Archive for August, 2010

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Thursday, August 26
6:00 pm
El Colegio Charter School
42nd & Bloomington, Minneapolis

On July 29, SB1070 partially went into effect. People outraged at this racist, anti-immigrant law went to Arizona from all over the US to protest that day, including four members of U of M SDS. Come hear their report back about what they saw and participated in there. Hear about the inspiring grassroots movement in Arizona to fight back against racist, anti-immigrant laws and fight for legalization and full equality for all.

Cosponsored by U of M Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc)
Info: MIRAc 651-389-9174 | mirac1.wordpress.com | umnsds.wordpress.com


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Immigrant rights activists to picket against Emmer, Pawlenty, Bachmann tonight outside $500-a-person Emmer fundraiser

Monday, August 23
Picketing before fundraiser start time of 5:30 pm

Outside the “Unity Fundraiser” for Tom Emmer, to be held at the home of Marty & Anne Davis: map – http://bit.ly/c7RmDo

On August 23rd at immigrant rights activists will picket at a $500-a-person fundraiser for Tom Emmer, Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota. Picketing will begin before the fundraiser start time of 5:30 pm. In addition to Emmer, the fundraiser will feature appearances by Governor Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, as well as many other prominent Minnesota Republicans who have taken extreme anti-immigrant positions. The picketing will protest their anti-immigrant positions and put forward an immigrant rights perspective.

Tom Emmer referred to Arizona’s SB1070 law as “a wonderful first step” and his closest allies in the Minnesota legislature introduced a copycat bill here near the end of last session, HF3830. As a legislator, Emmer has repeatedly sponsored and supported anti-immigrant legislation, from being a signer on HF4087 to make Minnesota an English-only state, to supporting bills that would deny prenatal care to women who are undocumented.

Governor Pawlenty has repeatedly introduced legislation and implemented executive orders that scapegoat and attack immigrants.

About MIRAc
The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) believes that no human being is illegal, and organizes immigrants and their allies to fight for equal rights and legalization for all immigrants. We work to expose politicians who attack immigrants, regardless of their political party.

MIRAc’s Boycott Arizona-MN (BAM!) campaign is mobilizing during the election season to make immigration an issue in the elections and to put forward a real solution — legalization and equal rights for all regardless of immigration status.

MIRAc has done a number of recent dramatic actions to fight against anti-immigrant legislation, and will continue this campaign through the election season. Some recent actions a protest and civil disobedience in which five were arrested outside the Major League Baseball owners meeting in Minneapolis in August, which received national coverage; and a visible protest outside Target on Lake Street because of their donation to MN Forward / Tom Emmer’s campaign: Immigration Added to Target Donation Woes. A MIRAc member also made a splash with the Emmer “penny protest”.

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Update 8/17: Boycott Arizona-Minnesota just released a video based on a right-wing sports talk radio interview with MIRAc/BAM! member Molly Glasgow. Glasgow was one of the five people arrested for civil disobedience.

Our original post:

Working with allies Centro Campesino, SEIU Local 26, Presente and MoveTheGame.org, MIRAc and the BAM! campaign organized  a protest and civil disobedience at the quarterly meeting of MLB team owners helped to once more bring the problems generated by Arizona’s new racist law, SB1070, before the eyes and conscience of the nation.

MIRAc and U of M SDS members arrested trying to deliver petitions to MLB Commissioner Selig.

The nonviolent civil disobedience by the protesters trying to deliver the petitions to Bud Selig and the owners captured the attention of  national media.

Martiga Lohn’s coverage for the Associated Press was picked up by ESPN and posted as Five arrested in All-Star protest.  The NBC Sports Hardball Talk blog posted commentatory  in 2011 All-Star Game protesters arrested. The action grabbed the headline at USA Today’s MLB-related site in the post Five arrested in All-Star protest outside MLB’s quarterly owners’ meetings – Daily Pitch: MLB News. Locally,  WCCO posted the AP story as 5 Arrested In All-Star Protest At Baseball Meeting.

Local news venues covered the event in-depth.  Minnpost sports and politics columnist Jay Weiner set the  stage  with Tuesday’s post previewing the action:

. . . A national organizer of the Selig-directed demonstration is Carlos Roa, one of the much-publicized four young undocumented students who hiked across the nation as part of the “Trail of Dreams.”

Roa, 22, said immigration rights groups are continuing their campaign to move the All-Star Game from Phoenix even though a federal judge last week struck down portions of the Arizona law. He wants it to be completely revoked.

Roa said in an interview that he’s a baseball fan and understands that forcing the relocation of the All-Star Game — a showcase event for Major League Baseball and a host city — “would significantly hurt the state [Arizona] economically, and that is the objective. We want to send a message that other states should not enact the same kind of law.”

Opponents of the law attempted to present Selig with these same petitions in Anaheim last month during the 2010 All-Star Game, but they couldn’t gain access to Selig. Protesters have also appeared outside of Selig’s Milwaukee offices. . . .

Clyde Bellecourt (American Indian Movement) speaks at the Move the Game rally.

Wednesday was game day. Fox News  9 not only covered the protest and civil disobedience, but also featured a long interview with indigenous activist Clyde Bellecourt in Protesters Want MLB to Boycott Arizona:

MINNEAPOLIS – About 100 people demonstrated outside the Graves Hotel, where Major League Baseball owners are holding their quarterly meetings. The protesters say Major League Baseball should move next year’s all-star game from Arizona because of that state’s new immigration law.

“Immigrants and Latinos, who are a large part of the players and the fans, are offended by this law and we hope they will they will do the right thing and move the game,” said Nick Espinosa.

Critics argue the law which makes it illegal to be in Arizona without documentation encourages racial profiling. Supporters say it’s needed to crack down on the rising crime committed by the ever growing number illegal aliens.

Watch both videos at the link.  It’s unfortunate that the station repeated the misconception that crime is rising in Arizona. Over a month ago,  Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank debunked claims about Arizona and crime in Headless bodies and other immigration tall tales in Arizona.:

Two months ago, the Arizona Republic published an exhaustive report that found that, according to statistics from the FBI and Arizona police agencies, crime in Arizona border towns has been “essentially flat for the past decade.”

. . .FBI statistics show violent crime rates in all of the border states are lower than they were a decade ago . . .

Protest against MLB owners meeting in Minneapolis.

KSTP reported in Protesters Rally To Move Next Year’s All-Star Baseball Game:

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was in Minneapolis Wednesday for a quarterly meeting and to celebrate the completion of Target Field.

But, the cheers outside his meeting were anything but positive. Hundreds protested outside that meeting at the Graves Hotel Wednesday afternoon.

The group wants next year’s All-Star game moved because it will be in Arizona and they’re against the new immigration law. They say an event that could pump $60 million into Arizona’s economy belongs elsewhere.

The group tried to deliver 110,000 petitions to Selig.

When police asked them to leave they refused and five people were arrested.

Watch the clip at the link.  Minnesota Public Radio reported in Protesters ask MLB to move All Star game from Arizona:

. . . Niger Arevalo of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee said the MLB shouldn’t support Arizona’s law.

“We want to send a clear message to them that we support to move the game out of Arizona because of the recent racist law SB 1070,” Arevalo said. “So this will represent a threat to people, undocumented people, (and) people of color if they do the all star game in Arizona.”

The Uptake’s Craig Stellmacher posted this excellent video feature:

Media Ghost TV posted two extended video features about the protest and civil disobedience  on its website: Part 1 and Part 2.

Online,the City Page’s Blotter posted in  Activists want the All-Star game out of Arizona [VIDEO]:

Chanting “Stop the Hate! Move the game!” protesters crashed a quarterly meeting of Major-League Baseball owners at the Graves Hotel yesterday, demanding that the All-Star game be moved from Arizona unless the state repeals its controversial new immigration law.

“We want to send a clear message to the owners of the league, that here in Minnesota we support moving the All-Star game somewhere else,” said Niger Aravalo of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee. Aravalo also called on Hispanic MLB players to urge their coaches and team-owners to get the game moved. . . .

Fight Back News reported Protesters confront baseball bigwigs, 5 arrested while Twin Cities Indymedia posted Baseball Fans Demand: Move the Game! 5 Arrested Delivering 110,000 Petitions to MLB Owners.

What will be the next breaking news in the Move the Game story?

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When: Wed Aug 11 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Where: Graves 601 Hotel – 601 North 1st Avenue

On August 11th, the owners of every MLB team in the nation will be in Minneapolis for their quarterly owners conference.

Join us as we team up with Movethegame.org to demand that the all-star game be moved out of Arizona unless SB1070 is fully repealed!

This is a great opportunity to keep the pressure on the MLB and Bud Selig to take a stand for human rights, and send Arizona a message (est. $60 Million loss in revenue) that we will not tolerate hateful laws.

Organized by MIRAc, BAM! campaign, and MoveTheGame.org

For more info go to: www.Movethegame.org

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Our informational picketing at the Lake and Minnehaha Target is covered in this excellent Uptake news feature, Immigration Added to Target Contribution Woes.

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This afternoon, 75 immigrant rights and LGBTQ advocates demonstrated in front of Target, over their connection to Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer. They condemned Target’s $150,000 contribution to MNForward, which used the money for a television ad urging the election of Emmer who is infamous for his anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-minimum wage views.

The protesters carried 4 four-foot-tall dia de los muertos skeletons, signifying Emmer’s offensive positions on immigrants, GLBTQ people, and low income workers, as well as Target’s corporate political contributions.

“MNForward has endorsed one candidate: Tom Emmer,” Ana Vasquez, a MIRAc member said. “Target gave $150,000 to support an anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, anti-worker candidate.”

“Target’s political skeletons are out of the closet,” Vasquez added. “It’s time for the company to renounce the politics of hate and put some meat on the bones of its so-called “respectful” community-oriented policies.”

In mid-afternoon, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized to company employees for the contribution, but did not address any corrective action to repair damaged relationships with GLBTQ and immigrant communities.

The Minnesota Independent previewed the MIRAc action in Immigrant advocates take to streets in Target’s hometown

The Four Skeletons in Target and Emmer’s Closet

Anti-Immigrant & Anti-Latino: Emmer called AZ law SB1070 “a wonderful first step,” and continues to be a vocal supporter of it, even after a courts has challenged the bill’s constitutionality and promoting of racial profiling. He also introduced bills to take away prenatal care from undocumented women, as well as an English-Only provision

Anti-LGBTQ: Emmer supports a Christian rock band in Minnesota that travels around the state saying that it’s moral and righteous for religious people to kill gays and lesbians.

“I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman,” he says on his campaign website. “As a legislator, I have consistently supported the constitutional marriage amendment that protects traditional marriage.” In 2007, Emmer authored a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Anti-Minimum Wage: Emmer has said he wants to cut minimum for servers, claiming many make over $100,000 a year.

Corporate cash in elections: This donation makes Target one of the very first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections. Target gave $150,000 in company cash to MN for an ad buy and graphic services.

For more info on Target’s support of MN Forward/Emmer check out Think Progress’s excellent background article.

Update: The Uptake has posted this great news feature about the event:

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When: Thu Aug 5 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: Target – Lake St. and Hiawatha
Why: Target donated $150,000 to MN Forward, for an ad on behalf of anti-immigrant, anti-gay, and anti-minimum wage Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer.

Join us to demand Target stop funding this extremist candidate!

Anti-Immigrant: Emmer says that AZ law SB1070 is a wonderful first step, and continues to be a vocal supporter of it, even after a court has ruled much of the bill to be unconstitutional and promoting of racial profiling.

Anti-LGBTQ: Emmer supports a Christian rock band in Minnesota that travels around the state saying that it’s moral and righteous for religious people to kill gays and lesbians.

Anti-Minimum Wage: Emmer has said he wants to cut minimum for servers, claiming many make over $100,000 a year.

Keep corporate cash out of our elections! This donation makes Target one of the very first companies to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate cash in elections.

Bring signs and friends!

For more info on Target’s support of Emmer: http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/27/target-emmer-donate/

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This is a video made from the MIRAc & BAM! campaign protest in St. Paul, MN on July 29, 2010. This is the guerrilla theater that was part of the protest. Stop the epidemic of anti-immigrant laws! Repeal SB1070 in AZ, repeal 287g, stop HF3830 in MN!

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