“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


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.

27 Responses to "“Where Are Your Papers!?” Latino Activists Stage “Raid” at Netroots"
Elliott | Saturday July 24, 2010 01:10 pm 1

oo verry effective!

Teddy Partridge | Saturday July 24, 2010 01:47 pm 2

Lisa, you are telling the REAL NN10 stories, keep it up, thanks so much for your spectacular coverage this year!

Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle | Saturday July 24, 2010 01:49 pm 3
In response to Teddy Partridge @ 2

Yes!! Thank you!!

newtonusr | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:10 pm 4

Classic! Classic!

Twain | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:10 pm 5

What a clever idea. So glad they did this.

RickMassimo | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:15 pm 6

Brilliant. I haven’t heard one white supporter (they’re all white) of this bill who seem to have considered that they are going to have to carry their papers. I wonder why that is.

nahant | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:28 pm 7

_reat Vidoe!!
Watching the Shirley Sherrod story on CNN… I think they didn’t know who she is and where she comes from. Briebart fucked up on this “Swift Boat” moment.. We NEED many more people like her to fulfill our country’s destiny to be for the people

nahant | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:35 pm 8
In response to nahant @ 7

_reat Vidoe!!


Margaret | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:47 pm 9

Off Topic: Who’d a thunk it?

In a deal negotiated last month, President Obama and BP officials agreed the company would pay $5 billion annually over the next four years into an escrow account for damage its oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused. Ken Feinberg, who was appointed to administer oil spill claims out of the escrow fund, has said he “hasn’t been able to start writing claims checks” because BP PLC has failed to deposit any money into the $20 billion fund it promised to create:

ShotoJamf | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:48 pm 10

Great video.

Sorta O/T: Can anyone supply a link where we can go to see recorded and/or live sessions from NN?

Margaret | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:50 pm 11
In response to ShotoJamf @ 10

I would suggest Daily Kos. No doubt they have such links and feeds.

ShotoJamf | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:55 pm 12
In response to Margaret @ 11

I’m kinda scared to go over there… ;-0

ShotoJamf | Saturday July 24, 2010 04:57 pm 13
In response to Margaret @ 11

Margaret | Saturday July 24, 2010 05:03 pm 14
In response to ShotoJamf @ 13

Thanks. Not interested in the wank fest. FDL has been great about providing the salient videos. :)

ShotoJamf | Saturday July 24, 2010 05:04 pm 15

TheLurkingMod | Saturday July 24, 2010 05:08 pm 16

jaango | Saturday July 24, 2010 05:16 pm 17

I have been following the federal court hearing on Arizona’s SB 1070, and the issue of “racial profiling” will have little if any impact on Judge Bolton’s eventual decision. Apparently, she thinks that ‘racially profiling’ is a non-issue.

Her premise when asking questions was equivalent to Orwellian ‘dumb-speak’. Since the legal advocates can’t prove that any profiling would take place under this Arizona law, doesn’t qualify as a legitimate Argumentation. And yet, Arizon’s state law enforcement agency is operating under a consent decree not to ‘racially profile’. And this historical behavior still does not quality for any Argumentation. Add in the egregious behavior of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and this doesn’t qualify as any legitimate Argumentation.

In America, if you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, it’s not part of America’s reality. To wit, the Rez does not exist in the minds of our foremost Legal Scholars and Law Givers or as a continuation of Segregation.

And today’s annoucement that we should “…hold Obama accountable” is all bluster and blather since the White House recognizes that Native American and Hispanic support for Democratic incumbents and candidates has dropped precipitiously, not from the existing 12% as is the ‘convention wisdom, but upwards to 50% here in the Sonoran Desert.

Thus, Obama’s attempt to ‘transfer’ the political heat onto himself and ‘away’ from the Members of Congress for this election cycle, just goes to prove that Democrats don’t have a pair of ‘brass ones’. And any sentient being able to walk on two feet, understands that our federal behavior for ‘racially profiling’ is indeed, bleeding down to the states and localities, even though everyone is still in denial.


sonofloud | Saturday July 24, 2010 06:28 pm 18

Well done.

sabzon | Saturday July 24, 2010 07:52 pm 19

Brilliant! retweeted.

prostratedragon | Saturday July 24, 2010 08:32 pm 20

Excellent demonstration!

transparait | Saturday July 24, 2010 10:43 pm 21


Contains violence and some nudity, but a bit more to the point.

transparait | Saturday July 24, 2010 10:46 pm 22

And crack use.

DonWilliams | Monday July 26, 2010 01:04 am 23

Does the Netroots organization not require documentation to attend the event? Tickets? Badged? Passes?

TheScarletPimpernel | Monday July 26, 2010 09:57 am 24

“Our action offended someone…”

And that dear fellow Progressives/Liberals is the problem with the entire Progressive/Liberal side of the political equation. Oh, it is fine to jump up and scream and holler about some atrocity and even join some pointless march carrying a sign guaranteed to offend the independent voters. But when it comes down to being personally inconvenienced by one of the horrors that we are trying to eliminate, Progressives/Liberals act like wingnuts. They are “offended” that someone would actually DARE to make them experience the humiliation and fear that people of color experience by Law 1070.
If you were offended WONDERFUL!
Maybe the next time you pick up a sign to go to the protest, you will have just the slightest empathy for the people who experience this daily and who you have/had no idea of how humiliating and frightening the effects of that racist law is.
Now eat your lunch. There are starving kids in the world who would die for the portion that you are going to throw in the garbage can.

DonWilliams | Monday July 26, 2010 01:10 pm 25
In response to jaango @ 17

If the mere possibility of racial profiling renders a law invalid, then all traffic laws are unconstitutional.

DonWilliams | Monday July 26, 2010 01:13 pm 26
In response to RickMassimo @ 6

Rick, I carry my papers whenever I leave the house. Don’t you?

And, as far as your racist claim that only whites support the law, perhaps a dose of reality will have a positive effect on your opinions:


dakine01 | Monday July 26, 2010 02:04 pm 27
In response to DonWilliams @ 26

You carry your birth certificate with you at all times?

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post