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Arizona Activists Not Letting Their Guard Down

  By  Maritza Lizeth Félix, Prensa Hispana

 

 

 

TUSCON -Even though Judge Susan Bolton suspended some of the more controversial pieces of SB 1070 prior to it being passed, those changes were not enough to stop protesters from taking to the streets on July 29 to demand a total repeal of the Arizona immigration law. 

Many of the protesters ended up in jail that day, but they have not yet concluded their mission.

More than three months after their arrest, the same protesters gathered outside Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona, to make sure the issue would not be forgotten.

"Although some say it’s a dead issue, that’s just not true. We’re here today for the same reasons (that we protested before). Sheriff Joe Arpaio just conducted another immigration raid, which separated 17 families... How can you expect us to just stand by with our arms folded?" asked Salvador Reza, leader of the group Movimiento Puente and one of those arrested during the July 29 protest.

"The only way for us to move forward is to continue our boycott and create pressure so there will be no more laws like SB 1070 that allow raids to continue and that separate children from their parents," he said.

Reverend Susan Frederick Gray was also imprisoned for demonstrating against SB 1070. One day before the legislation passed, she joined Reza and hundreds of other activists blocking off the streets of downtown Phoenix, demanding justice.

"The only thing this law is going to do is create a bunch of second-class citizens, which is unfair and immoral," said the Reverend. "Didn’t we fight in the 1950's and 60's so that everyone would be treated equally regardless of skin color? Why are we now turning back the clock and destroying our fundamental principles?" she asked.

The faith leader said that regardless of a person's cultural heritage, "good people" would always be found on the side of justice. Her congregation is multicultural, comprised of African Americans, Whites, Asians and Latinos who have joined forces to continue the fight against SB1070 until the proposed anti-immigrant law is defeated for good.

However, the future of the April 23, 2010 enactment is now in the hands of three judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California. They will issue a verdict on the previous ruling by Judge Susan Bolton after hearing arguments from both sides, and will have no deadline to reach their decision.


STORY TAGS: HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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