The land of the free, as it were.
Inspired by the "indignant" protest movement that camped out in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square in May, residents in the multicultural neighbourhood of Lavapiés have reacted to recent attempts to detain immigrants by jeering and chanting at police.
Police have twice had to call for reinforcements in riot gear so that arresting officers can leave safely.
About 200 protesters gathered after an immigrant texted to say that police were asking African residents for identity documents. In another incident a crowd formed to drive police out after they arrested a Senegalese immigrant in the metro. Police said they had been chasing a drug trafficker on one occasion and, on the other, had been called to arrest a man who failed to pay for his metro ticket.
But neighbours say police frequently hassle immigrants for no reason at all. "This is a reaction to the police's habit of illegally rounding up immigrants and checking people's papers on grounds of race," said Olmo Calvo, a photographer at Diagonal, a leftwing bi-monthly newspaper based in Lavapiés.
Here, the people would
- Jeer at the immigrants, telling them to "go home" or calling them "terrorists",
- Stand around to watch the show, making sure to film it on their phones for later posting on YouTube, or
- Get out of the immediate vicinity as quickly as possible, making sure they have no eye contact with anyone
Even some of your "reasonable" friends might give you statistics on how "profiling" is effective, so as wrong as this might be, they're not entirely against the tactic. And your mother will tell you that "now is not the time to make a fuss".
Jan Brewer should become BFFs with Spain's interior ministry since neither seem to want Latin Americans in their cities.