protesting Sheriff Joe

Thousands of people are marching against Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio tomorrow, including Zack de la Rocha of “Rage Against the Machine” fame. They are protesting Arpaio’s treatment of undocumented inmates, claiming that he has “subjugated and terrorized” them while they are under his custody.

I’m definitely not proud of this, but I spent some time in the tents back in the day. It was pretty nasty, which I think was the point.

tent-city

I was there a handful of times for stints of a few days to a few weeks. During all of those visits, I never witnessed anything like what the protesters are claiming. I’m not saying that the claims are false, I’m just curious to hear what they’re going to claim.

The processing and placement of inmates seemed pretty standardized in my experience. We all went through the same hell-hole called “The Horseshoe”, where everyone in Phoenix gets processed. We all got tents, crappy blankets and nasty chunks of some sort of wonderbread. There was plenty of racism, but that was on display between the inmates, not the sheriff and his crew. I’m not defending him… I’m just curious what has changed since then.

The New Times quotes de la Rocha saying,

“To witness what is happening in Arizona and remain neutral,” De la Rocha is quoted saying in the┬ámedia statement reprinted below, “is to be implicated in human rights violations that are occurring right here on US soil against migrants. History will not be kind to Joe Arpaio.”

Some pretty bold words… I’ll be tuned in tomorrow.