Community Group Launches "Know Your Rights" Campaign In Response To Growing Repression

Affiliate: ACLU of Arizona
July 1, 2008 12:00 am

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Coalition Members Aim to Educate Residents and Citizens Targeted by Racial Profiling

WHAT: Members of Volviendo a Vivir, Respect/Respeto, and Unidos en Arizona have teamed up with Copwatch and the ACLU of Arizona to launch the Valley’s largest and most wide-reaching “Know Your Rights” effort to date. Event organizers will kick-off the campaign at 10 am on Wednesday, July 2, at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix.

The Know Your Rights coalition plans to arm the public with knowledge of their legal rights so they can exercise them when questioned by law enforcement and immigration officials. The group will host free Know Your Rights forums across the Valley, using street theatre and question-and-answer sessions with immigration lawyers as key parts of the educational events aimed at empowering the community.

Group members believe such education efforts are necessary due to Arpaio’s “crime suppression sweeps” and recent changes to Phoenix Police Operations Order 1.4.3., a City policy that allows police officers to ask about the citizenship status of suspects of minor crimes. The group argues that such actions have helped create an oppressive environment in which Hispanic people are stopped by police and questioned about their immigration status, simply because of the color of their skin.

A victim of racial profiling by local police, will tell their story at the campaign kick-off event. Defense attorney Antonio Bustamante and campaign organizers will also speak at the plaza named after the historic civil rights leader, whose words are still relevant today: “Society is made up of groups, and as long as the smaller groups do not have the same rights and the same protection as others…it is not going to work. Somehow, the guys in power have to be reached by counter-power… or change will not come.”

WHEN: Wednesday, July 2, 2008
10:00 am

WHERE: Cesar Chavez Plaza
3rd Ave. and Jefferson
Phoenix, Arizona

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