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Monday, March 21, 2011

Cloee Cooper: Film Screenings Honor International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Originally posted at Imagine 2050. Imagine 2050 is project which includes activists, immigrants, artists and students who are invested in a future nation that embraces multiculturalism and tolerance.

Film Screenings Honor International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
by Cloee Cooper

In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, today students are coordinating events on over 40 campuses across the nation to resist the anti-immigrant movement, including organizations associated with white nationalist John Tanton. Students are doing this by screening A Look Inside SB1070, a 15-minute documentary film released by the Center for New Community.

The film follows a national student delegation as it toured Arizona in August of 2010 – amidst the passage of controversial law SB 1070. Nine students from Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Colorado comprised the delegation, which set out to gain a better understanding of the debate over SB 1070.

Equipped with little more than a video camera and the desire to know what life is like inside Arizona, the students documented meetings with Native American communities, human rights activists, environmentalists, and local law enforcement officials. Other stops on the week-long tour included visits to the U.S./Mexico border and detention centers.

Highlights from the documentary include separate face-to-face sit-downs with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and prominent migrant rights activists.

“This trip really opened my eyes to what I need to be fighting,” remarked a Howard University student who took part in the tour. “It clearly pointed out who I am fighting and I appreciate everyone I met on this delegation.”

Organizations such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA, Center for Immigration Studies, State Legislators for Legal Immigration and Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), continue to scape-goat immigrants for social and economic problems. Crafted by FAIR and the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 law and attacks on the 14th Amendment are the latest examples.

According to the United Nations, “The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws.” Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.”

Today students across the nation are here to say that there is no room for organizations with extremist agendas, their ideas or their presence in our communities. In honor of international struggles past and present to eliminate racial discrimination, let’s stop the Tanton Network and attacks on immigrants, women and our humanity!

To arrange a screening of the film at your college or university, please email To receive updates on nativist activity and communities of resistance, follow us on twitter @ nativismwatch.


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