Saturday, November 20, 2010

Study: 100,000 Hispanics left Arizona after SB1070

A new study suggests there may be 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than there were before the debate over the state's tough new immigration law earlier this year.

BBVA Bancomer Research, which did the study, worked with figures from the U.S. Current Population Survey. The study says the decline could be due to the law known as SB1070, which partly entered into effect in July, or to Arizona's difficult economic situation.

The study released Wednesday also cites Mexican government figures as saying that 23,380 Mexicans returned from Arizona to Mexico between June and September.

U.S. census figures from 2008 say about 30 percent of people living in Arizona are Hispanic, or about 1.9 million.

The state is appealing a ruling that put on hold parts of the law, which would have allowed police to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.

Immigrants are heavily employed in Arizona's construction industry, which has suffered _ along with the rest of the state's economy _ in the economic downturn.

In that and other studies released at the Global Forum on Migration and Development in the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta, BBVA Bancomer Research _ part of the financial group of the same name _ estimated that probably about 720,000 Mexican migrants were unemployed in the United States when the study concluded in late October.

The study also predicts that remittances _ the money sent home by migrants working abroad _ won't recover their peak value of about $26 billion until 2012 or 2013.

Remittances fell in 2008 and 2009, largely because of the U.S. slowdown.

Remittances are Mexico's second-largest source of foreign income after oil exports. Nearly all of the money comes from the U.S., where nearly 12 million Mexicans live.

The research center also estimated that remittances were dwarfed by the amount of money Mexican migrants paid in taxes in the United States _ about $53 billion in 2008.

The Fascists Already Have the Keys and the Handcuffs


I've heard that even with the success of protesters holding up the nazis for over an hour from starting their rally last weekend, some folks still insist that they should just be ignored. True, they wouldn't have had an audience and perhaps no media coverage had no one showed up to oppose them. While I'm interested in what the opposition may have accomplished as far as the NSM's enthusiasm or ability to organize in this city goes, I am also interested in some differences in media coverage and what that might mean.

Last year, observations were made that at least one TV channel's coverage simply characterized the NSM rally as an anti-immigrant rally (well, that probably wasn't their wording). They showed the seig heils and uniforms and such, but they made no reference to their extremist politics. I thought this was good in a way- blurring the lines between swastika-wearing NSM extremists and the extremists who wear suits or police uniforms and deny their racism is probably a good thing. Especially since most of those who oppose the NSM tend to ignore the other anti-immigrant rallies and tea-party rallies (much of which overlap). On the other hand, it is important for people to know that there are actual nazis in town (okay, a lot of the ones who actually organize are from out of town, fortunately) and that nazis LOVE SB 1070. The resistance against the NSM march and rally brought this out into the limelight.

Not so long ago, NSM members JT Ready (not in NSM anymore but affiliated is what we hear) and Harry Hughes (both attended this last NSM rally), called on others to patrol areas of Pinal County to for migrants. Phoenix Insurgent writes in reference to Stephen Lemons' column, "one of the things I picked up on was Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's failure to denounce the Nazi composition of the patrols. Sure, he says that he doesn't think the patrols would be helpful, but it seems as if Babeu, like the local media (with the exception of Lemons), has opted to treat Ready's little Nazi crew as legitimate, giving him a pass on his white supremacist beliefs and his many violent threats. Consider the fact the two media headlines about the event identify the NSM in the title only as a 'militia', not as Nazis or even a 'Nazi militia'. A more honest characterization would surely change the way people view the action" (Source). The Feathered Bastard has also pointed out how newscasters are hesitant to call Nazis what they are.

This weekend, however, the media is being much more clear about who was being opposed. "Neo-Nazi march met by protesters in Phoenix" was Channel 3's headline. "Police Arrest 2 In Clash With Neo-Nazis" was Channel 5's. Channel 10: "Neo-Nazis Protest in Downtown Phoenix".

In some ways it is useful that they are being identified as neo-nazis. In other ways, we mustn't fall into the tendency of seeing the nazis as separate from the other anti-immigrant folks. Within the anti-immigrant movement, they are the fanatics making the others look more legitimate, more reasonable. If we only focus on them, we lose sight of the bigger picture, just as focusing on Arpaio draws opposition away from the other police who make even more arrests but without making a show of it. This comparison also brings up the other point about separating white supremacists from institutional white supremacy/racism, which I brought up in my last post. As pointed out by a sign in a photo on the Prison Abolitionist blog, "The Fascists already have the Keys".

We should consider the ways in which focusing on the fascists legitimizes the other forms of white supremacy- those with more power. This is not to imply that the folks resisting the nazis otherwise ignore these other forms--in fact the protest was in many ways just as much against the police as the nazis. The relationship between the two is explained at the Fires Never Extinguished blog as well, but of course the issue with the police is not only their protection of and participation with nazis, but their role being mostly to enforce the color line such as through police brutality and murder as we saw in the case of Oscar Grant earlier this year.

I hope to see the kind of enthusiasm that surrounds protesting nazis also shown in cases of police brutality and prison issues in the future. There is something to say about how resistance affects the general population's view of things, not to mention the ability of those systems and people to function in the first place.

Arizonans take the streets against fascism, 2 arrested

A few hundred Arizonans showed up ready to hold it down on Saturday, November 13 against the neo-nazi National Socialist Movement. Downtown Phoenix became pretty heated after a large number of people in black bloc attire took the street directly in front of nazis and their protectors the Phoenix Police Department. With a few different banners to help create a blockade people seemingly unaffiliated took space directly in front of the black bloc at times, showing that a lot of people are more than willing to stand up to both the cops and nazis.
There is already plenty of news and videos out there so I won't go on other than to say that police used pepper spray about ten times only to see demonstrators come right back to face them. They also fired pepper balls into the crowd over tops of shields without even aiming, hitting some in the face. After all the action was basically done two people were arrested. One of them from Tucson. Here's something from supporters:
Saturday, November 13th, 2010 the National Socialist Movement gathered in downtown Phoenix, Arizona as a part of their humorously titled “Reclaim the Southwest 2” tour. Politicians in Arizona who draft and sponsor racist legislation, such as Russell Pearce who sponsored SB1070, have been exposed for their connections to leaders of this movement and furthermore the NSM consider themselves to be on the forefront of the push toward more draconian, discriminatory, and racist laws. This year the neo-nazis came to spread their racist ideology and protest the injunctions made to SB 1070 but were met in the streets by a large, diverse crowd of folks who were there to shut them down and send the message that their hate isn’t welcome in Arizona.
The Phoenix Police Department marched and collaborated with the NSM to attack protesters with brute force and weapons such as pepper bullets and pepper spray. If there was ever any doubt in one’s mind of the veracity of claims that the PPD is a racist institution, they can be laid to rest. Minutes before the NSM's permit would have expired the PPD executed their attack on demonstrators and then extended the permit later into the afternoon wasting time, energy, and resources to protect neo-nazis. Police indiscriminately used pepper spray and pepper bullets, causing injury to demonstrators and innocent bystanders alike. Multiple people were shot in the face with pepper bullets as well. The racist PPD, who actually deport more people than the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio, sent undercover officers/antagonists into the crowd of hundreds and into the black bloc working from both sides to target individuals. Photos and written accounts of the day reveal that police officers directed the NSM the entire time and worked alongside them giving orders of where to go, when to tighten up, allowing them to wrap their flags into clubs and move through the police line to instigate and then further their violently racist march.
Two individuals were arbitrarily targeted and arrested at the end of the day to be scapegoats for alleged “assaults.” One of them, Dane Rossman is currently facing 5 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon/dangerous instrument and 1 count of rioting. Dane has done extensive work in numerous communities to resist racism and to create a world that is based on mutual aid. He has been working with No More Deaths since 2007 to do migrant solidarity and humanitarian aid on the US/Mexico border and most recently has been organizing with the Tucson Childcare Collective and Migrapatrol Copwatch to resist the current attacks on Latino communities in Tucson. Dane had a bail of $7,500 that was paid for on November 13th, 2010 through a loan and needs assistance in paying this back and in raising additional legal funds. We are thankful for all the support already received and appreciate your involvement in the fight against fascism!

If you want to help please contact us here and we can put you in touch with the right people.


More video and music from Saturday's confrontation with the NSM

Many folks from Az have probably seen this video but I thought I'd repost it here for our many readers from out of state. It was shot by local videographer Dennis Gilman who was right in the thick of the action. He got some good footage. I still haven't seen any footage of the Nazis choking when that smoke bomb exploded right in the middle of them. I'd sure like to see some responsibly edited footage of that.

Below Gilman's video you'll find the latest local anti-Nazi jam burning up the charts like a cop on fire. I love the increasing creation of music around anarchist actions in town. Keep it coming, the more ways we build our oppositional culture and celebrate and spread the stories of our resistance, the stronger and more broadly understood our resistance will become.