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Minnesota protest against SB1070 and epidemic of anti-immigrant laws

By brad

Protest at State Capitol targets SB1070 and Minnesota’s copycat bill

Anh Pham speaks at July 29, 2010 rally in St. Paul against SB1070

Saint Paul, MN – On July 29, the day Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB1070 took effect, 250 people rallied against it at the State Capitol in St. Paul, MN. This was one of many actions around the country on the national day of action. The rally aimed to keep pressure on for the full repeal of SB1070, and for the repeal of the federal 287g program that allows local police to carry out immigration laws. The rally was held at the state capitol to send a strong message to Minnesota legislators against Minnesota's SB1070 copycat bill, HF3830.

The protest was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) and the Boycott Arizona Minnesota (BAM!) campaign. Speakers at the rally included Javier Morrillo, President of SEIU Local 26, who made clear that the struggle to stop SB1070 is not over just because of the judge’s temporary injunction against a few parts of the law. In a statement he said, “Judge Bolton's decision demonstrates what we have known all along – a 50-state patchwork of conflicting, costly state laws will not solve our immigration problems.”

Anh Pham of MIRAc spoke at the rally about the history of racism and national oppression against Chicanos and Mexicans in Arizona. She said, “The whole Southwest, including Arizona, was once all part of Mexico until the mid-1800s. After the Mexican-American War, the US gained the northern territories of Mexico, which included the area all the way from Texas to California. It is no joke that for some the border truly did cross them. Now I’m not here to give a history lesson, but when I hear some of the politicians and newscasters talk about ‘illegal aliens’, you would think that one day people woke up to find that Chicanos and Latinos suddenly appeared out of real flying saucers.” Pham also talked about the more recent history of racism in Arizona, like the fact that in the 1980s Arizona was the last state in the country to honor Martin Luther King day as an official holiday.

Marco Davila and Ana Vasquez also spoke, explaining the various anti-immigrant laws and proposals, and laying out the next steps for the immigrant rights movement in Minnesota. It was announced that MIRAc is joining the national protest campaign to pressure Major League Baseball to move the All Star game out of Arizona, with a protest planned for August 11.

A guerrilla theater action was part of the rally, in which four people dressed as emergency public health workers in orange jumpsuits and medical face masks cordoned off the steps of the capitol with “CAUTION” tape, declaring they were quarantining it from the epidemic of anti-immigrant laws around the country. The four then removed the orange jumpsuits to reveal t-shirts underneath with the message “No one is illegal / Ningun ser humano es ilegal”.

The rally was opened up by Mexica dancers from the West Side of St. Paul, and also featured poetry from spoken word artist BUGS of Poetic Assassins, and music by guitarist Kestral.

Javier Morillo of SEIU 26 speaks at St. Paul rally 7/29 against SB1070

Quarantining the State Capitol in guerrilla theater at 7/29 protest vs SB1070

#SaintPaulMN #Arizona #BoycottArizona #SB1070 #287g