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Minneapolis immigrant rights protest targets Jimmy Johns

By staff |
June 17, 2010
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Immigrant rights protest 6/14/2010 in Minneapolis targets Jimmy Johns
Above:
Immigrant rights protest 6/14/2010 in Minneapolis targets Jimmy Johns in Arizona boycott (Photo by Molly Glasgow)
Immigrant rights protest 6/14/2010 in Minneapolis targets Jimmy Johns
Immigrant rights protest 6/14/2010 in Minneapolis targets Jimmy Johns
Right:
Immigrant rights protest 6/14/2010 in Minneapolis targets Jimmy Johns in Arizona boycott (Photo by Molly Glasgow)
Left:
Immigrant rights protest 6/14/2010 in Minneapolis targets Jimmy Johns in Arizona boycott (Photo by Molly Glasgow)

Minneapolis, MN - One June 14, about 30 immigrants and immigrant rights supporters picketed outside of Jimmy Johns sandwich shop at Block E in downtown Minneapolis. Jimmy Johns is one of the companies targeted in the national boycott against Arizona in response to SB1070, the racist anti-immigrant law Arizona passed in April. The protest demanded that Jimmy Johns founder James ‘Jimmy John’ Liautaud stop supporting anti-immigrant politicians in Arizona such as Joe Arpaio and John McCain.

When the protest began, franchise owner Rob Mulligan came out of the store and offered the protesters free sandwiches, which they refused. He then handed out a statement to the protesters which said he respects their right to protest against SB1070, but doesn't want his business to be a target. When pressed on what his position is on SB1070, he said he would sign a petition against SB1070 but only "in a personal capacity." He also said he'd pass on the protesters' message to the national office.

Prior to the 2008 election, the Liautaud Development Group LLC (which is run by Jimmy John Liautaud) funneled $10,000 to the Sheriff Command Association, which smeared Mayor Joe Arpaio's opponent, Dan Saban. Nationally, Liautaud has funded Senator John McCain, who supports SB1070 (giving him $4600 in 2008), as well as contributing $5000 in 2009 to the Free and Strong America PAC, which contributes to anti-immigrant U.S. Representatives and Senators. Jimmy Johns franchises pay a percentage of their profits to the central company, so money spent at Jimmy Johns in Minnesota is being used to fund anti-immigrant politicians in Arizona who brought forward SB1070 and other anti-immigrant laws.

The Jimmy Johns protest on Monday was part of the Boycott Arizona-Minnesota (BAM!) campaign. BAM! is a campaign of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) to spread the Arizona boycott in Minnesota in response to SB1070, and to fight against similar anti-immigrant laws and proposals in Minnesota. The campaign will continue to target businesses like Jimmy Johns and politicians that support SB1070.

 

A video from the protest, including an interview with protesters and with the franchise owner , is available here on TheUpTake.org.

 

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