A few weeks ago I was sitting in the office of the New Sanctuary Movement NYC teaching some of their members how to use twitter and facebook to connect to the growing movement to counter Arizona's racist anti immigrant law SB1070 that went into affect yesterday July 29th, 2010. New Sanctuary Movement NYC along with Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project, Black Institute, Churches United to Save & Heal, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, DRUM-Desis Rising Up & Moving, VAMOS Unidos, American Friends Service Committee, Wind of the Spirit (NJ) organized a march over the Brooklyn Bridge to protest anti SB 1070 as part of a national day of action.
The march called for humane legalization for all, as opposed to a "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" that creates more Arizona's through harsh enforcement policies like 287g, border militarization, and increased deportations. It also called for and end Secure Communities programs that criminalize immigrant people.
Once we activated our twitter account @newsanctuarynyc we connected with the national Alto Arizona movement that have been using facebook and twitter with the hashtags #altoarizona and #sb1070 to connect people across the country organizing their communities against this racist legislation, and keep them updated about national action days, art campaigns, music videos, legislative injunctions and more.
During our twitter lesson we sent out a tweet saying we were making a Public Service Announcement about the march for local community radio station WBAI After sending out that one tweet we instantly got a tweet back from a member of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities who wanted to know where there the march was and whether they should bring their members. A few phone calls and emails later and CAAAV along with many other social justice member based organizations in NYC committed to turning out their people to the march.
Then a few weeks later we took it off the internet and into the streets and these photos are a reflection of the amazing turnout and high energy that the hundreds of people brought to the march. Clearly noone would make the argument that twitter or facebook was solely responsible for the powerful march or growing movement to counter anti-immigrant sentiment but they definitely play a role. This is why it is crucial that all communities, especially low income, communities of color and immigrant communities have access to an open and unfettered internet and that we fight for digital justice so all people can inform and organize their communities around crucial issues.
Andalusia Knoll is a NYC based multimedia grassroots journalist who works a Community Station Organizer with The Prometheus Radio Project. Prometheus is a national MAG-Net member.