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NAKASEC Blogs: From Arizona, On the Eve of our March

By January 17, 2010 No Comments

<Written from Guadalupe, AZ the night before the Arpaio’s America IS NOT Our America march and rally>

Originally posted on Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

For months, social justice groups across the nation have had Sheriff Joe Arpaio on their radar as one of the worst manifestations of our broken immigration system. Today, I’m writing as I sit on a bus full of Los Angeles community members who are committed to take action against the inhumane enforcement methods of Sheriff Arpaio.

Earlier this morning when we gathered at the UCLA Labor Center, we were able to meet all the people boarding the bus – they were students, workers, and parents. We made our first stop in San Bernardino to support an action against the county’s 287(g) agreement, which is leading to similar unjust raids and deportations.

After lunch, we were back on the road to Arizona. Spirits were and continue to be high even in the face of impending threats. We held a “Know Your Rights” training on the bus in order to be best prepared for possible sticky situations tomorrow. We are now all handily rehearsed to deliver two lines in the case of confrontation, “I am going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer.”

Tomorrow, January 16th, we will join thousands from Arizona and even from as far as the east coast to march together against Sheriff Arpaio and the egregious human rights violations that have taken place under his direction in Maricopa County, the fifth largest county in the United States.

We’re not sure what to expect tomorrow, but we do know that we’re in an important moment. The dinner conversations shared with our host here in Guadalupe, a pueblo within Maricopa County, were a stark reminder of our broken immigration system. Our evening personally led to greater awareness for those of us joining from L.A., but a lot more work must be done.

On Saturday evening, I will be reporting back on the march against Arpaio. Throughout the day, you can follow our live tweets at www.twitter.com/nakasec, videos at www.qik.com/krcla, become a fan on Facebook, or visit our website at http://www.nakasec.org.

The National Asian American Pacific Islander week of action from Jan. 12-20 is a collaborative effort among national, state and local AAPI organizations and allies to demonstrate the collective power and voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the comprehensive immigration reform debate. Coordinated outreach and events across the nation will engage community members in the broader Reform Immigration FOR America campaign and show Congress that the AAPI community is serious about demanding reform this year.

Olivia Park is a staff member at NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium). NAKASEC is a co-chair of the AAPI constituency table of the Reform Immigration FOR America campaign.