Cross-Post: “Human Rights Summer” Announced in Response to Anti-Immigrant Law in Georgia

Originally published on by Gabriela Garcia · May 14, 2011

At noon on Friday the 13th (coincidence?), Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed the state’s Arizona copycat bill, HB 87, into law. The law is one of the most punitive yet — undocumented workers can be charged with felonies and face up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Citizens who commit traffic infractions can face up to 12 months in prison and $1,000 in fines for driving in a car with an undocumented person. Already, groups including the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center are preparing for civil right lawsuits to block the law.

Immigrant families, protesters, and human rights groups weren’t allowed into the capitol to witness the signing. But outside, organizers stated that a boycott of the state is “on like Donkey Kong.” “This is not the end of the battle, only the beginning of a new stage,” Adelina Nicholls of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights said. “This law can and must be fought, and it can and will be defeated.”

Just hours after the signing, a public assembly was held in which broad coalitions of civil rights groups announced their plans, which begin with a “Human Rights Summer” in Georgia. In a state with a long and painful history in the battle for civil rights, this resistance movement brings to mind the 1964 “freedom summer” that ultimately resulted in the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

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