Last night U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction against the Arizona immigration law, SB 1070.
Despite the ruling, today's scheduled protest against the law was not called off. The marchers, eleven busloads of whom were driven in from Los Angeles, went ahead and had their protest anyway. Why cancel the party just because the reason for the party was canceled? The weather was nice, all their friends were there, and it's hard to beat that warm fuzzy feeling you get when waxing self-righteous.
So they marched from the state Capitol chanting "Hey ho, hey ho, SB 1070 has got to go." (The meter may have been a bit off, but at least it rhymed.)
They also stood outside the office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio chanting "Sheriff Joe, we are here, we will not live in fear." (True enough; when you really fear someone you generally don't hector him right outside his office.)
Traffic on Tucson's I-19 was disrupted when protesters threw tires, paint buckets, and glass onto the highway. (It is as yet unclear how many commuters were won over with this tactic.)
Let's face it, protesting is fun. It's fun the same way throwing snowballs at cars is fun. Or heckling a comedian. Or razzing a teacher. Or having a few beers and yelling for your favorite sports team. Or looting during a power outage. Or playing mailbox baseball. All of these things allow you to feel naughty and work out aggression at the same time.
And protesting is as gratifying as rebelling against your parents.
Most people outgrow this kind of thing after their teen years. But not everybody. The high derived from protesting can be habit-forming. You get swept up in the crowd's frenzy. You feel a certain strength in numbers, and an exultation in your collective power. You get to yell at the top of your lungs, which can be therapeutic in a primal scream sort of way. You get to hang out with like-minded people. And to top it all off you get to feel virtuous.
It certainly beats reading a book and actually trying to learn about whatever it is you're protesting.