“Where Are Your Papers!?” Latino Activists Stage “Raid” at Netroots

On Friday, at Netroots Nation, a group of immigration activists brought the reality of Arizona’s SB 1070 to Netroots attendees by staging a brilliant piece of street (well okay, hotel) theater. As attendees moved into the auditorium for the free lunch sponsored by Moveon.org., Latino activists wearing pseudo-ICE badges, costume HSA patches and otherwise garbed as “authority” stopped people before they entered the hall to grab their sandwiches and sodas and hear a panel on civil rights in the modern era.

The activists asked people who appeared to be white European in origin

for their papers

Some people laughed, some were confused, some just walked by. One guy I spoke with afterward scrawled the word

PAPERS

on a notepad and was asked

Did you pay for these papers?

Organizer Will Coley explained the action:

Our action offended someone and resulted in 30 seconds of frustration, that was the point. As Americans, we should all be offended by actual laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 that harass and profile communities 24 hours a day. It wasn’t about preventing them from getting their lunch. Profiling and injustice is what we wanted folks to think about.

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