Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
There’s going to be a showdown at the infamous Maricopa County Tent City Jail this Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m.
No, Sheriff Joe Arpaio won’t be shooting it out with Randy Parraz.
Saturday night– at the Tent City, a symbol of shame and cruelty– the side of hatered and bigotry (AKA Sheriff Joe) will meet those standing the side of love (AKA a few thousand Unitarian Universalists, parterning with Puente Arizona, and social justice other groups).
Approximately 4000 UUs from across the country are in Phoenix this week for their annual General Assembly, four days of workshops on social justice, community service, worship, and action.
Saturday’s vigil at the Tent City is being billed as the UUs’ Standing on the Side of Love Wittness for Justice because, obviously, there is no justice for the inmates in the Tent City (especially when the temperatures are over 110 degrees).
From the Standing on the Side of Love website…
We will shine a light on the culture of cruelty perpetrated in our name by state governments that pass anti-immigrant laws like SB 1070 that lead to racial profiling and discrimination; and by a federal government whose practices both at the border and via an increasingly for-profit system of mass detention and deportation have created a culture of fear that terrorizes entire communities, makes us all less safe, and simply does not reflect our nation’s values.
“The main point is to show national disapproval of Arizona’s immigration laws,” [UU spokesman Steve] Carl said. “Arizona is at the forefront of human violations and leading the way for other states in the country.”
In response to the thought of 1000-4000 liberal pacifists showing up at his doorstep, Sheriff Joe has decided to lock down all six of the Maricopa County Jails for Saturday. Come on, Joe, are you afraid of a few thousand old white folks? I guess you are. If they were brown, you could just beat them up, run them off with dogs and guns, or lock them up.
If you want to join in the peaceful demonstration, check out the event on Facebook or the UU website.
You can never have too many witnesses to injustice.
Originally posted on Blog for Arizona on June 21, 2012.