Opponents of Arizona's new immigration law hope to attract 50,000 people for a protest march on Saturday - an estimate former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez said is justified despite the nominal turnouts at prior protests against the law.The Stand With Arizona page is here. It's going to be a long day. The morning protest in downtown Phoenix features a 5-mile route, so I could be pretty well tuckered out by the time I get to my hotel and cleaned up. Nevertheless, I'll try to post some pictures in the afternoon, and hopefully earlier if I get a chance to sneak into a Starbucks for some coffee-break blogging.
Gutierrez said passage of a string of tough laws targeting immigrants over recent years and heavy-handed enforcement by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have tempered people's willingness to speak out publicly.
But he said the threat of SB 1070 "changes all that."
March organizers also announced the first four Arizona companies that will be targeted for boycotts, selected, Gutierrez said, because officers from all four have a record of contributing to Republicans who backed SB 1070.
The march from midtown Phoenix to the Capitol isn't the only event in the valley Saturday centered on the new law.
Backers of the legislation, operating under the banner of Stand With Arizona, plan their own rally Saturday evening at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Speakers include Arpaio, Mark Spencer of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association and supporters of a "buy-cott" urging people to come to Arizona to show support for the law.
"The purpose is just to show that we stand solidly in the corner of Arizona's right to stand as an independent state and enforce the laws that are already on the books," said Gina Louden, founder of the national buy-cott campaign.
She said SB 1070 simply clarifies that state and local police have the same power to check someone's immigration status as do federal officers.
Carole Bartholomeaux, spokeswoman for Stand With Arizona, said they expect 10,000 to attend. She said there are no plans by supporters of SB 1070 to counter-demonstrate against foes during their march.
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At the video, from KEYT Santa Barbara, "Immigration Rights Protesters Arrested."
RELATED: At Verum Serum last month, "Some Pics of Sunday’s Immigration Protest in AZ You Won’t Be Seeing on MSNBC."