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2012-12-30
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2012-12-25
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2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

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If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
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2012-09-18
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Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


Thousands Of People In Phoenix Protest County Sherrif Joe Arpaio's Tent City Jail
2012-06-24 16:03:05 (130 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

Thousands of protesters rallied Saturday night for the closure of a "inhumane" complex of canvas prison tents set up by America's self-styled toughest sheriff.

Critics of Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio – an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama and a hardliner on immigration – claim that confinement to the "tent city" in Arizona violates prisoners' human and constitutional rights.

Last year, temperatures inside the temporary structures hit 145 degrees, more than 30 degrees hotter than the outside high for that day. The canvas jail, which has been criticized by an Amnesty International report, can house up to 2,000 inmates, all of whom have been convicted of non-violent crimes.

"We are with you," protesters chanted in both English and Spanish at yesterday's demonstration, in hopes that inmates could hear them.

Most protesters held candles and wore yellow T-shirts that read "standing on the side of love", a slogan of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which was holding its annual convention in Phoenix this weekend.

The rally was the latest effort by the association to promote social justice, association spokesman John Hurley said. The Unitarians organized the rally along with the immigrant-rights group Puente Arizona.

(story continues below)




The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, attended the rally and was among a group that accompanied Arpaio on a tour of the tent city.

In 2010, Morales was arrested at a protest in Phoenix over Arizona's immigration law.

Rachel Walden, who works at the Unitarian Universalist Association headquarters in Boston, said the group also gathered Saturday to protest the immigration law.

"We wanted to stand in solidarity with the immigration groups," she said. "We just wanted to be there to have a big presence and say this is wrong."

Arpaio is a national political fixture who built his reputation on jailing inmates in tents during Phoenix's triple-digit summer heat, dressing inmates in pink underwear, selling himself to voters as unceasingly tough on crime, and pushing the bounds of how far local police can go to confront illegal immigration.

The U.S. Justice Department has accused the sheriff's office of racially profiling Latinos in its immigration patrols.

The sheriff has said the government's investigation of his immigration patrols amounted to a politically motivated attack by the Obama administration and has denied allegations of systematic discriminatory policing.

The jail complex in west Phoenix was the site of a January 2010 protest that drew 10,000 immigrant rights advocates and was marked by a clash between a small group of protesters and police officers.

In 1997, a report by Amnesty International found the structure fell short of being an "adequate or humane alternative to housing inmates in suitable jail facilities", according to the Phoenix New Times.

Arpaio has repeatedly said he doesn't see any problems with housing inmates in tents and often points out that some members of the U.S. military live in tents.

The county's jails were closed to visitors on Saturday because of the rally.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian correspondent Matt William, with reporting by various news agencies, in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/24/thousands-protest-sheriff-arpaio-jail


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