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Letter: Promise Arizona deters citizens from protesting

On Sept. 5, I protested outside the office of Promise Arizona against undocumented individuals being allowed to participate in our political process, particularly, in the form of voter registration.

I stood on the sidewalk outside its office with a sign of protest. Within minutes, the staff of Promise Arizona was outside and had called the police.

The police respond to calls of rape, murder and suicides, yet they arrived within 10 minutes to the scene of the crime: a single protestor on McDowell Avenue holding a few offensive words.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: An undocumented individual can come to my country and influence my country’s political process, but I can’t protest outside his or her without the cops being called.

Before the police arrived, a few members of Promise Arizona came outside. One of them accused me of painting graffiti on their sign. Another, one by the name of Petra carefully stood on rented property and waved her hand at me, vying for my attention.

When the officer arrived, he mentioned A.R.S. 13-2904 and I respectfully decided to withdraw from my protest.

The next day, I held a five-minute protest on ASU’s Tempe campus holding a sign that said “Promise Me You’ll Leave.” A fellow student briefly joined me in my protest.

After the protest, I attended my 1:30 p.m. class, where our current topic is the Conquista of Mexico by Hernán Cortés.

As one of my professors has said “La historia no se repite, las personas repiten la historia.” History doesn’t repeat itself, people repeat history.

Petra, I invite you to move to New Mexico; perhaps the New Mexicans will give you a hug, or even a kiss on the cheek.


Ryan Hartwig

Undergraduate Student

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