A group of immigration activists confronted out bisexual Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in a college restroom on October 3 as the lawmaker continues to take heat for her refusal to support the president’s Build Back Better agenda.
According to footage of the incident, activists from Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) entered Sinema’s class at Arizona State University and followed the senator into a public restroom. In the video, the activists are heard pressing the senator to support the Build Back Better initiative — a sweeping economic, infrastructure, and recovery plan supported by most Democrats. The legislation, however, has been snarled as Sinema and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin refuse to support it as is.
In a statement on October 4, Sinema ripped advocates for invading the privacy of her students.
“Yesterday, several individuals disrupted my class at Arizona State University. After deceptively entering a locked, secure building, these individuals filmed and publicly posted videos of my students without their permission — including footage taken of both my students and I using a restroom,” Sinema said in a written statement.
Sinema added, “The activist group that engaged in yesterday’s behavior is one that both my team and I have met with several times since I was elected to the Senate, and I will continue engaging with Arizonans with diverse viewpoints to help inform my work for Arizona. Yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest. It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.”
Amid the backlash, advocates took to Twitter to defend their actions after the incident.
“We wouldn’t have to resort to confronting @senatorsinema around (Phoenix) if she took meetings with the communities that elected her,” advocates tweeted on October 3. “She’s been completely inaccessible. We’re sick of the political games, stop playing with our lives. “Build back better, back the bill!”
🔴BREAKING: Blanca, an AZ immigrant youth confronts @SenatorSinema inside her classroom, where she teaches @ ASU. "in 2010 both my grandparents got deported bc of SB1070…my grandfather passed away 2 wks ago & I wasn't able to go to Mexico bc there is no pathway to citizenship." pic.twitter.com/JDZYY2fOD2
— LUCHA Arizona (@LUCHA_AZ) October 3, 2021
Sinema further condemned the advocate’s behavior as “wholly inappropriate,” noting that her students were “unfairly and unlawfully victimized” due to their tactics.
To sign up for the Gay City News email newsletter, visit gaycitynews.com/newsletter