LOS ANGELES -- More than 550 members of Los Angeles unions, faith, and community groups will travel in a long caravan of 11 chartered buses bound for Phoenix on the day SB 1070 is scheduled to go into effect. Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the L.A. activists will meet with working Arizonans already hit hard by a struggling economy and now facing the state’s new immigration law. L.A. unions will also kick off a new partnership with Arizona groups to increase Latino voter participation in the state.
“In 1994, California Gov. Pete Wilson’s attack on immigrants spurred Latinos to organize and fight for their rights alongside the rest of California’s working people, as never before in our state’s history,” says Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the L.A. labor federation. “The renewal of that attack in the form of SB 1070 has made our members realize that to protect our rights as working people we must reach out beyond our state’s borders and find ways to build a real long-term partnership with our neighbors in Arizona.”
Bus riders will gather at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles at 4 a.m. on Thursday, July 29. They will eat breakfast on the California-Arizona border in Blythe before crossing the border. In Phoenix, they will participate in a community forum on SB 1070 with Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Chief of Police Jack Harris and others. They will march to the Arizona state Capitol and end their journey with a vigil there before returning to L.A. The delegation will return to Dodger Stadium by midnight.
Petra Falcon, director of Promise Arizona and one of the event’s Arizona hosts, says she helped arrange the visit because “we believe it is extraordinarily important to look at the passage of SB 1070 and other similar legislation in the context of the continued struggles of all working people in Arizona, and of our state and federal lawmakers’ failure to address those struggles.”
The Phoenix events are also being hosted by CASE (Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy), a Phoenix non-profit concerned with raising the standards of people who work in Arizona’s low-wage service sector.
LOS ANGELES BUS RALLY, BLESSING OF THE BUSES AND DEPARTURE
WHO: 550 L.A. workers from 32 different unions, side-by-side with L.A.’s faith and community leaders
WHEN: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 4 to 5 a.m.
WHERE: Dodger Stadium Parking lot 13 (located on Stadium Way), Los Angeles, Calif.
VISUALS: A big rally with 11 buses in the background. Banners read, “We are all the same. Todos somos iguales.” A blessing of the buses by L.A. faith leaders wearing vestments. Riders boarding their buses.
PHOENIX SOLIDARITY RALLY AND COMMUNITY FORUM
WHO: Speakers include Phoenix Councilmember Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Chief of Policy Jack Harris, L.A. union leader Maria Elena Durazo, Arizona labor and community leaders, and Arizona workers and families impacted by SB 1070. Participants include hundreds of L.A. andArizona activists and community members.
WHEN: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: St. Matthews Church,
320 N. 20th Dr., Phoenix, Ariz.
VISUALS: Pews are filled with hundreds of Los Angeles union, faith, community delegation plus Arizona working families and activists holding signs.
MARCH TO ARIZONA STATE CAPITOL FROM ST. MATTHEW’S CHURCH, PHOENIX
WHO: 550 Los Angeles labor, faith, and community members with their Arizona host groups
WHEN: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 4 p.m.
WHERE: From St. Matthew’s Church to Arizona state Capitol (route TBA)
VISUALS: Long line of marchers carrying signs and banners stating, “UNITY” and “We are all the same. Todos somos iguales.” Faith leaders in vestments lead the march.
CLOSING THE 110-DAY PRAYER VIGIL AT THE ARIZONA STATE CAPITOL
WHO: Hundreds of participants led by Los Angeles and Arizona faith leaders who will close the 110-day prayer vigil conducted by immigrants-rights activists since the passage of SB 1070.
WHEN: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Arizona state Capitol, 1700 West Washington, Phoenix, Ariz.
VISUALS: Hundreds of protestors from Los Angeles and Arizona together, holding candles, carrying signs and praying in front of the Arizona state Capitol building. Faith leaders will close vigil dressed in vestments.