Tohono O’Odham Nation Joins Lawsuit against SB1070

30 07 2010

Press Release

Date: July 28, 2010

Contact: Tupac Enrique Acosta (602) 466-8367


National Human Rights Commission of the Peoples of the United States

Prepares to Report on Human Rights Violations in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ – A working group of the National Human Rights Commission of the Peoples of the US convenes in Phoenix today to assess and document the violation of Human Rights in terms of the impact of AZ SB1070 which was scheduled to advance into implementation July 29, 2010 throughout the state of Arizona.

Today however, US District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an order enjoining portions of the SB 1070 legislation that has been the object of broad community denunciation as a violation of Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the territory now known as the State of Arizona.  TONATIERRA a client in the one of the seven lawsuits before Judge Bolton.

The Tohono O’Odham Nation whose traditional territories are bisected by the US-Mexico border also joined the lawsuit before Judge Bolton seeking injunction against AZ SB 1070, submitting a brief of amicus curiae denouncing the violations of Civil Rights of tribal members which would be caused by the rampant racial profiling officialized by the statute, and as an intrusion and violation of the Right of Self Government on jurisdictions of territories in Indian Country.

The Intertribal Council of Arizona, with a membership of 21 Tribal Nations that control one third of the territory known as the State of Arizona, also expressed opposition to the AZ SB1070 as being “without jurisdiction” on lands of the Indigenous Peoples.

While recognizing the necessary and temporary nature of the injunction given today by Judge Bolton, which blocks the immediate implementation of portions of AZ SB1070, acknowledgment must be made that the systemic pattern of Human Rights violations inflicted upon the Indigenous Peoples and migratory workers as a consequence of governmental economic and legal policies, both national and state, have been left unaddressed.

In turn, the National Human Rights Commission of the Peoples of the United States will continue to assess and document these issues for presentation before the next session of the United Nations Human Rights Council scheduled for November in Geneva, Switzerland.  At that time, the government of the United States of America will be called to report for the situation regarding Human Rights in the US, with reference being the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments of international Human Rights law, such as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Contesting the lack of regard for the rights of the jornaleros, migratory workers and day laborers generally in the process of addressing the economic injustices of international trade policies such as NAFTA which frame the issue of AZ SB1070, TONATIERRA general coordinator Tupac Enrique Acosta stated:

“The issue is not the right to work. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 23 to which the US government is signatory, everyone has the right to work.  What is at issue are the illegal, discriminatory and predatory economic policies and practices of the licensing procedures for lawful employment in the US economy.”

“Such policies and practices are in themselves complicit in perpetuating the centuries of deprivation, exploitation, and racism inflicted upon our Indigenous Peoples, and marginalized workers in general under programs of colonization.”

Working from the perspective of the long trajectory of social justice movements in North America that include the experiences of the US Civil Rights movement of the previous generation, the theme of community organizing efforts in Arizona has been driven by the message:

“From Selma to Phoenix, from Civil Right to Human Rights and, the Rights of Mother Earth.”

In this context, at the last major march for Human Rights in Phoenix which took place on May 29, and was led by delegations of Indigenous Peoples, a Declaration of Interdependence was proclaimed as fundamental to the strategy of movement building which now is realized with the National Human Rights Commission of the Peoples of the United States.

As a point of departure for the report to be compiled and submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the Arizona working group will reference the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) to clarify the situation in regards to the Human Rights of the “non-white” and Indigenous Peoples of the territories referenced in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) which established the current border between the republics of the US and Mexico.

Specifically, the accusations of Human Rights violations brought forward in the Community Indictment Against the State of Arizona, Governor J. Brewer (et al), which was served during the National March for Human Rights May 29, 2010 specifies points of evidence, documentation, and denunciation to be elaborated in the report to be delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS), and the member states of the UN as a whole.



PO Box 24009  Phoenix, Arizona 85074   Tel: (602) 254-5230



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