Originally posted at Crooks and Liars.
This May 1st, immigrant communities and citizens alike will hit the streets to say no to Arizona’s new “show me your papers law” and yes to real, federal action on immigration reform this year. Eighty cities across the country are gearing up for major rallies, marches, and protests tomorrow. Students who had come in from New York, Florida, and California to participate in the Washington protests led their own action in front of Governor Jan Brewer’s DC office today. They chanted, “Arizona, Shame On You! Immigrants Are People, Too!”
Tomorrow’s marches are a follow-up to the major March for America: Change Takes Courage, which drew over 200,000 people to the National Mall on March 21st. At that event, President Obama delivered a firm message promising he’d work on comprehensive immigration reform “this year.” Now, with Arizona’s new law driving already-desperate communities into action, we’re likely to see events in Chicago, New York, and L.A. turn out tens of thousands of people.
At the DC event, 40 protestors will go so far as to risk arrest, praciticing peaceful civil disobedience in the face of cyncial Washington politics.
Deepak Bhargava, Excecutive Director of the Center for Community Change, writes today at Huffington Post:
Tomorrow, there will be over 80 demonstrations in favor of immigration reform across America. One of them will be in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. There, some 40 dignitaries including a member of Congress, clergy, heads of organizations and community leaders will likely be arrested in acts of civil disobedience against unjust immigration enforcement and the political cowardice in addressing our broken immigration system. I will be one of those getting arrested.
I am willing to get arrested tomorrow because the massive deportations being undertaken by the Obama Administration are tearing apart families, separating children from their parents, risking the lives of disabled immigrants and vulnerable refugees, and spreading terror into our communities. I will be arrested because America needs to understand immigration reform is not merely a political issue; our broken system is a moral disaster unfolding in our nation. Civil disobedience is important at this point because it signals to our leaders that the current situation is so unjust and unsustainable that people are no longer willing to comply or be complicit in the injustices committed by our government.