Boycotts going forward despite Grijalva's plea

2010-07-29T00:00:00Z 2013-09-14T20:55:12Z Boycotts going forward despite Grijalva's pleaTony Davis and Rhonda Bodfield Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Boycotts of Arizona are continuing despite U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva's attempt to call them off Wednesday after a judge tossed out much of SB 1070.

Officials in the Los Angeles and San Francisco city governments said Wednesday that they're not ready to call off their "don't buy from Arizona" positions.

Sound Strike, a nationwide musicians group, is still urging musicians not to play in Arizona.

And the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Latino advocacy group, said on its website that it is continuing its boycott because the injunction is temporary and likely to be appealed, and the suspended sections can still be reinstated.

La Raza's boycott includes a call to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to move the 2011 All-Star game from Phoenix.

A prominent Arizona activist, former state Senate leader Alfredo Gutierrez of Phoenix, agreed: "The boycott is going forward. Voter registration is going forward and civil disobedience is going forward."

Gutierrez's LaFronteratimes.com blog says his boycott effort has gained more than 500,000 supporters nationally since June 1. "This bill is enjoined, but these people will continue to go forward … this is at best a partial victory, a respite," he said.

But shortly after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton's ruling, Grijalva, for one, abandoned his earlier call for a limited boycott of Arizona that urged outside groups to cancel conferences and conventions here.

"After this ruling, everybody has some responsibility to pause, and that includes me," said Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat. "The issue of economic sanctions is a moot point now and I will encourage national organizations I'm in contact with to come and lend a hand - not just economically, but to help us begin to educate people about how we need to fix this broken system."

"If I thought economic pressure on (Gov. Jan) Brewer or (state Sen. Russell) Pearce was going to have the effect that it should have, then by all means, I would continue to apply that pressure," Grijalva said. "But it's not. It's ideological."

Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party, said he's pleased "Mr. Grijalva had a bout of sanity when it comes to ending an economic boycott of the state he represents."

Arizona has lost about 40 meetings that would have drawn out-of-state business, and that has cost hotels about $12 million, said Kristin Jarnagin, vice president of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association.

A majority of the 40 confabs are probably gone for good, even if courts overturn SB 1070 permanently, Jarnagin said. Many are probably lost for three to five years, she said.

"Some of the meetings have already been relocated to other states and won't come back. If you sign a contract someplace else and then you want to come back here, you have to pay a cancellation fee there," she said.

Jarnagin called Grijalva's latest comments "terrific news."

"SB 1070 had nothing to do with tourism," she said. "There was literally no link to tourism until Congressman Grijalva called for a boycott and that's what really started the damage for our industry."

Musically, a couple of acts have canceled at Club Congress and another one canceled at the Rialto Theatre, officials of the downtown Tucson venues said Wednesday. Five other bands that were considering playing at the Rialto have decided not to, said Curtis McCrary, the Rialto's general manager.

These shows are also permanently gone regardless of the court ruling, he said. While some musicians may decide that they now don't have to adhere so stringently to the boycott, "my guess is no, they've already put a lot of effort into it and their problem with the state still exists," McCrary said.

Contact reporter Tony Davis at tdavis@azstarnet.com or 806-7746.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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