Local protesters gear up for AZ judge's decision

July 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Arizona judge is trying to decide whether to stop the state's immigration law from going into effect this Thursday, but protests are set to begin Wednesday, including here in the Bay Area.

Those who oppose the law have declared Thursday as a national day of action, but in San Francisco they are getting started even earlier.

"We are going to be out there in front of Pelosi's office to let her know and let the federal government know that we really need our leadership now," said protester Erika Sarmiento.

Those who oppose Arizona's new law plan to be very vocal this week. Marches are planned in Arizona and vigils will be held across the country, but polls show the majority of Americans support the law as ABC7 found out at Fisherman's Wharf Tuesday night.

"I just think there has to be some sort of regulation and I am for it. I commend the governor for her strength," said Susan Scheid from Pittsburgh, PA.

"I think it should have happened a long time ago. We need to control our borders," said Dave Miller from Visalia.

But one group at the Dolores Street Community Services isn't too concerned with the polls.

"Polls in a lot of ways are... they way they pose the question, they can be leading to a certain answer. So, I don't take too much stock in polls. I think what's important is to do the right thing," said Eric Quezada, a rally organizer.

In Arizona, police are preparing their jails for an influx in arrests. Officers are required to watch a video instructing them on how to avoid racial profiling.

Activists are encouraging Latinos in Arizona to do what they can to avoid suspicion, like check for busted tail lights and remove rosaries from their rearview mirrors. Hearing that just motivates the activists in San Francisco to keep fighting against this new law.

"I think it's horrible that our community has to take those precautions whether you have documents or not," said Quezada.

Arizona's governor says if any police officers engage in discrimination while enforcing the law, they will be punished.

Wednesday's protest is expected to start at 4 p.m. at the city's new Federal Building.


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