Monday, November 01, 2010

Marching against "organized evil"

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The state of Arizona brought its legal appeal against the federal injunction that prevents the state from implementing its anti-immigrant racial profiling law to San Francisco today.

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Several hundred religious and community activists, joined along the way by local elected officials, processed to the courthouse to protest immigration policies that penalize willing workers and rip apart families.

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A small contingent of anti-immigrant protesters (apparently from Arizona) met the marchers. Monitors stood between the two groups as San Francisco police looked on. (ICE refers to the federal immigration authorities who carry out deportations.) I saw no scuffles and heard only a little shouting.

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Giants of the civil rights movement addressed the crowd. The Rev. James Lawson (flanked by his brother the Rev. Phil Lawson) worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King in building the non-violent U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. He exhorted the crowd:

Many who want change do not recognize that we are working to change 400 years of organized evil.

To overcome 400 years of evil, we need to keep moving forward; we need a disciplined, organized movement working for truth, for hope, for justice that can speak with one voice.

Important admonitions these, from an elder who has seen so much grief and joy, spoken on the eve of an election that may seem yet another sign of hope deferred.
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