Some local groups will be holding signs outside of Great American Ball Park today and Thursday while the Reds play, protesting Arizona's new immigration law and seeking signatures for a petition that asks Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star Game from the state. The Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, the Immigration Advocacy Movement and various religious and civic leaders are organizing the event and will distribute leaflets to passersby.
Also, some participants plan to disrupt today's game by unfurling two large banners stating “Not in Arizona, not in Ohio — Immigrant Rights Now — No S.B. 1070” and “Shame on Arizona, Don’t Spread Hate.” The action was planned after Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig’s announcement that he won't change the venue for next year's All-Star Game.—-
“There’s more to baseball than what happens on the field. Baseball is our national pastime and it reflects our values as a nation,” said Reds fan Zach Fisher, in a prepared statement. “It is a shame for MLB Commissioner Selig to be complicit in the racist law. We demand he move the game out of Arizona and we are asking our Reds to boycott it.”
Amid much controversy, Arizona earlier this summer passed Senate Bill 1070, which critics say legalizes racial profiling of Latino people and targets individuals based solely on their race and nationality.
Although it's already a federal crime to be in the United States without a visa as a non-citizen, Arizona's law makes it a state crime to be there illegally and requires legal immigrants to provide proof of their immigration status and carry it with them.
The protest is part of the national MoveTheGame.org campaign, which has coordinated several rallies, protests and other events across the nation to oppose the new law.