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Protesters denounce Napolitano at CBS Studios

by Eric Gardner |
July 26, 2009
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(Fight Back! News/Eric Gardner)
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the CBS studios in west Los Angeles, July 24. 2009, to protest Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. (Fight Back! News/Eric Gardner)

Los Angeles, CA - Dozens of protesters gathered outside the CBS studios in west Los Angeles, July 24, to protest Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who was on set for an episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. A picket line marched at the studio’s entrances, accompanied by musicians. Demonstrators denounced Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, for her support of the racist, anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.  The National Day Laborer Organizing Network organized the demonstration.

Sheriff Arpaio has been linked to many human rights abuses. He forces the immigrants he detains to work on chain gangs, live in sub-human conditions and wear pink undergarments in order to humiliate them [according to a recent article in the New Yorker magazine, Arpaio forced inmates to march in pink handcuffs, dressed only in their underwear, through town]. Arpaio is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.

Protesters called on Maher to ask Napolitano about her connections with Sheriff Arpaio and her support of the 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement officers (including Arpaio) to act as ICE agents and enforce immigration laws. This program all but guarantees racial profiling of Latinos and other nationalities; it allows police officers to stop people who seem ‘suspicious’ (i.e. non-white) and ask for ‘their papers.’

“We all hear Obama talking about the inclusion of immigrants,” said one of the protest organizers, “but at the same time that he makes these beautiful speeches, he has a secretary who is doing everything contrary to this message.”