On the ground in Arizona
The beautiful skies belied the concerns of the 3000 persons gathered in front of the Arizona Capitol on Sunday, April 25th. Two days earlier Governor Brewer signed SB 1070 bringing tears of disbelief and causing anxiety about the future of our state. Will Arizona be a state which will tolerate this hateful and wrongheaded law that stigmatizes people of color or accent, deprives liberties and divides communities? The diverse crowd answered with a resounding NO.
Speakers from inside and outside of Arizona addressed the crowd’s concerns. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon talked about the legal avenues being undertaken to fight the law. Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez brought words of encouragement that Washington hears our cries, but cautioned to keep the pressure up.
30 Unitarian Universalists joined the crowd with Standing on the Side of Love shirts, signs and banners. We received heartfelt hugs and thank yous and requests to work together. I was especially taken by one seasoned man who spoke no English and brought his family to the rally. He firmly held an Standing on the Side of Love sign throughout the afternoon. My thoughts will be with him and his family.
Bill Lace is an immigration activist in Phoenix, Arizona.