Peaceful Protesters Arrested Outside Alabama Senate Chamber
Months of documenting damage, lobbying, calling, writing, emailing, rallying to ask our legislators to repeal Alabama's punitive, unjust immigration law, a/k/a HB56, have failed to persuade Alabama Republicans to rectify what even some of them consider to be a mistake. This morning, six brave people knelt at the door of the Alabama Senate chamber to sing, pray, and ask again for the repeal of HB56. Because our esteemed legislators consider this peaceful but vocal dissent to be some sort of threat, they were handcuffed and removed. After they were taken, two Democratic Senators, Bobby Singleton and Quinton Ross, knelt in solidarity and demanded to be arrested too.
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Cooler heads later prevailed, and no charges were filed against the protesters. A "tweak" bill, HB658, slated to be fast-tracked in order to placate the business community, has been slowed - for two reasons, I think. The closet moderates are hoping the Supreme Court will overturn Arizona's SB1070 and thereby gut HB56. They get the repeal they know they need without leaving any fingerprints. The hardline right-wingers don't want to "weaken" HB56 because they believe the Roberts Court will come through for them and uphold the whole thing.
Meanwhile, this whole mess has been an invitation for racists to come out of the woodwork. I don't even want to link to the poison, but if you're curious just visit al.com and sample the comments on any article about the immigration law. Alabama is once again a sanctuary state - for bigots.