Thursday, April 29, 2010

Immigrant Rights Picket at Wrigley Field: Boycott Arizona!

This article was originally posted on Gapers Block.


Wrigley picket
Immigrants Rights Activists Picket outside Wrigley Field.
Chicago is finally getting some spring weather. In Wrigleyville, thousands of fans are enjoying the weather and catching a baseball game. Jeering the other team has a long history in sports, but today over 200 supporters of immigrants rights picketed outside Wrigley Field to protest against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona's anti-immigrant SB1070 law.

The law forces law enforcement in Arizona to stop "suspected illegal immigrants" and make them prove their citizenship in order to avoid arrest. Leone Jose Bicchieri, the executive director of the Chicago Workers Collaborative explained that the law would "only increase racial profiling in Arizona." Describing what the law tells police to do, "You better go out today and you better stop suspected undocumented immigrants. When you say, 'Well what does that mean?' They say 'well you know, suspected undocumentented immigrants.' That means dark people."

Immigrants and civil rights groups across the country have begun a nationwide boycott against the state of Arizona in order to pressure the state to rescind the law and to prevent other state from passing similar laws.

Wrigley picket
An immigration rights activist holds a sign that parodies the Arizona State flag.
The owners of the Diamondbacks are among the largest contributors to the Republican politicians who passed the law.

According to Biccieri, the owners "should move the Diamondbacks to a state that treats all people with dignity and respect." He encouraged people outside of Chicago to protest diamondbacks games across the country.
"We love Arizona, we just don't want them to be like the apartheid regime in South Africa."

Lest any Chicago fans worry that the protest was anti-Cubs Bicchieri told the crowd gathered, "If the Cubs ever needed to sweep a series, boy is it this one... We take pity for all the Latino players on the Diamondbacks and all the Latino players like Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano on the Cubs," who faced the possibility of being arrested in Arizona if they were pulled over and failed to provide documents such as their birth certificates and social security cards.

The protesters are also devising a strategy to stop White Sox and Cubs spring training in Arizona.

Organizers asked for supporters to attend pickets outside Wrigley Field before every Diamondbacks game this weekend. The protests will be before first pitch, Saturday 1st pitch is at 1:20 and Sunday at noon.

Wrigley picket
Her papers are the U.S. Constitution. Protester at the Arizona Diamondbacks game in Chicago.

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