Around a hundred supporters of immigrant rights were outside Wrigley Field in Chicago to boycott the first game of the Cubs vs. Diamondbacks four-game series and the Arizona Diamondbacks owners' support for the immigration law recently passed in Arizona.
The boycott of the Diamondbacks was a response to what immigrant rights activists called an "anti-immigrant/xenophobic bill SB1070," which was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
The Rainbow Raiders, Comite 10 de Marzo, The Justice Mission, Immigrant Youth Justice League, the International Socialist Organization, and the Chicago Community and Workers Rights groups were there to support the action.
Those who organized the protest outside Wrigley Field Stadium encouraged fans to consider not attending any of the games in the series or bring a sign against the law to show solidarity with those the law targets in Arizona.
The majority of the press was in attendance. WGN and WBBM covered the action live and the local affiliates from ABC, NBC, and FOX were there along with Univision, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and various other news organizations.
Pastor Jose Landaverde of Our Lady of Guadalup Anglican Church in Chicago conveyed to those in attendance that those boycotting were here to send a message to legislators that they will be boycotted and pay the consequences for criminalizing workers. Landaverde also compared the law to laws in Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
A Cubs fan named Paul D'Amato drew press attention when he explained that he could not attend the game because he was angry and outraged at the law. He held up his ticket and tore it right in front of the news cameras. (D'Amato writes for Socialist Worker and, so, his action was a smooth, calculated act that earned significant attention for the cause; it was smart manipulation of the press.)
A half hour into the protest a black man showed up to counter-protest. He was the only counter-protestor to officially show up (although many of the Cubs fans attending the game shouted at protestors and voiced support for the Arizona law).
The man created a scene as he walked up to a mob of protestors and began to shout about being for legal immigration but not illegal immigration. He made it plain that he was also very angry because he felt people were protesting "America's favorite past time" and he did not think people should do that.
This was the only instance where it seemed like the police might surround people and arrest or detain protestors. The protestors did not like the attention this character attracted and directed people away from the man after briefly engaging in conversation. They realized the more they talked, the more the press wanted to record and shoot what he was shouting.
Some fans engaged protestors in conversation--like Tom Dow, who stopped to make it known that if people have nothing to hide they shouldn't be worried about being searched.
The action was the first of many actions. Organizers across the nation are prepared to launch actions whenever the Diamondbacks play baseball.