Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Up, Up With Education; Down, Down with Deportation

A student chants "Up, Up with Education; Down, Down with Deportation" during an immigration protest at Trevor G. Browne High School in Phoenix Tuesday. He was arrested moments later. 

 A couple of hundred young people blocked 75th Ave, in front of Trevor G. Browne High School, in Phoenix Tuesday. They were protesting Sheriff Joe Arpaio's anti-immigration enforcement practices and rallying in favor of the DREAM Act. They blocked a major thoroughfare in Phoenix for a couple of hours before the police came and arrested six of the protesters who had agreed to be arrested before the protest began. 

There's an element of street theater to protests like this. The demonstrators swarm an intersection and block it, making a mess of traffic. Police respond, usually within minutes. The protesters' spokesperson talks to the police officer about their plans. The officer calls backup. The protesters chant and unfurl banners. Police reinforcement show up and approach the protesters waiting to be arrested, while the other protesters, who don't want to be arrested, get off the road and step on to the sidewalks. The reinforcements warn the remaining protesters, who don't move. The officers then arrest them. 

Tuesday's protest was no exception and went exactly according to the script. Even though it was peaceful and well planned, emotions still ran high - the shouts and chants were loud and continuous. I was out there for almost three hours but most of the photos were made in the last 45 minutes, when the "riot" police showed up and the young people were arrested. 

There are more photos of the protest in my archive.