FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 06-10
Days That Shook Asia
Obama's Nuke Rhetoric
GMOs in Food
Greece & Crisis
Global War on Tribes
Zaps - 06-10
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Immigration Fight at the AZ Corral
Arizona is in the grip of anti-immigrant fever. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose popularity has been built on his tough enforcement tactics and willingness to defy the federal government, is on the verge of a run for governor. Even if he doesn't run, the state has a controversial new law, SB 1070, that requires police to determine the status of anyone if there is a "reasonable suspicion" they are in the U.S. illegally—and arrest them if documents can't be produced. Hiring day laborers off the street has also become a crime.
Supporters see the law as an anti-crime measure and part of a larger campaign to secure the border. Opponents call it racial profiling and claim it is unconstitutional.
Governor Jan Brewer, the Republican who replaced Janet Napolitano when she became Obama's Homeland Security chief, waited as long as possible before taking a position on SB 1070. Caught between a conservative primary challenge and the prospect of her state becoming the target of a Latino-led boycott, she issued a border security plan of her own, including increased surveillance, redirecting stimulus money to local law enforcement, and a request to President Obama for more National Guard border support. Then, on April 23, as large crowds protested in Phoenix and Tucson, Brewer signed the bill. Arguing that she was responding to a crisis, she linked her decision to the drug war.
Latino members of Congress had urged Brewer to veto. "When you institutionalize a law like this one, you are targeting and discriminating at a wholesale level against a group of people," Representative Raul Grijalva said. More than 50,000 people signed petitions opposing the law and about 2,500 students from high schools across Phoenix walked out of school and marched to the Capitol. Nine college students were arrested for chaining themselves to the Capitol building doors to pressure the governor.
Interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley calls it an unfounded mandate that is "tearing the community apart" and pledges that, despite the law's thrust, he will focus on organized crime syndicates engaged in human smuggling.
Tourism and business leaders worry that the law will discourage visitors and economic development, comparing it to what happened when another Arizona governor rescinded recognition of Martin Luther King Day as a holiday in 1987. At least $300 million in income was lost and the NFL pulled the Super Bowl from Phoenix. Eventually, voters approved the holiday.
Despite the social and economic dangers, Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain supported the law, but have also unveiled their own 10-point plan, including deploying 3,000 National Guard to the border, 24/7 monitoring by aerial vehicles, permanent addition of 3,000 Custom and Border Protection agents, and the completion of 700 miles of fencing.
The Arizona legislation "is exactly why the federal government must act on immigration reform," argues state Democratic leader Jorge Luis Garcia. "We cannot have states creating a jigsaw puzzle of immigration laws. This bill opens the door to racial profiling with the provision that allows an officer to ask for citizenship papers from someone who only looks illegal." The Arizona law also plays into the "state's rights" thrust of the current anti-federal government surge.
When Napolitano was governor, she vetoed similar bills. She was relatively tough on immigration, especially on businesses that hired undocumented people, imposing what she called a "business death penalty"—basically taking away licenses from those violating an employer sanctions law. However, she opposed punishing immigrants who were already here and didn't think much of a border fence: "You show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder." Things have changed since she left.
Anti-immigrant sentiment is a persistent theme in U.S. politics. In 1996, for example, when then-California Governor Pete Wilson announced that undocumented pregnant women should be denied prenatal care, his underlying message was clear and brutal: "If you're 'illegal,' get out of our country." Wilson's statement came at another dangerous time, one marked by resurgent racism, increased police brutality, vigilante violence, and rationalization of virtually any attack.
In the early 1980s, low intensity conflict (LIC) theorists constructed a Los Angeles insurrection scenario requiring a military response and sealing the nearby border. A decade later, the Border Patrol played a key role in the LA riots of 1992—deploying troops to Latino communities and arresting more than 1,000 people. Afterward, the INS began working with the Pentagon's Center for Low-Intensity Conflict and the line between civilian and military operations was largely erased.
Throughout the 1990s, Human Rights Watch accused the U.S. Border Patrol of routinely abusing people, citing a pattern of beatings, shootings, rapes, and deaths. In response to such treatment, INS detainees in a private jail rioted in June 1995 after being tortured by guards.
After 9/11, the federal government considered placing U.S. soldiers along the Mexican border. Efforts to curtail immigration through tighter security have done little but redirect the flow into the most desolate areas of the border, increasing the mortality rate of those crossing. Between 1998 and 2004, at least 1,900 people died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. In recent years, Arizona has become the main entry point into the U.S. An estimated 460,000 live in the state, but the total has dropped by at least 100,000 since 2008.
During the last 5 years, around 200 people have died annually along the Arizona border in wilderness areas, according to medical-examiner data compiled by the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu charges that "numerous" officers have been killed by illegal immigrants and that the violence has reached "epidemic proportions." Although it's true violence has risen, the main spikes in crime have been in home invasions and kidnapping, both of which are linked to the drug war and organized crime based in Mexico.
Anti-immigrant activists deny charges of racism, but the facts tell a different story. Almost unlimited numbers of immigrants from mostly white, European countries are allowed into the U.S., while Latin Americans and Africans rarely get tourist visas. Although sweatshops that employ undocumented workers are condemned, they aren't often shut down, but merely raided, resulting in deportations. The owners may be fined, but they still come out ahead as deported workers can't collect back wages.
The Arizona law makes police go after anyone whose look or dress is "suspicious," yet does little to toughen the employer sanctions legislation passed in 2007, which gave authorities the power to suspend or revoke business licenses of employers caught knowingly hiring illegal workers. It required businesses to use E-Verify to check the work eligibility of new employees. Since then, only two cases have been settled in which the employers admitted guilt.
More than 150 years ago, at the end of the war between Mexico and the U.S., the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. Many Latinos still feel that the treaty, accepted under pressure by a corrupt dictator, was an act of theft violating international law. Mexico surrendered half its territory—now the Southwestern United States—and most of the Mexicans who stayed in the ceded region ultimately lost their lands. In a sense, that war never ended. Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, U.S. officials, working closely with white settlers and elites, often used violent means to subdue Mexicans in the region.
Once the region was "pacified," border enforcement became a tool to regulate the flow of labor into the U.S. With the passage of the 1924 Immigration Act, the Border Patrol emerged as gatekeeper of a "revolving door," sometimes processing immigrant labor, sometimes cracking down. The Bracero Program, which brought in Mexican agricultural laborers, was followed (and overlapped) by Operation Wetback, an INS-run military offensive against immigrant workers.
During recent decades, government strategies for combating undocumented immigration and drug trafficking have re-militarized the region. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) meshed with more obvious aspects of LIC doctrine. The definition of immigration and drug trafficking as "national security" issues has brought state-of-the-art military approaches into domestic affairs. But just as the projection of a "communist menace" was a smokescreen for post-war expansionism, a "brown wave," the "drug war," and "terrorism" have been used as pretexts for military-industrial penetration.
LIC doctrine uses diverse tactics—from the subtle and psychological ("winning hearts and minds") to the obvious and brutal. Such flexibility requires the most sophisticated tools available and the integration of police, paramilitary, and military forces. It also requires a plausible "enemy," in this case, immigrants who can be accused of almost anything and abused with impunity. In this kind of war, battles are waged everywhere, even in communities far from a frontier. This blurs the line between police and the military and further threatens basic rights.
According to Census Bureau predictions, Latinos will soon be the largest minority group in the U.S.—at least 44 million (or 15 percent of the nation's population). Although the biggest expansion will occur in states that draw the most immigrants—California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey—the spill-over will reach from Atlanta to Minneapolis and Washington State. California is expected to be at least 50 percent Latino by 2040. Overall, immigration is fueling U.S. population growth and the Census Bureau predicts a tripling of the Hispanic and Asian populations in less than 50 years. While the number of whites may increase by 7 percent, the 3 largest minorities—Hispanic, Black, and Asian—are expected to rise by 188, 71, and 213 percent respectively, making them at least 47 percent of the total U.S. population by 2050. While such forecasts have much to do with the current anti-immigrant hysteria, the trend won't be reversed by race-motivated legislation.
According to Senator Russell Pearce, architect of the plan, the idea is to wipe out the "sanctuary policies of cities." He says that politicians and others have handcuffed the police, keeping them from finding and arresting those in this country illegally. State action is necessary, he adds, because of political failure in Washington.
Democratic Senator Rebecca Rios agrees that the federal government hasn't done enough to secure the border, but doesn't think this is the answer. "This bill does nothing to address human smuggling, the drug cartels, the arms smuggling," she says. "It creates a lot of negative effects that none of us here want," she adds. "And, yes, I believe it will create somewhat of a police state."
In addition to pushing through a roundup of "illegals" by any means necessary, Arizona lawmakers are considering legislation that would require any future presidential candidate to produce a U.S. birth certificate—a nod to those who think Obama isn't a citizen. The governor has already signed a law letting people carry concealed weapons without a permit and another saying that federal laws don't apply to weapons and ammunition manufactured in Arizona. The picture emerging is of a state that's armed and paranoid, hostile to federal oversight, and suspicious of anyone who looks or talks like an outsider.
The immigration law, along with other recent legislation, support for the "birther" movement, and the statement by J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging McCain, that same-sex marriage laws would lead to men marrying horses is causing many people to ask: "What's wrong with Arizona?"
In some respects, its situation is unique. Combined with its proximity to the border, there is the enormous growth of Phoenix, the arrival of many transplants from Eastern cities and California, and a general disinterest in politics that has let things careen out of control. Turnout is low for primary election, and the legislature is more conservative than the general public. This has created an opening for figures like Pearce, who has associated with Nazis, and for Hayworth and Arpaio, who have become influential political allies.
Arizona represents an extreme manifestation of the anger and reactionary sentiments roiling across the country. For them the U.S. is hot dogs and apple pie and they have no desire to change their diets. They want "their country" back, with Sheriff Arpaio as an immigrant-hunting Wyatt Earp, plus a tough new law on the books.
Greg Guma is an author, editor, and former executive director of Pacifica Radio. In the mid-1990s he headed the leading immigrant legal services group in New Mexico. He currently lives in Arizona and writes about politics on his blog, Maverick Media.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.