Photo: Sheriff Arpaio and Manu Chao
Multicultural artist Manu Chao offered a free concert in support of Latinos in Arizona, after protesting anti-immigration laws in front of Sheriff Arpaio’s office.
Protesters and media members that had gathered in front of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Phoenix office Tuesday, were joined by French-Spaniard Manu Chao.
The artist quickly became the center of attention, his mantras chanted by the crowd, his voice heard, and his message spread:
“A lot of people here are trying to fight against these new laws and I think it’s important to come and see what’s happening with my own eyes and do my part to better the world,” Manu says. “My message [to Arpaio] would be, that it makes no sense to make more people suffer for something that is naturally coming. You cannot make war against a flow that is natural.”
In the meantime, Sheriff Arpaio waited patiently in the sidelines; he seemed open and even a bit eager to converse with the artist. After waiting for more than half an hour, Arpaio retired to his office, allegedly asking reporters, “Who is this guy? He doesn’t know who I am? He’d rather badmouth me than talk to me?”
Manu Chau offered a free performance show the next day, his first show ever in Arizona.
“The situation is very cruel for a lot of people,” the artist said. “[one of the goals of the show] is to talk about that and to let all the communities talk about what’s happening here with the repression of illegals. I think it’s really a big problem all around the world, and it’s a problem that must be solved for the better of society for everybody. That’s maybe the most important goal why I’m here.”
When reporters asked Sheriff Arpaio how he felt about artists protesting against immigration policies enforced by his department, Sheriff Joe commented, “I had Linda Ronstadt. You remember her? She led 10,000 people against me. Shakira. Who else came? Santana. They all come. Why don’t they ask me to sing? I’ll sing with ‘em. I’ll sing with this guy. Is this guy French? I lived in France.”