Roberto Tijerina – 865.335.8982
Kathrin Ivanovic – 215.776.1162
Paulina Hernandez – 919.323.2057
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2011
GA LGBTQ Communities and Allies Join the Call to Action for July 2 March as Resistance to Anti-Immigrant HB-87 Intensifies
Opponents call on Obama and Governor Deal to Repeal Controversial Legislation
Following a preliminary injunction on controversial HB-87 bill that seeks to drive immigrants of our Georgia, many Georgians are condemning it as an affront to the economic vitality, civil rights legacy, and moral conscience of the state. Amongst those outcries is that of in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ) communities and their allies.
Members of GA’s LGBTQ communities maintain that the legislation will divide families and communities, will severely damage the economy, and will likely place further scrutiny and targeting against people within sexual minority communities and other vulnerable communities. They believe that this legislation is inhumane and demonstrates the urgent need for national comprehensive immigration reform and join the urgent call for the Mass March for Justice After the Day Without Immigrants in Georgia on July 2, pressing the need for action and resistance against HB-87.
After a state-wide ‘Day without Immigrants’ on July 1 where people refused to go to work or shop and businesses shut their doors, thousands will march at Georgia’s capitol in a circuit that passes detention centers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices to demonstrate against HB 87 and call for a Georgia that honors its immigrant population.
Below are statements of community leaders and community organizations representing concerned Georgians:
Paulina Hernandez, Co-Director, Southerners on New Ground:
Today we march to demonstrate our organized resistance as affected communities and those in solidarity in the Fight to Repeal HB-87. Matt Ramsey and other racist legislator who seek to gain political advantage by encouraging hatred and bigotry will hear from the thousands of families who will not rest until his social and political experiment against our people is defeated. Governor Deal has wasted enough of our tax dollars trying to defend an unconstitutional law. If he chooses to appeal the federal court’s decision, he will be wasting even more of our tax dollars on a useless appeal of an unconstitutional law. It is also time for the Obama administration to terminate its 287(g) agreements with Gwinnett, Cobb, Hall, and Whitfield counties. Judge Thrash found that the main reason Georgia passed HB87 is to scare off immigrants. Driving away “foreigners” is the same reason Georgia sheriffs have asked for – and gotten – 287(g) agreements. Recognizing this, the Obama administration should immediately terminate its 287(g) agreements with Georgia counties. Today we march and are here because we will not comply with unjust, racist laws that seek to fragment our communities. The LGBTQ community has a lot to risk with the passage of HB-87 and we are outraged that the Governor has chosen to ignore all the community outcry from citizens, legal residents and immigrant communities alike, his arrogance will mark a political moment we will not forget.
The thousands of people in Georgia who have opposed codifying and legislating hate will not rest until the Governor is accountable to the fact his party has forced its political agenda at our expense, and at the expense of poor and working class immigrant people, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender immigrants all over Georgia, who will suffer for it. We are calling for a National Boycott of conventions and vacation travel to Georgia, to tell the Governor that racism, racial profiling and hate are not values we will are willing to underwrite and pay for. We want to send Governor Deal a strong message that he must veto HB-87, and that will not tolerate a Governor who leads Georgia into the troubled waters of a state like Arizona.
Paris Hatcher, Executive Director, SPARK! Reproductive Justice NOW
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW stands in solidarity with SONG and other people of color and LGBTQ led organizations in the South for the July 2nd Mass Mobilization. We share and echo the call for renewed commitment for justice for immigrants and other marginalized communities who are facing increased surveillance and profiling with the passage of HB87. As a community centered organization led by the experiences of women of color and LGBTQ people, we understand a temporary injunction is not enough, and only a full repeal of HB87 can mitigate the devastating impact of this racist bill on the lives, families, and communities of our people. The July 2nd Mass Mobilization reminds us of the continued and shared struggle of our many communities working towards racial justice, gender and sexuality liberation, self determination, and our right to family. SPARK asks our members and allies to answer the call on July 2nd and join SONG and partner organizations to stand in solidarity and be in the number for this important day.
Mary Anne Adams, Board Member & Founder, ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging)
ZAMI NOBLA is calling for Solidarity and Action today, July 2nd, and stand with GLAHR, SONG, and others in the Fight to Repeal HB-87. This bill uses racial profiling as a tool of Georgia to police, detain, arrest and deport Latino immigrants. Moreover, it places ALL people of color in the cross-hairs of Police and ICE collaboration. As a Black Lesbian organization we are concerned that our base, our communities and our allies will be affected with its passing and implementation. We urge our comrades to build unity across communities that experience homophobia, sexism and racism, and show up to join the Mass Mobilization today. We urge everyone to let Gov. Deal know that the people of GA will not rest until HB-87 is repealed!
We have been disheartened that Gov. Deal has moved forward in the signing of HB-87, which is such a flawed and unconstitutional piece of legislation. This bill uses racial profiling as a tool of Georgia to police, detain, arrest and deport Latino immigrants. Moreover, it places ALL people of color in the cross-hairs of Police and ICE collaboration. As a Black Lesbian organization we are concerned that our base, our communities and our allies will be affected with its passing and implementation.
Craig Washington, Executive Director, AIDS Atlanta
Like the Slave Codes of the antebellum era, the Black Codes of the Reconstruction period, and the Jim Crow laws which remained intact through the mid 1960’s, HB-87 is not about law and order, it is about control and exploitation, and it is racist to its wicked core. Like its predecessors, it is an insidious bill, unjust and unjustifiable in its design to deny immigrants and people of color their basic human rights and freedom of movement.
As a black gay man who has been HIV+ for most of my life, I embody identities deemed as taboo, different, queer, those whose bodies are demonized, criminalized and imprisoned. I do not need to face the same pitfalls as an immigrant to recognize where our paths cross. I do not have to be hit by the same bullet to see we are both targets in the bulls-eye. Whether or not I see myself as affected by such injustice, I must rise against it, as a person of faith, as a man “who believes in freedom (and) will not rest until it comes.” Today let us raise up together in opposition to this hateful bill. Today we unleash our voices, we rise in chorus! Let our chants resound to claim freedom for all, to celebrate the contributions of immigrants throughout GA and the nation, to declare that we share the struggle, and that only when we are all free, can we proclaim the victory.
Stephanie Guilloud and Emery Wright, Co-Directors, Project South
“The anti-immigrant bills passed in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina signal a new shape of a crisis that emerges from an old history of racism in the South,” says Project South Co-director Emery Wright. A new generation of brave people are taking up the charge of the Southern legacy to unite our communities for comprehensive and complete freedom. “These battles are connected, and we are stronger together,” says Stephanie Guilloud, Project South co-director. “Whether young mothers are demanding access to higher education or immigrant youth are demanding entrance into schools, we all deserve to meet our highest human potential.” Today, Project South marches with families who have been targeted and profiled by racist legislation whether it’s Islamaphobia, the constant police presence in Black communities, or the intimidation and fear tactics used against immigrants. We call on teachers, medical practitioners, faith leaders, students, and community leaders to choose freedom and decide not to comply with these laws.
Statements also available in Spanish, German, Persian and Korean.