Yes, LA Unions Are Still Going to Arizona on July 29

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton to put a preliminary injunction on the most offensive parts of SB 1070 is a huge win for immigrant rights, workers rights, and our labor movement. However, it is only a partial victory. Not until we pass comprehensive federal immigration reform can we claim victory. So L.A. unions are moving ahead with our trip to Arizona today, the day SB 1070 was scheduled to go into effect. More than 575 Los Angeles union members, belonging to 32 different unions, along with Los Angeles faith leaders and students will board a long caravan of 11 chartered buses bound for Phoenix, leaving Dodger Stadium at 4:00 a.m. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO is sponsoring the event.

Follow us on Twitter for live updates on our trip to Arizona:

We are not only going to Arizona to oppose SB 1070 in its entirety, but we are going to meet with our Arizona counterparts to kick-off a new campaign to increase Latino voter participation in Arizona. SB 1070 is Arizona’s Prop. 187. We will share our experience of mobilizing the California Latino vote following Prop. 187, and we will offer our solidarity and assistance to our Arizona neighbors in their efforts to do the same.

L.A. County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo:

In 1994, California Gov. Pete Wilson’s attack on immigrants spurred Latinos to organize and fight for their rights alongside the rest of California’s working people, as never before in our state’s history. The renewal of that attack in the form of SB 1070 has made our members realize that to protect our rights as working people we must reach out beyond our state’s borders and find ways to build a real long-term partnership with our neighbors in Arizona.

Our bus riders will gather at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles at 4 a.m. on Thursday, July 29. We will eat breakfast on the California-Arizona border in Blythe before crossing the border. We thank UFCW Local 1167 for helping us coordinate our union breakfast in Blythe. In Phoenix, we will participate in a community forum on SB 1070 with Arizona AFL-CIO President Rebekah Friend, Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Chief of Police Jack Harris and others. Then we will march to the Arizona state Capitol and end our journey with a vigil there before returning to L.A. The delegation will return to Dodger Stadium by midnight.

Petra Falcon, director of Promise Arizona, one of our Arizona partners hosting the event, says she helped arrange the visit because “we believe it is extraordinarily important to look at the passage of SB 1070 and other similar legislation in the context of the continued struggles of all working people in Arizona, and of our state and federal lawmakers’ failure to address those struggles.”

The Phoenix events are also being hosted by CASE (Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy), a Phoenix non-profit concerned with raising the standards of people who work in Arizona’s low-wage service sector.


Schedule of events for July 29:

WHO: 550 L.A. workers from 32 different unions, side-by-side with L.A.’s faith and community leaders
WHEN: Today at 5 a.m.
WHERE: Dodger Stadium Parking lot 13 (located on Stadium Way), Los Angeles, Calif.
VISUALS: A big rally with 11 buses in the background. Banners read, “We are all the same. Todos somos iguales.” A blessing of the buses by L.A. faith leaders wearing vestments. Riders boarding their buses.

WHO: Speakers include Arizona AFL-CIO President Rebekah Friend, Phoenix Councilmember Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix Chief of Police Jack Harris, L.A. union leader Maria Elena Durazo, UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, more than 12 L.A. union principal officers, Arizona labor and community leaders, and Arizona workers and families impacted by SB 1070. Participants include hundreds of L.A. and Arizona activists and community members.
WHEN: Today at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: St. Matthews Church, 320 N. 20th Dr., Phoenix, Ariz.
VISUALS: Pews are filled with hundreds of Los Angeles union, faith, community delegation plus Arizona working families and activists holding signs.

WHO: 550 Los Angeles labor, faith, and community members with their Arizona host groups
WHEN: Today at 4 p.m.
WHERE: From St. Matthew’s Church to Arizona state Capitol (route TBA)
VISUALS: Long line of marchers carrying signs and banners stating, “UNITY” and “We are all the same. Todos somos iguales.” Faith leaders in vestments lead the march.

WHO: Hundreds of participants led by Los Angeles and Arizona faith leaders who will close the 110-day prayer vigil conducted by immigrants-rights activists since the passage of SB 1070.
WHEN: Today at 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Arizona state Capitol, 1700 West Washington, Phoenix, Ariz.
VISUALS: Hundreds of protestors from Los Angeles and Arizona together, holding candles, carrying signs and praying in front of the Arizona state Capitol building. Faith leaders will close vigil dressed in vestments.