On short notice, at least a dozen SSL activists answered the call to put on their yellow “love” shirts and joins hundreds of others who oppose SB 1070 for a Monday morning interfaith march and rally against Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in United States v. State of Arizona to determine whether or not the injunction against key provisions of SB 1070 law should be lifted. In July, U.S. Judge Susan Bolton placed an injunction on the parts of the law passed by the Arizona legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer that she deemed unconstitutional.
Starr King School for the Ministry student Suzi Spangenberg recruited and coordinated the volunteers. “In recruiting UUs for this public witness,” said Spangenberg, “I thought I would be preaching to the choir about the need to stand up against laws like SB 1070. I actually found that there are so many opportunities for education just within our own community.”
The march began at St. Patrick’s Church and traveled to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a small group of SB 1070 supporters tried all they could do to incite violence, according to Spangenberg. “Those of us protesting SB 1070 tried hard not to react,” she said, “and we did a good job of not engaging with them and truly standing on the side of love.”
UUs traveled from as far as San Diego to stand on the side of love and against racism. Spangenberg was joined by fellow Starr King seminarian Rose Vera, who provided medic coverage for the march, and Peter Wilson, of Santa Rosa, Ca., who was among those arrested this July in Phoenix with a Standing on the Side of Love group participating in acts of civil disobedience. Rev. Jaqueline Duhart, Assoc. Minister of Community Engagement at the First UU Church of Oakland, showed up with the SSL banner.
“All in all, this was incredibly positive,” said Spangenberg. “The rally stretched out several blocks as we marched. There was a lot of singing, families and children who made their own signs, and a real sense of community and appreciation for those of us who showed up in solidarity. A group that traveled from Arizona expressed their profound appreciation for the love we showed. In fact, Carlos Garcia from Puente spoke out very eloquently on camera about how much he appreciates the support of UUs across the country who came to Arizona this summer, and those here in the Bay Area.”
According to ABC News, “The three-judge panel now will decide whether all or parts of the law should be reinstated or struck down. The case ultimately could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department, which brought the case against Arizona in July, have argued the law violates the supremacy clause of the Constitution. In her ruling, Judge Bolton agreed, ruling that enforcement of the most contentious provisions of the law would preempt the federal government’s exclusive authority to set and implement a national immigration policy. Some parts of the law have taken effect, including criminalizing state officials interfering with or refraining from enforcement of federal immigration laws. It is also illegal to pick up and transport day laborers across the state, or to give a ride to or harbor an illegal alien. A vehicle used to transport an illegal alien can be impounded.”
The L.A. Times Reported: “The 9th Circuit judges chosen randomly to hear Arizona’s appeal are John Noonan, an appointee of Ronald Reagan and a moderate; Richard Paez, a Bill Clinton appointee and the son of Mexican immigrants; and Carlos Bea, an appointee of George W. Bush who was born in Spain and once was ordered deported from the United States. Bea appealed and won.”
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