Feature: Social Goodness

Festival for Human Rights

Author: Tim Paynter
Published: May 24, 2010 at 4:59 pm


It is no secret the State of Arizona passed the toughest anti-immigrant legislation in the history of the United States when Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law.  What is a bit of a secret is the protest against the law to be held in Phoenix, Arizona starting on May 28th, 2010.

Under SB 1070, law enforcement is required to detain any person they suspect is in Arizona without documents.  Since most undocumented workers are "of color" the law places an unreasonable burden upon minorities for investigation.  The law also makes it illegal for a U.S. citizen of any race to transport an undocumented worker.  Hence, a citizen who drives his friend to church, for example, could find himself on the wrong side of the law.

In protest, opponents of HB 1070 have planned a number of events, one of which is an event called the Festival for Human Rights, which begins Friday, May 28th at 6:00 p.m. (Tonatierra - Nahuacalli, 802 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ). 

The festival is a concert of sorts. Some of the acts who will be performing include: Los Jornaleros del Norte, Olmeca, Outernational, FE of the group In Lak Ech, The Haymarket Squares and the group Mazameh. More bands are in the works. IN addition to music, there will be an art show, a film festival, and a cultural marketplace.

The National Day of Action will be held on May 29th and begin with a march, which is expected to be five miles long. 

Other events have been penciled in for the rest of the weekend, including protest workshops.

"We are living in historical times where we do not have the luxury to be spectators while a hurricane of hate destroys our families, our dreams, our businesses and our work," said Salvador Reza of the website PuenteAZ which translates to "Bridge Arizona."

Starting tonight, cars and buses and caravans from all over the country will pull onto highways leading to Phoenix, Arizona so they can show their support for these and other events. 

Organizers of these and other events, envision a Woodstock-like movement where swells of protesters show up in support of peace and justice. 

And, as the saying goes, (hopefully) these are the times when history is made, not planned.


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Article Author: Tim Paynter

Tim Paynter is an attorney and human rights activist based in Denver, Colorado. He is a tireless fighter for abused women, children at risk, those ravaged by poverty, and those fighting for dignity in the United States.

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