7 arrested in protests outside immigration hearing - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

7 arrested in protests outside immigration hearing

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Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 4:45 pm | Updated: 4:59 pm, Fri Jul 23, 2010.

Seven opponents of Arizona's tough new immigration law were arrested Thursday after they sat in the middle of a busy intersection and unfurled a massive banner that said "We will not comply."

The protesters blocked the intersection for about two hours before they were arrested on charges of obstructing a public thoroughfare following two federal hearings over whether the law should be blocked. No ruling was issued.

Phoenix Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said the protesters were peaceful and did not resist arrest.

"They were given numerous orders to leave and stop impeding traffic. Obviously they didn't do that," Martos said.

Television images showed police officers in riot gear standing in front of the intersection as demonstrators were detained and taken away for booking. The demonstrators wore white T-shirts that read "We will not comply" and were restrained with plastic zip ties.

Before the hearings, opponents gathered in prayer and carried paper doves attached to plants representing olive branches, a symbol of peace. Three people carried a massive sign calling on President Barack Obama to block the law, and others beat on a drum while singing and dancing.

Some drivers honked their horns as they passed by, before police shut the street down.

Some supporters of the law waved signs and clutched American flags, and about a half dozen had handguns hanging from their hips.

One woman carried a poster that said, "Citizenship is a privilege not a right." It had U.S. map that with hearts over the states that are reportedly considering adopting measures like Arizona's.

Overcast skies and a strong breeze gave everyone a break from typically searing heat, but rare humidity made some sweaty and uncomfortable.

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