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Tucson man, now known as 'Green Shirt Guy,' goes viral for laughing at anti-immigrant group

If laughter is good medicine, it may also be good politics. 

Video of a Tucson man laughing uproariously as two members of an anti-immigrant group protested a City Council vote Tuesday night has gone viral, spending most of Wednesday afternoon as the top trending item on Twitter, and even landing on a short segment on cable news network MSNBC. 

In the video, Alex Kack — dressed in a bright green polo shirt — bursts into laughter as two members of the anti-immigrant group AZ Patriots, a splinter of Patriot Movement AZ, began loudly protesting following a consent agenda vote that put the citizen-led initiative Tucson Families Free & Together on the November ballot.

Now he's #GreenShirtGuy.

Kack's amusement quickly went viral, and video of the incident taken by KVOA reporter Nick VinZant has been retweeted nearly 22,000 times, and received more than 100,000 likes. The incident was also covered by MSNBC's show "All In with Chris Hayes," and been mentioned by the Washington Post and Newsweek.

Following the unanimous vote from the city's mayor and Council, Jennifer Harrison began to loudly protest.

"The city does not change or defy immigration laws," yelled Harrison with her eyes fixed firmly on her own cellphone as she captured video of the event. 

"Shut up," said Bryan Sanders (a flag-shirted viral star from 2016, when he was punched in the face while protesting at a Donald Trump rally), as the audience began to loudly boo Harrison, who wore the Trump campaign's signature "Make America Great Again" red hat. 

As Harrison — who lives in Maricopa County, not Tucson — waved around a sign, VanZant focused in on Kack as his laughter increased, and Kack — one of the organizers behind the initiative — slapped his own knee. 

"You're in direct violation of immigration law," Harrison yelled as she continued to protest, her phone still in one hand, and a sign reading "Respect our immigration laws, or we will deport you!" in the other. 

"You're in direct violation of the oath you took to the United States Constitution," she shouted.

"You're in direct violation of being a jackass," Sanders yelled, prompting most of the audience to gaffaw. 

Through it all, Kack's laughter only increasee as VanZant focused in, and Harrison and another member of the Arizona Patriots  — holding a sign and a large fountain drink — retreated from the Council chambers. Tucson police officers walked out with the duo, and they continued arguing with the initiative's supporters. 

Kack immediately became "Green shirt guy" on Twitter. 

"It's weird," said Kack on his sudden fame. "I have no idea how else to describe it." 

Kack is the field director for the People's Defense Initiative, the that successfully worked through the spring and summer to get enough signatures to place the Tucson Families Free & Together initiative on November's ballot. 

Tucson officials declared the city an immigrant-welcoming city" in 2012, but the initiative gives that idea teeth by limiting local cooperation with federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Marshals Service or DEA, if they do  not sign a special agreement with Tucson.

City elected officials have refused to back the initiative worrying that it might violate Arizona's SB1070, and that federal and state officials may punish Tucson for enforcing the initiative. While the notion of city-wide sanctuary policy for immigrants has been controversial for more than a decade, under the Trump administration it has taken on new meaning, as the president and White House officials have repeatedly attacked so-called "sanctuary cities," complaining that such policies protect criminals, though federal judges have blunted most of the administration's attacks, including a three-judge panel at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge, who said the attempt to impose conditions on the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant were "arbitrary and capricious."

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Despite no member of the City Council coming out in favor of the measure, the vote to put it on the ballot was unanimous Tuesday. That move was purely ministerial; with the initiative having gathered enough signatures (pending a court challenge), the city was required to either immediately enact the measure or put it to voters.

"It's hard not to laugh, really at ridiculous people who have such hateful ideas acting on them in public," Kack said. "It was just really absurd, and frankly, just very, very funny to me." 

"You don't get to that kind of hateful place without having terrible ideas," Kack said. 

"Getting a historical sanctuary city people-led initiative officially on the ballot while going toe-to-toe with city council yet going viral because your staffer in a green shirt laughs his ass off at some #biggulpnazis is the most Tucson shit in history and I can’t even handle it right now," wrote Zaira Livier, the founder and co-director of the People's Defense Initiative on Facebook, praising her friend Kack. 

Before Harrison's outburst and Kack's hilarity, Livier laid out a fiery speech against the mayor and council, lambasting Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and City Councilman Steve Kozachik for filing statements against the sanctuary initiative. 

"As you saw, our emotions were really high, this has been a very rough weekend, with the shooting in El Paso, which just makes it obvious that Tucson needs this bill," she said. "Of all the work, we’ve done, it’s Alex laughing that becomes famous," she laughed. 

"Alex cracking up, and him just going viral is the best thing ever, and we needed that," said Livier. 

Kack said that he hoped his social-media stardom would bring some attention to the Tucson Families Free & Together. "It's been such a whirlwind, we haven't had a moment to see if this is more than a blurb tomorrow, or gets us some attention and funding, but hopefully, it's gets the word out and gets people energized." 

Harrison has been a political gadfly for months, and earlier Tuesday, she went to visit the Pima County Juvenile Detention center, where Catholic Community Services volunteers working under a program called Casa Alitas are revamping a wing of the facility to become a shelter for dozens of asylum seekers who have been released from federal custody. For months, 

With a pistol on her hip, Harrison attempted to enter the facility, but was rebuffed by Casa Alitas volunteers. Harrison recorded the incident on her iPhone and posted it to her own social media accounts. 

Earlier this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a legal complaint against Harrison, and more than a dozen other members of the group, arguing that they illegally threatened, intimidated and harassed volunteers at churches in Phoenix that were working to provide shelter to migrant families released by federal authorities after seeking asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Some Twitter users also wanted to know "Banjo guy" — known by Tucsonans as Ted Warmbrand, a folk singer who played a banjo to protest nuclear weapons earlier in the night — and was also spotted walking around behind Kack and Harrison in his signature overalls and carrying his ever-present instrument. 

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2 comments on this story

Aug 8, 2019, 3:19 pm
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emocrat-Socialist 2020 Platform & Goals:
-End all deportations of illegal aliens (if you get here, you stay.)
-Voting rights for non citizens
-Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit)
-Increase refugee’s from the third world.
-Non citizens allowed to hold public office.
-Open Borders.
-Sanctuary Cities.
-Decriminalize illegal entry into our country.
-De-fund & terminate Border Patrol & ICE.
-Massive tax increases.
-Disarming Americans.
-Free abortions for all (Taxpayer funded)
-Green new deal.
-End of Electoral College
-Free medicare care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded)
-Raise minimum wage (expect massive reduction in full time jobs & loss of health care benefits)
-!00% free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded)
-Reparations for every rac “harmed” by the white man.
—Same sex marriages.
-Convicts, terrorists voting.
-Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms.
-Late term abortions up to 9 months.
-Pay check for every person in the US even if they choose not to work.

*Sources: Straight from the Democrat’s themselves. View their speeches / debates on you tube. Pay particular attention to when the moderator asks the candidates to “raise your hand” if in favor questions.  The choice is yours.

Aug 8, 2019, 3:16 pm
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He looks like a dork who doesn’t have the first clue about illegal immigration.

The costs…



Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has been passed on to us.

* City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications.. Hospital wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

*Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. It is estimated nearly 100,000 illegal aliens graduate each year…...you do the math.  School class size are also negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

*Taxpayers in some states are funding “in state college tuition” discounts for illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a billion dollars annually.

*About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal justice system.

*$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches.

*Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance from our country. $120 billion total was sent out of the United States in total remittance last year.

*Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

* Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens & their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for emergency housing.

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Nick VinZant/KVOA

A clip of video published by KVOA reporter Nick VinZant showing Alex Kack, a field organizer for the People's Defense Initiative, laughing at two members on AZ Patriots, an anti-immigration group, during a Tucson city council meeting Tuesday.

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