Bobby Parker

Arizonans March Against SB1070

Filed By Bobby Parker | June 01, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Arizona, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Phoenix, protest march, SB1070

Pictures are worth a thousand words. I've attached some from Saturday's huge rally and march in Phoenix after the jump.

Luis.jpgOne little guy, Luis, about five years old, grabbed a hard hat and a bullhorn and marched up and down the sidewalk chanting phrases in Spanish. I am convinced that this SB1070 has created youth who will be active their whole lives in fighting to right wrongs. I see Luis' counterparts in the young high school students who organized ten high schools in a protest walkout this past month. They walked all the way to the Capitol and surrounded it by the thousands in a human line of protest.

It brought tears to my eyes that many, many of the marchers yesterday could not communicate with me in English but did communicate with smiles and friendly waves as I stood and took pictures. They were hot and tired but determined to make their point.

Their signs tell the whole story. The march was so large it took over an hour and a half from the starting point to the last stragglers, yet The Republic, Arizona's largest newspaper, covered the counter assembly in Tempe FOR the SB1070 law. There were tens of thousands who walked within a block of the newspaper's HQ, willing to bring their whole families out in the extreme Arizona heat (near 100 degrees) to protest SB1070, and yet The Republic did not cover it. Instead they chose to bring their support to the 5,000 people in a Tempe stadium, led by the Arizona Tea Party, blind to what was going on before their eyes downtown.

To see so many mothers with red faces from pushing strollers for six miles, obviously close to heat exhaustion, but willing to put it all on the line in this cause. These are people fighting for their economic lives.

As a gray, gay, gringo Arizona political activist, sometimes it is hard for me to fit in. If stopped, no one will think twice about my immigration status, even though I'm only a second generation immigrant myself on my father's side of the family. Many of the families I observed yesterday had been here lots longer than me.

So I don't try, I just go there to show support. I observe from the crowd and each time I get a chance I chant with everyone and support them in protesting this unjust law. As a member of the Arizona Stonewall Democrats, I handed out thousands of stickers yesterday that say on them Equal Means Equal. I want them to know that the GLBT community is behind their efforts and we're on the front line with much as we can be.

I ride my bike for exercise everyday in Steele Indian School Park whee the rallying point was yesterday. There are wise sayings from many Indian tribes about life and how to live it. One I like is in the Friendship Circle, where Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about how life and living is one big round...the earth is round, the moon and stars are round, the tepee is get the point. We're all connected in many ways.

I kept thinking, what goes around comes around... if they're not picking on the illegal immigrants, they will be picking on this old, white gay grandpa!

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Once again, thank you, Bobby. You are one of the people who make me feel proud to say I came from there. Abby Jensen posted a lot of photos from the march. As a veteran, I loved the poster that had pictures of Hispanic Marines.

Of course the Republic was at the tea bagger rally...