ARIZONA-SONORA JUSTICE ALLIANCE
ALIANZA DE JUSTICIA DE ARIZONA-SONORA
NEWS RELEASE: August 15, 2000 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Daniel Patterson, 520.906.2159 (mobile in LA), Rachel Wilson, 520.729.0761 (in Tucson), Katie Desmond, 520.213.9708 (in Flagstaff).
ARIZONANS TAKE ON REPUBLICRATS; TURN UP THE HEAT ON GORE, LAPD
LOS ANGELES – Activists from the Grand Canyon state have been shaping political debate in LA and across the nation since this weekend by participating in events in and around the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Freedom fighters from Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Prescott have participated in many events including the Shadow Convention, the DNC inside the Staple’s Center, the North American Anarchist Conference, actions against genetically modified foods, and the Los Angeles Independent Media Center.
At least 80 Arizona activists protesting for political freedom, environmental sustainability, and social justice at the DNC had victories Sunday and Monday.
There was also a taste of police violence from the LAPD after they shut down a protest performance Monday night and injured protesters using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets to force the crowd away from a permitted designated protest site adjacent to the Staples Center.
The Arizonans started the day by joining with thousands to challenge Gore’s investments in Occidental Petroleum Corporation. The Vice President controls as much as million in Occidental stock. Occidental oil exploration and drilling threatens the indigenous U’wa tribe of Columbia who have said they will commit mass suicide if Oxy further degrades their land or culture.
"Gore has no moral backbone as long as he continues to invest in Occidental Petroleum Corporation," said Sonya Diehn of Tucson with the Arizona-Sonora Justice Alliance. "Gore’s genocidal and anti-environmental oil holdings completely justify my not voting for him." she adds. Diehn and many other activists in LA are supporting Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke of the Green Party or not voting at all.
Ray Leimkuerhler, a green anarchist with Phoenix Earth First! took action Monday. "For us, it’s the action for the environment. The corporate-politicos at the DNC are like Arizona ranchers, a small privileged class subsidized to destroy life," Ray explained. "We march with the anarchist Black Block because they do direct action. As we become more effective at telling the truth about the Democrats in 2000 I
expect LAPD to get even more aggressive and use more violence against us."
The protesters spirits are high in LA. The crowds are diverse and the messages strong and truthful. With more big street actions planned tomorrow, the movement to take back our democracy will build. Tuesday could be a telling day for the way history remembers the 2000 Democratic Convention.
Some members of the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition (PAC) narrowly escaped arrest as the tried to leave downtown LA Monday night. "Yet again the LAPD has proven its inability to show restraint in the face of radical protesters agitating for change." said a statement from PAC.
"Regardless of police misconduct, we strongly feel our success in controlling the streets was due to our commitment to non-violence and our love and respect for all who were in actions and solidarity." said a statement from Phoenix’s Young Democratic Socialists.
Arizonans wishing to protest the DNC in solidarity with the activists in LA will take action Wednesday, August 16 at the Pima County Democratic Headquarters, 2617 E. Broadway at 5:30 pm.
*** ASJA ***