LOS ANGELES (Thursday, May 6, 2010) – Yesterday, 14 immigrant rights activists and community leaders engaged in non-violent civil disobedience in protest of Arizona’s recently enacted SB1070 and other federal, state, and local immigration enforcement laws. Beginning at 10 AM yesterday, protesters blocked the entrance to the Federal Immigration Processing and Detention Center and three lanes of Alameda Street with their bodies. More than a dozen activists were chained to each other, encircling the entrance to the facility where immigrants are processed for detainment and deportation. The immigrant rights activists and community leaders were joined by hundreds of activists who protested for over five hours on Alameda Street, shutting down the Federal Detention Center, which included blocking incoming Department of Homeland Security detention buses from entering the building.
“This detention center symbolizes the incarceration and internment of so many immigrants and the separation of families,” said “Arizona” one of the activists arrested during the action. “We are here to say that there will be no more business as usual at this detention center and that we need to end SB1070, all detentions and deportations and the criminalization of our communities."
The action was just one in a series of escalating local and national protests that took place in recent weeks. Those participating have pledged to resist the criminalization of immigrant communities by engaging in acts of non-cooperation and civil disobedience.
The activists announced they were exercising their right to remain silent and refusing to cooperate with the police by not providing identification documents or giving their names in protest of SB 1070’s requirement that the police demand documents from anyone they “reasonably suspect” to be undocumented. “We are here in solidarity with the millions of undocumented immigrants and Latinos and other people of color labeled as ‘illegal’ because of how they look and whose humanity is being denied by their inability to provide documentation proving their status,” said another of the participants in the action.
What’s Next: Rally: Come out to the 77th St. Los Angeles Police Department Station on Friday May 7, 2010 at 5:00 PM located at 7600 S. Broadway, Los Angeles 90003 for a press conference and rally to show your support and stand in solidarity with those detained on Thursday, and the hundreds of thousands of members in our communities who have been criminalized, deported, and separated from their families. The “We Are All Arizona 14” were arrested, processed, and are currently being detained at Parker Center Downtown and 77th St. Los Angeles Police Department Station.
As the momentum to stand in solidarity with the “We Are All Arizona” call to action continues, further mobilization of our communities is needed in support of those arrested on Thursday outside the downtown Los Angeles Federal Building. 14 immigrant rights activists and community leaders engaged in non-violent civil disobedience in protest of Arizona’s recently enacted SB1070 and other federal, state, and local immigration racist enforcement laws.
Why Have We United and What’s Our Purpose:
- We stand in solidarity with immigrants and people of color in Arizona that are the targets of enforcement laws that are nothing more than ethnic cleansing. These racist laws are threatening to spread to other states, cities, and counties, and need to be stopped now!
- We stand in solidarity with immigrants that are incarcerated in hundreds of detention facilities across the country, and with all peoples of color who have been targets of racial profiling.
- We stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of members of our communities who have been deported and separated from their families.
- Racist enforcement measures are being carried out in our communities through a for profit comprehensive enforcement regime of ICE raids, and ICE and local police and sheriff collaboration in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, Costa Mesa, and in LA County jails.
- We pledge to resist the criminalization of our communities by engaging in acts of non cooperation and civil disobedience in protest of SB1070 and other federal, state, and local immigration enforcement laws.
- We call on all immigrant rights and human rights advocates to join together in non cooperation and civil disobedience to put an end to these racist laws!
- immediate and unconditional regularization (legalization) of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in our communities
- the immediate repeal of SB 1070
- an end to all racial profiling and the criminalization of our communities
- an end to ICE and police collaboration, including but not limited to 287g agreements, the Secure Communities Program, and the use of local jail facilities as immigrant detention centers
- that the Department of Homeland Security make public the location of all detention centers and immediately dismantle them
- a moratorium on immigration raids, detentions and deportations, as well as their eventual abolition
- the demilitarization of our borders and immigration control
- the redistribution of funding and resources away from prison-building, policing and criminalization to social, health and education services, family reunification, ending the backlog in visas and applications for permanent residency and citizenship, and full civil and labor rights protections for all persons, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status