Anti-SB 1070 Activists Scale Phoenix Crane To Deploy Protest Banner

resized.jpg
Activists unfurl an anti-SB 1070 banner high over downtown Phoenix

In a daring act of civil disobedience in downtown Phoenix this evening, at least four activists occupied a tall crane near Central Avenue and Jefferson Street and deployed a huge banner that read "Stop the Hate," with red lines crossing out "287(g)" and "1070."

Phoenix Fire Department trucks and Phoenix Police cars blocked off the area as bystanders watched two of the demonstrators hang suspended hundreds of feet in the air, readying to unfurl the banner between them.

A police helicopter circled overhead, with the pilot warning the protesters through a loudspeaker that they were trespassing and should get down immediately.

The crane-scalers paid the helicopter no heed, and unfurled the banner to the cheers of the crowd below.

"What's 287(g)?" asked an employee of a nearby pharmacy who'd stepped outside to watch the stunt.

I told him that was the federal program that allows local police officers to enforce federal immigration law.

Nearby a gaggle of news crews, Scott Walker with the Phoenix Fire Department informed me that firemen had received a call around 6 p.m. of what was going on and that the fire department had taken precautions to catch the demonstrators if anyone fell.

He said they had been told that the protesters were experienced climbers and would descend as soon as the banner had been deployed. Walker told me the daredevils would be immediately taken into custody by Phoenix cops once they came down.

In a press release sent out by the group, which is calling itself "Stop the Hate," the unnamed activists stated in part,

"SB 1070 and the federal program 287g are hateful laws. President Obama has the power to immediately stop them both.

"We came to Arizona to support those at the epicenter of one of the largest human rights crises of our time. We join Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Cardinal Mahoney, and an outraged global community in denouncing SB 1070 in its entirety."

You can read the entire statement below.

On hand watching the event was Puente activist Carlos Garcia, who was arrested last week during a demonstration at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse. He told me that he thinks we may see more actions like this over the next couple of days.

"Folks aren't happy with the judge's ruling," he said, referring to federal Judge Susan R. Bolton's decision earlier in the day to enjoin part, but not all, of SB 1070.

He added, "It's amazing that these folks are risking their lives to do this."

I overheard one fireman close to me exclaim, "Those guys have balls."

I second that thought.

(Update: Puente has posted a video of the unfurling, which you can watch, here.)

The activists' press release:

BREAKING BREAKING BREAKING
Activists Scale Downtown Phoenix Crane, Display Banner that Says
"Stop Hate. No SB 1070. No 287g."
 
Phoenix, AZ. July 28, 2010.
 
Hours before the Arizona racial profiling law, sb 1070, is to go into effect, a group calling itself "Stop the Hate" scaled a construction crane in downtown Phoenix in order to display their message.  The group of four unfurled a banner that says "Stop Hate. No SB 1070. No 287g." Two of the people are currently hanging hundreds of feet in the air hanging from the banner.

 

The group shared this statement:

 

"SB 1070 and the federal program 287g are hateful laws. President Obama has the power to immediately stop them both.

 

We came to Arizona to support those at the epicenter of one of the largest human rights crises of our time. We join Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Cardinal Mahoney, and an outraged global community in denouncing SB 1070 in its entirety.

 

We know a partial injunction is not a solution for the people already living under Sheriff Arpaio's terror, the day laborers who will be treated as criminals, or the communities soon to see their police enforcing immigration laws.

 

We say 'stop hate' because SB 1070 is not immigration policy. Like the experience of the Irish, Italian, Chinese or others, SB 1070 is simply scapegoating and targeting of the most vulnerable among us in these uncertain times; times that should call us to stand together as a people.  Within days of SB 1070 passing, we witnessed vicious hate crimes against Latinos in the Southwest. We know that hateful laws legitimize hateful acts and that tolerating their passage signals a dangerous direction for the country.

 

We call on President Obama to do more than sue the state. Actions speak louder than lawyers. President Obama could solve the human rights crisis in Arizona with the stroke of a pen. Obama's 287g program is what gave birth to the monster in Arizona he is now trying to slay.  Stopping the hate means not just stopping SB 1070 and Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona but stopping all the Arpaios that the president's ice access program is creating all across the country."


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
1 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Susan B Anthony Coin
Susan B Anthony Coin

The first U.S. silver dollars bore Robert Scot's Flowing Hair design. Because the U.S. Mint relied on depositors for its silver (see the "Flowing Hair half dollars (1794–1795)" section, earlier in this chapter), mintages are spotty. In fact, less than 2,000 1794 silver dollars were struck. As expected, the 1794 is rare, but the 1795 is affordable.

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...