, San Franciscans came out against Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law today, in a protest also aimed at the federal identification program known as Secure Communities ("S-COMM for short").
A picturesque group positioned in front of the Federal Building today called upon California Attorney General Jerry Brown to allow San Francisco to opt out of the S-COMM
program, which runs the fingerprints of everyone booked into county jail by the Department of Homeland Security's database in order to identify illegal immigrants.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano spoke against Brown's support of S-COMM while still
plugging him for governor -- no easy feat: "We need Jerry Brown to be
the governor, but we also need him to reject this policy.
Mister Brown, show me your papers! I'm not going to support this program
in San Francisco." Ammiano then recited a strange, nonsensical Spanish phrase for
the Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer: "Yo necesito estudiar para pendejo!"
What does that mean? Well, literally, it would be something like "I need
to study to asshole," or something like that. "I think what he wanted to
say is you can't study to be an asshole," Renee Saucedo of La Raza
Centro Legal later said. "I think that's his comedian side coming out."
Whatever he meant, the crowd laughed. Oh, Tom.
Guillermina Castellanos, coordinator of La Raza's Women's Collective (holding papers above), blasted S-COMM for making immigrants afraid of the police: "Secure Communities should be called terrorized communities!"
Protesters said S-COMM and SB 1070 would create a "police state." This protester in a lucha libre mask took it even further, equating Obama with Nazis on his poster. Best way to make friends and influence people, in our experience. Compare them to genocidal dictators. And wear funny masks.
These protesters didn't like the Jim Crow laws one bit - "Leyes Juan Crow" en espanol
. "Enough already with racism!" the banner reads.
Activists including La Raza Centro Legal's Day Labor Program director Joel Aguiar are worried that the city's proposed sit/lie ordinance could create a direct pipeline to deportation. Police and Mayor Gavin Newsom have said repeatedly that the controversial ordinance on the November's ballot will not target day laborers. But if police were to arrest day laborers under the ordinance for sitting down, their fingerprints would be checked against the federal database as part of the Secure Communities program.
After the press conference, about 30 protestors headed inside to Brown's office to chant and speak with one of Brown's representatives, who said he would see if Brown would be willing to meet with them, according to Saucedo. "We said, of course, we'd like to meet with him but we'd be more happy if he just acted and made sure S-COMM was no longer applied in San Francisco."
Etiquette hint: Remove your mask before entering the Federal Building. Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF