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Live coverage: Protesters react as Brewer signs immigration bill

Marcell Chavez, of Phoenix, wore both an American flag and a Mexican flag to the rally to protest SB 1070, the immigration bill signed by Gov. Brewer Friday afternoon. (MOLLY SMITH | THE STATE PRESS)
Marcell Chavez, of Phoenix, wore both an American flag and a Mexican flag to the rally to protest SB 1070, the immigration bill signed by Gov. Brewer Friday afternoon. (MOLLY SMITH | THE STATE PRESS)

Volunteer security people work to keep protesters behind the caution tape on the Capitol lawn Friday afternoon. (MOLLY SMITH | THE STATE PRESS)


4:50 p.m.: Groups of high school students still headed toward Capitol to join protest. Young students were a big push in protests today and earlier this week.

4:19 p.m.: The protest has largely calmed down now and many have left. It is entirely contained on the Capitol lawn.

3:39 p.m.: Supporters have pushed most protesters back onto the Capitol lawn and out of the street. Crowds have quieted. Riot police still standing by.

3:34 p.m: Riot broke out because a man stole an ice cream cart from a man selling ice cream to the crowds. Police arrested the man. People started screaming as the man was taken away and riot police are now at 17th Avenue and Adams monitoring the crowd. Supporters in yellow security shirts are telling crowd to move out of street, cars are trying to pass by. Crowd is being pushed back onto State Capitol lawn, riot police still standing by, not confronting crowd. [CORRECTION: Those in the yellow security shirts volunteered to keep the peace; aren't supporting either side.]

3:31 p.m.: A protester was just arrested and another is being detained. People are yelling at the police leading the man away, throwing water bottles and shouting. On Adams and 17th Avenue, a fight has broken out. Riot police pushing crowds back and a human wall separating the groups has formed. Riots breaking out.

3:19 p.m.: Read compilation of leaders' reactions to Brewer's signing of SB 1070 here. (from

3:02 p.m.: Read the letter ASU President Michael Crow sent to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her not to sign SB 1070 here.

2:49 p.m.: Read Gov. Jan Brewer's statement about the bill. Read her executive order about training for law enforcement for the bill.

2:31 p.m.: We have confirmed that no arrests have been made, according to several police officers at the scene. There were reports that a supporter of the bill had been arrested, but this is false.

2:27 p.m.: Shouting has died down. Human barrier is still pushing people away from the Capitol. Police officers are wearing clear masks over their faces, but they are not gas masks, which has been reported.

2:25 p.m.: Police have formed a barrier between Jefferson Street and the Capitol building. There have been no injuries. Crowd is becoming more peaceful, but water bottles are strewn across the street after being thrown.

2:20 p.m.: Violence broke out briefly after a supporter of the bill allegedly provoked protesters. Protesters began throwing water bottles at police officers as others screamed for peace. Protesters raised their fists in the air, holding ripped protesting signs.

People have formed a human barrier between supporters and protesters on the street. A protester is standing in the middle, holding a peace sign in the air.

Orlando Arenas from the human rights group Puente Movement leads the crowd in chanting, "Si se puede!", among other statements at the Capitol protest on Friday afternoon after Gov. Brewer signed SB 1070 into law. (MOLLY SMITH | THE STATE PRESS)

2:12 p.m.: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, tells 12 News she is working on a lawsuit against the bill. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon tells 12 News the council will consider an item Tuesday to seek an injunction against the bill on constitutional grounds.

2:03 p.m.: Many student protesters are leaving Capitol with signs to march down Jefferson Street and circle the Capitol.

1:59 p.m.: Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, tells 12 News "this is a great bill." Kavanagh said many people across Arizona will sleep more safely after the bill goes into effect. There may be lawsuits, he said, but they will be frivolous. The suits are just threats to pressure Brewer, he says.

1:53 p.m.: Law doesn't take effect for about 90 days.

According to 12 News, the American Civil Liberties Union has said it is going to sue. Chicanos por la Causa said today that this is the most hateful piece of legislation in Arizona history; Brewer spoke the group at a dinner last night in Phoenix, but left the stage early after chanting against the bill. She had committed to the dinner months ago.

Brewer is leaving the Arizona Department of Transportation headquarters where she made the announcement.

1:46 p.m.: Supporters of the bill have locked hands, separating themselves from the protesters, forming a human barrier between the two protesting areas.

Protesters are chanting "We have rights! We have rights!" over and over again. Supporters are responding, "No you don't! No you don't!"

Police have stepped in to separate the two groups for getting too close to each other.

Marcell Chavez, of Phoenix, wore both an American flag and a Mexican flag to the rally to protest SB 1070, the immigration bill signed by Gov. Brewer Friday afternoon. (MOLLY SMITH | THE STATE PRESS)

1:37 p.m.: Brewer announced she has signed SB 1070 into law. At the Capitol, protesters are booing, chanting "Shame on you." Bill will take effect in 90 days after the current legislative sessions in the next several weeks.

Brewer said the law "protects every Arizona citizen."

1:14 p.m.: The crowd has grown to thousands. There is a shrine of the Virgin Mary with candles on the edge of the caution tape, separating those who are protesting the bill from those who are supporting it. There are about 10 percent as many supporters as protesters.

A large group of protesters have made a circle around the shrine and are clapping their hands in a rhythm, chanting against the bill in Spanish. The crowd is made up of people of all races.

There are Latinos on the side supporting the bill also.

Brewer set to announce her decision in a press conference at the Arizona Department of Transportation momentarily.

12:38 p.m.: Protesters on both sides of the immigration issue took to the Arizona Capitol on Friday as Gov. Jan Brewer was set to announce her decision on SB 1070, a controversial bill that would require local police to enforce federal immigration law.

Several students held signs with Sparky the Sun Devil on them saying “Stop Arpaio, end 287(g),” referring to a federal law that allows local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws if they have proper training and certification.

Capitol Police gave caution tape to protesters in favor of SB 1070, allowing them to separate themselves from the much larger group of those opposed to the bill.


President Barack Obama gave a speech earlier this morning at an active duty naturalization ceremony at the White House, calling for the government to enact immigration reform nationally, or the door will be left open to "irresponsibility by others."

"Indeed, our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others," Obama said "And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."


U.S. Democratic Rep. Raúl Grijalva closed his Tucson and Yuma offices at noon because of multiple death and violence threats after he called for a statewide boycott of conventions to pressure Brewer into a veto, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

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Reporting by Kyle Daly, Adam Sneed and Tessa Muggeridge

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