Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More about protesting against Republican policy in Tucson

Update, 4/20/06: the fuckin idiot who burned the Mexican Flag was arrested, according to the Star. They just mentioned it in passing and did not say why. Apparently 20 or so people attended a meeting and spoke out against the local police using pepper spray and etc, and that was the subject of the article.

It seems to particularly rile the state's backwards right wing legislators that youth have become interested in speaking out against Republican immigration policy. State Representative Jonathan Patton of Tucson is up in arms over local school district's use of buses to take kids back to school from protests. Patton is also busily working up the hocus-pocus machine against U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva- one of the few Democrats not afraid to speak out against Bush and Company- for giving a speech to students at Tucson High School about the current immigration legislation and Grijalva's role in it. The speech was after Monday's protests. So a congressman with an Hispanic surname giving a speech to students in his district is enough to get the congressman on our good local Republican Jonathan Patton's shitlist! Wow. I can't think of a better illustration of stupidity and racism and attacking freedom of speech than this. I can't think of a better illustration of current trends in "Nuevo Republicanism" - stamp out debate and opposition, create a fuss like there's something wrong with it, divert attention away from the issue at hand, etc. etc.

The story in the Star I refer to above is here.

The Arizona Daily Wildcat, the University's daily, ran a couple stories about the Monday round of protesting- one about the local side of things and the other about state angle. 100,000 to 200,000 people turned out in Phoenix, by the way, depending on who ya talk to.

One of the stories included an excellent picture of what is apparently a pair of fools or professional troublemakers burning a Mexican flag in the middle of the protest. Just trying to get people pissed off and make everyone else look like fools, give the protest a dangerous, violent, unruly subtext.

According to one of the Wildcat stories the current Republican bill, HR 4437, would "require church and humanitarian aid organizations to check the citizenship of parishioners before they provide any assistance." So if you're a U.S. citizen, or anybody at all, and you go to a church and ask for help, you have to prove your citizenship. There you have current Republican philosophy in a nutshell- no ethics, no presumtion of privacy, no attempt to mind their own business.

But the Republicans in government, as many "real" Republicans will tell you, are actually supposed to represent us the people!! Not xenophobes, people who think everyone has to join their church "or else," or other whackos, but those of us who are a part of civil society, who acknowledge that we all want the same things in life from the government, etc. The protests over immigration seem to say a lot of people's voices are not being properly represented in the current round of Republican domination. One student put it succintly:
"I think that there needs to be a counter voice to the conservative right that has been pretty outspoken," said Brett Lovick, a Latin American studies graduate student. "I think that (conservatives) are a minority, but I think that they have had a much louder voice."

No comments: