Submitted by cl_admin on Fri, 11/18/2011 - 14:11

Each week we highlight one person or group as the Drop the I-Word Friday Friend. Our Friends are special advocates who take a stand for undocumented immigrants and against the i-word.

Today’s Drop the I-Word Friday Friends are the Alabama 13, thirteen undocumented immigrants who were arrested on Tuesday in a direct action challenging Alabama’s HB 56, arguably the country’s harshest anti-immigrant law. 
On Tuesday, hundreds marched from Montgomery, Alabama’s capitol building to the state house in protest of the law, chanting “No courage, no change!” and “Undocumented! Unafraid!” Once at the state house organizers demanded to meet with State Senator Scott Beason, a sponsor of HB 56, and refused to leave until he responded to their request. 
The goal of today’s action, Diaz said, is to embolden other undocumented immigrants to stand firm and fight back against laws like HB 56. Diaz said she believes participating in the action is how she can stop the spread of similar laws (
Thirteen were arrested for taking action. Two organizers sat in the middle of the floor of the state house, back to back with arms linked and refused to leave until the Senator met with them. They with trespassing. Eleven others sat in the street outside the state house blocking traffic. When asked if she was willing to be arrested for taking action, Myisha Ariano told ABC’s local affiliate, “Human rights are worth any risk.”
Now, in an effort to discredit the action, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says that the advocates arrested are actually not undocumented, although the group’s attorney says he can show otherwise.
Our Drop the I-Word Friday Friend goes to the Alabama 13 who risked their safety for their rights and the rights of all undocumented immigrants in Alabama and elsewhere. It takes a lot of courage to take action for liberation. 
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S. Leigh Thompson