The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NO MORE Deaths! RESIST SB 1070!


As most of you know by now, Arizona is gearing up to be the first state in the country to dramatically expand police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification.  The Governor will be expected to sign this bill into law this week...unless we fight to stop it! Please get involved in whatever way you are able.  There will be actions every day at the Capital until she VETOES this bill (or signs it).

 Here are things you can do to help:

1.  FIRST...if you haven't already called or e-mailed the governor, do it NOW!  Tell her to VETO SB1070!
Call her at 602-542-4331
Or, e-mail her at:

2. Daily activities at the Capital (subject to change)

Monday - 
- Funeral & Mourning for Courage and Leadership - 12noon
- sponsored by Border Action Network
In front of Senate Building

- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm

Tuesday - (this is the day the Governor receives the bill for her signature)
11am - Press conference - at Capital
11-12 - Interfaith Prayer Vigil - at Capital
11:30 - Delegation to Governor's office
- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm

Wednesday -
- DC press conference, in front of the DHS office.
(for those living near the DC area...come out and support this)
- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm

Thursday -
- Protest at CPLC Dinner (more information tba)
- Daily vigil in front of Governor's office -11:00-1pm


ACLU of Arizona Condemns Passage of Immigration Enforcement Bill

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010                                
Contact: Alessandra Soler Meetze, 602-773-6006(office) or (602) 418-5499(cell)

PHOENIX – Following a vote in the House of Representatives to dramatically expand police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification, the American Civil Liberties Union today condemned the passage of SB 1070.

“From business groups, faith leaders, and privacy advocates to municipal governments, police chiefs and prosecutors, Arizonans from all walks of life came forward to oppose the bill,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona. “We are extremely disappointed that House members chose to ignore the serious concerns they raised in favor of political expediency.  History has taught us time after time that it does not pay to trade in our basic liberties for fear mongering.  Arizona will unfortunately have to learn that lesson again.”

The bill requires police agencies across the state to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country unlawfully.  To avoid arrest, citizens will effectively have to carry “their papers” at all times.  It also attempts to make it a state crime to violate the federal laws on registering with the Department of Homeland Security and carrying registration documents, curtails the free speech rights of day laborers, and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies. The bill will likely be transmitted to the Governor in the coming week after a vote on the Senate floor to reconcile the House version with a prior version that passed out of the Senate in February.

“Instead of working on real solutions to the immigration crisis, our legislators have devised a proposal that is full of shortcuts,” added Meetze. “Contrary to what proponents of SB1070 say, the bill does not prohibit officers from relying on race or ethnicity in deciding who to investigate.  Police untrained in the complexities of immigration law will have a green light to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign.”

The ACLU said that the provision that makes it a state crime to violate federal registration laws will likely be found unconstitutional. The Supremacy Clause gives the federal government exclusive power to regulate our borders, and with very few exceptions, states are not free to create their own laws regulating immigration.

Similar attempts by other localities to create their own immigration laws have been repeatedly struck down by the courts. Just last month, a federal court in Texas permanently enjoined the City of Farmer’s Branch from implementing a housing ordinance prohibiting rentals to undocumented immigrants.  This was the City’s third attempt at drafting such an ordinance, a failed experiment that has cost residents about$3.2 million in legal fees to defend.  Other ordinances have been overturned in Riverside, NJ, Valley Park, MO, and Hazelton, PA. 

“This bill is so far-reaching that many U.S. citizens, Native Americans, and lawful residents will predictably be swept up in its application,” said Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “The enforcement provisions rewrite the Constitution by turning the presumption of innocence on its head.  When the community loses trust in law enforcement, we all pay.”

Read the ACLU of Arizona’s updated analysis on the bill that passed the House on 4-13-10.
Read written testimony delivered before a Senate committee on January 20, 2010.
Read written testimony submitted to a House committee on March 31, 2010.

These materials also are available under the “legislature” section of the ACLU of Arizona Web site at:

Laura Ilardo
No More Deaths-Phoenix

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