I'm posting this news piece that's up on AZ Indymedia - if you want to read the garbage the police and the media spit out, find the article from the AZ Republic or Washington Post or something. Steve Lemons gave it a write up in the PHX New Times - and will have more today, I guess. Couldn't tell if he was more disgusted with the protesters or police, though. He doesn't want to blame the "so-called" Anarchists - it think he's pissed at the protesters - but I'm pretty sure those are real Anarchists involved, God Bless them.
I bet there's plenty of video footage showing what actually happened - if nothing else, the Anarchists are usually covered by Copwatchers and cameras, since they otherwise have a hard time defending themselves. Sometimes no matter how passive you are, if you're wearing black with a bunch of others who have bandannas covering their faces, there's just no way to avoid a resisting arrest or assaulting-an-officer charge - especially if they're the ones who assaulted you. Not that some of us don't fight back - we have the right and responsibility to defend ourselves and comrades against state violence. But there are a number of ways to fight back that don't necessarily engage the cops with fists.
I'm still trying to raise money for my own favorite criminal - she's about to turn 59, has a compromised immune system, and jail could just kill her - so keep dropping by my place, if you're looking for some good additions to your library and want to support the cause. All the stuff is at Free Marcia Powell, now, so this doesn't look like the home shopping channel. I've been depending a lot on the support of Anarchists for that, actually. Guess they have their hands full, now.
So, let's be there for our comrades.
Police unleash pepper gas on non-violent protesters; 5 arrested
More than 10,000 demonstrators came out on January 16 to protest against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his repression of unauthorized immigrants. In the latest and largest in a series of protests against Sheriff Joe, demonstrators marched to MCSO's "tent city", an urban concentration camp where inmates, many arrested on immigration charges, are held 24-7 in the open air.
While marchers focused on Arpaio's 287g arrangement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and his high-profile immigration raids, other participants questioned the focus on immigration alone, given the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's role in forclosure evictions, and also that the Phoenix Police Department turned over more unauthorized migrants to ICE in fiscal year 2009 than did Arpaio's sheriff's department.
Toward the end of the day, police attacked marchers, indiscriminately deploying pepper gas in an area that included a number of young children and families. In addition to street medics, EMTs were called to provide emergency care to at least three individuals, including an infant and young child. Five individuals were singled out for arrest and are being charged with aggravated assault of a police officer. In a news story on the march, the Arizona Republic repeated police statements that demonstrators attacked a police horse with metal poles, despite such allegations contradicting numerous eye-witness accounts, including the following post to Arizona Indymedia:
"Unprovoked, a female officer on horseback (who later covered her name on her uniform) charged her horse headlong into the march, colliding with several people and in the process almost running over at least one child in a stroller. After attacking families and protesters, she then whipped out her pepper spray and let loose on the whole crowd, who fled the noxious spew. In the process, children were blasted with pepper spray. After that, other Phoenix PD officers stormed the crowd, violently attacking marchers, dragging several to the ground and further deploying their chemical weapons from all directions in an attempt to justify their their aggression by nabbing a few people. Dozens were so affected that they were soaked in chemicals, having to strip off clothes to stop the burning."