Ever since Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the state’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070, protesters on both sides of the issue are a common sight in the state. These protests have evolved and are more targeted, right now the focus is the business community of Arizona, specifically those that contribute to politicians who created and/or supported SB 1070.
Protesters are now seen on a regularly basis at Arizona Diamondback games and other organizations have launched a boycott against Budweiser distributorships in the state.
In the case of Arizona Diamondback’s, it’s their owner that has caught the wrath of immigrant advocates. Ken Kendrick, the majority owner has donated millions to state Republicans many of which support SB 1070. Personally he has publicly rejected SB 1070 and has called for immigration reform to happen. Since his denouncement occurred once the protests started, it is not clear if this was a genuine renouncement of the law. What is clear are the economic impacts of the protests: last week there was a record low attendance for Wednesday’s game and this past Friday the stadium was half filled.
Yesterday, Somos America, a coalition of immigrant advocacy groups announced a national boycott against Budweiser with a special focus on Arizona beer distributor Hensley & Co., owned by Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy. The other large state Budweiser distributor Sand Land is also being targeted. The cause, the company’s “financial contributions to political supporters of anti-migrant law SB 1070 who continue promoting a climate of fear, hate and criminalization towards the Latino and immigrant community.”
The business focused protests and boycotts started with a call to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona, thus far the request has fallen on the deaf ears of Major League Baseball