Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Arpaio's forced march


Read the Article | La Frontera Times Circo, maroma y teatro | La Frontera Times

"There was all the symbolism necessary for the glory he seeks: hundreds of brown men dressed in prison stripes with pink underwear protruding from their waists, surrounded by even more heavily armed guards and at a given moment an old man gave a signal and they were marched through a pubic street into a tent jail that would house only other men of their color and status surrounded by a high electrified fence...
and the old man pontificated about the law..."
Read the Full Article | La Frontera Times

Published by Alfredo Gutierrez - 04/02/2009

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapio carried out his threat, his order that “approximately 200 illegal aliens to be chained and marched into a separate area of Tent City, their new place of incarceration until their sentences are served and the illegal aliens are deported to their home countries.”

The march took place on the afternoon of Wednesday February 4, 2009. Over 200 inmates were marched in chains from the Maricopa County Durango Facility Jail to a special unit of Tent city.

The new unit is a segregated facility intended to hold only “illegal aliens”. In a press release sent out earlier Arpaio comments with an obvious attempt at humor: “this population is more adept perhaps at escape. But this is a fence they won’t want to scale because they risk receiving quite a shock-literally.” The fence surrounding the new “illegal alien unit” is the only electrified fence surrounding inmates at Maricopa County’s various jail facilities. This population, Latino’s, are often characterized as being built close to the ground by xenophobes of Arpaio’s ilk so reporters waited vainly for descriptions of anti-tunneling technologies that provided cruel disincentives to escape.

The detainees were marched the short distance, perhaps 200 yards from the Durango Jail to the facility. The parade was on a public road, Gibson Street in Phoenix, but the road was closed to all but the press. The press was notified of the public spectacle the day before and arrangements were made for all media to be present and photograph and film the prisoners. All the major television stations were present as were newspapers and radio and television helicopters hovered overhead. The forced march though short had one intended effect: it was a publicity orgy for the Sheriff.

During his brief conference before hailing the show to begin Arpaio boasted that he was doing the “illegals” a favor

"They like it out here. Okay? They'd rather be here than in a hard facility," he said. "Here, they have the beautiful sun. They can walk around and it's a nice program."

No one in the press corps volunteered to stay a few days.

More photos at La Frontera Times Blog
Coincidentally earlier in the day Arpaio had requested all e-mails, and phone logs from the office of Supervisor Wilcox, her chief of staff and 34 other county officials. The Sheriff ‘s press secretary responded to an inquiry regarding the email request by saying

Here is an official statement regarding your telephonic request for clarification on a letter sent to the Board of Supervisors on January 30, 2009. The records request is for a criminal investigation currently being conducted by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Ms. Wilcox reiterated that Arpaio’s tactics were intended to intimidate the Hispanic Community and also the Board of Supervisors. “I will not be intimidated by Joe Arpaio.” She said. Given that Arpaio’s twin tormentor, the County Attorney of Maricopa County recently indicted another Supervisor Ms. Wilcox’s statement was particularly courageous and risky. So there would be no misunderstanding she repeated it “I will not be intimidated”

Read the Full Article | La Frontera Times


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Closing Down Gitmo? Close Down Arpaio's Tent Prison!

One of Arpaio's Immigrant Tents--Outdoor "Living" in Arizona's 120 degree weather? (Photo Credit--Andrew Parkin)

Here's a press release from the National Immigration Forum on Sheriff Arpaio's treatment of immigrants in Arizona:

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