Phoenix police make massive protestor arrests www.privateofficer.com
Police riot teams moved into place after 10 a.m. and paddy wagons were brought in anticipation of arrests. One woman was accused of pushing an officer at the main melee at Cesar Chavez plaza and was arrested on suspicion of failing to obey officers.
The protesters were chanting “Hey ho, hey ho, SB 1070 has got to go,” referring to Senate Bill 1070.
At least eight protesters approached a police line at the nearby office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and allowed themselves to be arrested. A group of about two dozen protesters then sat down in the middle of the street or refused to leave, and police arrested them as well.
Protesters banged drums and shouted, “Sheriff Joe, we are here. We will not live in fear.”
Earlier, three people were detained at the federal courthouse where a judge issued a ruling Wednesday blocking parts of the law from taking effect. The three people detained at the courthouse — including former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002 —apparently entered a closed-off area.
Even though a federal judge on Wednesday blocked key provisions of the state legislation, rallies protests, prayer vigils and acts of civil disobedience are scheduled throughout the day.
The provisions of the law that were not blocked took effect at 12:01 a.m. Gov. Jan Brewer’s legal team is expected to file an expedited appeal of the judge’s order with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sometime Thursday.
For most of the morning, the mood was calm, with occasional outbursts of chant and song.
But it was clear that law enforcement was prepared for any problems that might develop.
Phoenix police officers were posted at every street corner, and their squad cars and motorcycles lines the streets for blocks.
A group of legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild was also on site, providing protestors an opportunity to fill out paperwork with familial contact information, name and date of birth in case they got arrested.
“We want to make sure they don’t get lost in the system,” said Thomas Cincotta, of Boston, who said he was a researcher at Political Research Associates.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it is expecting acts of civil disobedience at several places around the area.
In a pre-emptive release, Arpaio said his office was bracing for “massive numbers of protesters” at the jail, where all local agencies bring their arrestees for booking.
As a security measure, the sheriff has canceled public visitation at the jail and put all inmates on a 24-hour lockdown.
“These irresponsible individuals (who) plan to create so much congestion around the jail that we cannot accept prisoners will end up prisoners themselves,” said Arpaio, who has beefed up security measures for himself and his staff.
Arpaio planned to launch another “crime suppression operation” in west Phoenix Thursday, one day after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton took the teeth out of Arizona’s immigration-enforcement law.
A key piece of the law that Bolton blocked on Wednesday would have allowed deputies to arrest some of those suspects for violating the new law if they weren’t carrying registration documents.
“That would have been a nice little extra twist if we could have locked them up instead of handing them over to ICE,” Arpaio said Wednesday after Bolton’s ruling.
Thursday’s operation marks the 17th time Arpaio has deployed hundreds of deputies and volunteer posse members to root out illegal immigrants.
Arpaio has scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference to launch the operation.
Thursday’s protests and marches began with a prayer vigil and march from the Arizona State Capitol to the Trinity Cathedral in downtown Phoenix.
The early morning march started off small with just about 100 people, but has been picking up steam.