Friday, 03 August 2012 00:00 Published in Marisa Franco
In the magic hour, under the light of a full moon it was a long good bye in Phoenix Arizona for a group setting off to defy unjust laws in order to dignify them.
The scene was frenetic. A group hunched over a generator, trying out the 5th theory of how to kick start some a/c. The flowing finishing touches of clear coat paint, a labor of love created by many different people. Bags being packed, like a crowded freeway when everyone’s trying to get home.
Once on the plane, leaving Phoenix, I peered down at my feet. Bad choice to wear chanclas (that’s flip flops or cholas in case you wonderin’) on a long day, the Supreme Court 1070 decision day. The week before had been full and buzzing busy with the General Assmebly of the Universalist Unitarians, which culminated with several thousand people coming to witness at the doorsteps of Sheriff Arpaio’s infamous tent city. Then on Monday, starting early, many of us gathered to wait for the decision. And it was a decision I think most probably expected. A whirlwind day, humid for Phoenix standards where folks jumped into the fray to offer their perspective to the decision. And a day where we ended up gathering at the ICE offices in Central Phoenix, to punctuate our response and resolve. I left the rally to catch a flight back to Seattle, and there I am, on the plane with a bit of a surreal feeling, multiple layers of sweat, and my dirty feet. Sit back and try to orient myself. What just happened and what now?
It honestly felt a bit like de ja vu. Like I been here before.
A mixed decision, one that stopped several provisions of the law but also allowed to move forward what many call the heart of 1070 – the part that says that in a lawful stop, law enforcement can ask people who they ‘reasonably suspect’ as not being in the state legally for their documentation.
Now that the dust has cleared, I can see why both sides claimed victory.
Power blue sky blushes at sunset. A welcome sight after a hard day of heat in Phoenix Arizona. After rush hour dies down, in any given barrio in the valley you can hear the sound of kids playing in the street if you listen hard enough. Somewhere, friends have met for happy hour, football practice is starting, dinner is on the stove. I sit on my momma’s porch, give the chicano nod to cars cruising by when I recognize the drivers. Born and bred in this place, I find myself here again, after having been gone for years. And every time I come home, there are some things I recognize, some things I don’t. Just like I am still the same, and somehow, now different.
I’m back in Arizona once again, we await the Supreme Court decision on the case between the state of Arizona and the federal government. I’m reposting two articles I wrote a few years ago in the days after the passage of Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona. I was back home, in a moment of upheaval, outrage and determination to respond. This article comes from the days before the July 29th actions & civil disobedience. -m
—- and now back to it…
So I have to say, I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the passage of SB1070. I wasn’t surprised because every time I come home, I hear stories of ‘el Arpaio’, or I hear about the latest law that got passed banning this or ticketing you for that. I remember how Arizona was the last state to recognize a Dr. Martin Luther King holiday, I remember the countless attempts to undo affirmative action, ban bilingual education, copy laws like Proposition 187 from California.
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About the Author
Marisa currently works as Campaign Coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She joined NDLON’s staff during the upsurge of movement in reaction to human rights crisis in her native state of Arizona. She continues to support the emerging human rights movement in Arizona, along with local campaigns to end criminalization across the country. Marisa comes out of multi-racial organizing across community and labor issues. Previously she has worked for POWER, Domestic Workers United, Right to the City Alliance and helped form the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is a from Guadalupe, Arizona and studied at Arizona State University. Read more of Marisa's writing on at http://lafranx.wordpress.com/ and follow her on twitter at @marisa_franco.
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