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California Activists Protest Arizona Law

August 18, 2010

California Activists Protest Arizona Law

Journalist and photographer David Bacon reports that thousands of demonstrators in San Francisco and Oakland, California, have been protesting Arizona’s SB 1070, which requires local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people they suspect might be undocumented. He quotes protest leader Renee Saucedo, an attorney with La Raza Centro Legal, as saying “all the proposals from Washington on immigration reform encourage the same criminalization, racial profiling and discrimination.  Immigrant communities are demanding an end to these policies and laws.”  
            Similar protests have been taking place throughout the country, including a demonstration by the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance inside the state capitol in Jackson, in front of a statue of former Senator Theodore Bilbo. Bacon notes: “In the era in which African-Americans were beaten and even lynched for demanding voting and civil rights, Bilbo was…notorious for attacking African Americans, Jews, immigrants, Catholics and all progressive people.’

“A church choir sang “Listen Mr. Bilbo,” written by Bob and Adrienne Claiborne in 1946 and popularized by Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers.  The song begins with the verse:

            Listen, Mr. Bilbo, listen to me
            I’ll give you a lesson in history.
            Listen and I’ll show you that the foreigners you hate
            Are the very same people made America great.

            Bacon quotes Bill Chandler, director of the Alliance, asking: “Is not trying to bring this xenophobic and racist Arizona law into Mississippi playing the Bilbo Card?  Is it not their stated intent to intimidate and drive immigrants out of our state, just as their ancestors’ intent was to intimidate, terrorize, and drive out African Americans in the last century?  And to enforce inequality on those left behind?” 
            Some of David Bacon’s work is featured on the Refuge Media Project website. Bacon is the author of several books including Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants and Communities without Borders: Images and Voices from the World of Migration. (If ordering books or DVDs discussed in this blog from Amazon, please consider using the links above to do so through our website, which will help to support the work of The Refuge Media Project.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 18, 2010 8:39 PM

    Maybe CA better worry about The terminator, he sent 12 dozen CA Nat. Guardsmen to the CA border.
    It has nothing to do with ‘we dont like foreigners’, America is foreigners from ALL over.
    There is a WAR going on down there.
    Hello?? Anyone IN there?

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