-sized cameras now to take our mug shots out on patrol. This is the Sheriff's new "tool" - which sounds to me like some kind of sex toy.)  

Anyway, those old guys are so sweet, it's hard not to smile - or laugh - when they zoom up in their little car to snap our pictures. 

I'd love to see what Arpaio does with them. Does he make a line-up of "Photo-terrorists?"Is he going to make one of those big posters - with all of us grinning and chuckling into his cameras - like the FBI Most Wanted? I want a copy.

Here's Stephen Lemons' intro - click on the story link at the end to read the whole thing.

Joe Arpaio's Latest Sweep begins in Surprise, According to ABC15

ABC15 is reporting that the MCSO will be conducting its latest Hispanic-hunting sweep in Surprise today. Apparently, Joe will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. at his command post at the sheriff's substation at Dysart and Bell Roads. The operation begins at noon, with the usual 200 deputies and posse members. This, despite the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement head John Morton stated in a press conference call this morning that Arpaio does not have federal authority to conduct these sweeps.

Human rights observers and activists are already heading to Surprise to monitor deputies' activities with video cameras. Arpaio has said he has a "new tool" to combat such Constitutionally-protected monitoring...."

Rest of article


Okay, check out the one right before it, too:

Now Joe Arpaio's Citing a "Harboring" Law as His Authorization to Racial-Profile. Sheesh.

Stung by criticism from yours truly this past Sunday when I pointed out that Sheriff Arpaio had cited a nonexistent law as the legal justification for his anti-immigrant, down-on-the-brown sweeps, the MCSO has just sent out an e-mail admitting their fumble, and attempting to right it. Problem is, they end up citing a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly harbor or bring an illegal alien into the country.

What does that have to do with using pretextual traffic stops to ask people about their immigration status?

You guessed right, sports fans, nothing...(continued)

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