Sunday, May 23, 2010

Opposing SB 1070 With Direct Action: From Alabama to Arizona

Recently, a coalition consisting of Native Americans, immigrants and Anglo supporters stepped up the opposition to Arizona's new immigration statute -- SB 1070-- by taking "direct action." The activists took over the border patrol offices at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in a "lock box" maneuver. (Billy Wharton, Rights Activists Seize Air Force Base in Bold SB 1070 Protest, Bronx County Independent, May 21, 2010). The coalition said that they were seeking to "bring back indigenous forms of freedom of movement across borders" and that "border militarization destroys indigenous communities." (Id.) The protesters further called SB 1070 "an attack on all communities of color in the state." (Id.) Martin Luther King Jr. described the theory and practice behind such "direct action" in his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail" as follows: "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community that has consistently refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to dramatize the issue so that it can no longer be ignored."

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