Arpaio Appearance at ASU Sparks Outcry

Daniel Gonzalez, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), November 19, 2009

Some Arizona State University students say Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio doesn’t deserve to speak at a First Amendment forum later this month at the journalism school because they say Arpaio does not tolerate dissent.

They plan to protest the Nov. 30 event by demonstrating outside the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication building in downtown Phoenix.

Some students also plan to protest silently inside the event by wearing duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing Arpaio’s efforts to “intimidate” critics of his controversial immigration sweeps, said Sandra Castro, 21, a senior at ASU studying history and justice studies.

Last year, sheriff’s deputies charged six people with disorderly conduct who were part of a group that peacefully tried to get the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to investigate the conduct of the sheriff’s office and its use of funds in relation to the raids. The six were later acquitted of the charges.

“We don’t feel he is fit to speak at an ASU forum,” Castro said.

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“It does not make sense for an institution designed to educate to provide a stage for such ignorance,” the fliers say.

The students also created a Facebook page dedicated to opposing Arpaio’s appearance: http://tinyurl.com/ygqhdnc

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