Monday, May 17, 2010

An update from Arizona

UCC minister, activist, community organizer and all-around great guy, Noel Anderson, is keeping me in the loop regarding actions in opposition to Arizona's new immigration law - SB 1070.

Here's his report from a Friday evening (May 14) protest in Nogales, Ariz. It is the U.S. side port of entry with Nogales, Sonora, Mexico...

Over 100 people gathered on the U.S. side to rally against the SB1070 law calling it unjust, unethical, uncompassionate and just plain racist. A mix of Latino and African American Freedom Riders bused in from Dallas and Texas to send the message clear they denounced this law and felt the responsibility and necessity to come to Arizona in order to support and be part of this growing movement to repeal SB1070.

Local speakers such as the Nogales Mayor who was part of passing a city resolution against this law stepped forward. Some of the Freedom Riders had actually been part of the original freedom riders down to the South during the Civil Rights Movement. Many organization are calling for a Freedom Summer to organize with greater strength over the next three months to repeal the law before it’s inception on July 28th.

In Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, protesters were present all morning and all afternoon blocking traffic from entering the United States. There was a boycott decree put out for the Friday and Saturday to ask Mexicans to not cross to Nogales on the U.S. side to show their economic power, while the stores remained empty all day.

Most people don't realize that “at least 23,400 jobs in Arizona depend on the more than $7.35 million that Mexican visitors spend every day in stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses, according to a University of Arizona study sponsored by the state’s Office of Tourism(see link below).”

Not only was business empty or non-existent on the U.S. side, but shop keepers on the Mexican side said that business has been much slower as well since the Governor Jan Brewer signed the law, because people aren't coming to Arizona, and not visiting the border as they used to.

Noel has updated images on his Facebook page too.

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