Human Rights Protests Interrupt Scheduled Raids on First Day of SB 1070


Human Rights Protests Interrupt Scheduled Raids on First Day of SB 1070
Sheriff Retaliates with Targeted Wrongful Arrest of Salvador Reza, Leader of the Puente Movement
At Initial Hearing Prosecutor and Judge Agree, “I can find no probable cause” for this arrest.

For Immediate Release (July 31, 2010)
Chris Newman, NDLON. (323) 380-2784
Opal Tometi, Puente. (602) 349-1073

Phoenix, AZ. July 31, 2010.
The day after Judge Bolton’s partial injunction of Arizona SB 1070, communities across the globe participated in an International Day of Non-Compliance. The escalation of activities and the expansion of their reach demonstrate a turning point in the movement for human rights in Arizona.

The events signaled that the partial injunction would not solve the humanitarian crisis in Arizona. Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement stated, “There is no partial solution to hatred. We reject unconstitutional laws and racist immigration practices that separate families and rob us of our basic humanity.”

Organizers drew the root cause of the issue to President Obama’s federal enforcement ICE access programs that empower local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. Protestors called on the President to end the criminalization of migrant communities with “the stroke of a pen.”

Beginning with a banner that was unfurled from a 230 ft. tall construction crane in Phoenix the night before, Phoenix witnessed more than 80 protesters arrested in acts of civil disobedience credited with interrupting the raids Sheriff Arpaio planned on doing in the middle of the day.

On Friday, Sheriff Deputies wrongfully arrested Salvador Reza, a leader of the Arizona-based Puente Movement. Reza was entering his car across the street from the entrance to Sheriff Arpaio’s jail where 11 concerned people of conscience had in an unrelated act earlier placed their bodies in the way of the Sheriff’s vehicles en route to raid another neighborhood.

Calls instantly began to spread via social networking sites to “Free Sal,” claiming the human rights activist as a political prisoner. Upon initial appearance, the judge and prosecutor agreed that there was no evidence of any probable cause.

“Now human rights activists are being detained by the Sheriff. What more needs to happen for President Obama to reconsider his programs and take real action to solve the humanitarian crisis in Arizona,” asked Carlos Garcia of the Puente Movement after Reza’s arrest.

Follow @ndlon and @puenteaz on Twitter.

Photos available