July 29 was a day of civil unrest across the country as hundreds took to the streets to protest Arizona’s SB 1070. In Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio wasted no time rounding up protesters. A total of at least 50 people were arrested in Phoenix after peacefully confronting police dressed in riot gear, including several journalists covering the story, as well as faith leaders and at least one formerly elected official. Arpaio’s office even had to postpone an immigration sweep scheduled for last night because his officers were too busy rounding up arrested marchers.
The actions in Phoenix began at dawn as protesters marched to Arpaio’s office chanting,” Sheriff Joe, we are here, we will not live in fear.” The sheriff has taken criticism for years because of his frequent immigration sweeps and treatment of detainees.
As marchers gathered outside a Phoenix courthouse and blocked entry to a local jail, Arpaio demonstrated his landmark hubris.
“My deputies will arrest them and put them in pink underwear,” Arpaio said, referring to one of his odd methods of punishment for prisoners. “Count on it.”
Those arrested included civil rights leaders, politicians, clergy, and attorneys who had attempted to provide legal counsel to marchers.
At least three people were arrested at the courthouse, including former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez.
Hundreds of people also reportedly gathered at the county jail, where they beat on a metal door and blocked police entry. At least 32 people were arrested, including a photographer for the Arizona Republic.
Aarti Shahani reported for New America Media that Sunita Patel, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who flew to Phoenix from New York to provide legal counsel to detained protesters, was also arrested and taken to Third Avenue Jail.
Longtime Phoenix civil rights leader Salvador Reza was also arrested, along with faith leaders, including Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray.
Hundreds gathered in cities across the country to protest Arizona’s SB 1070. At least 300 marchers gathered in New York City, and of the 200 who protested yesterday in Los Angeles and shut down Wilshire Boulevard, at least 30 were arrested.