Activists outraged over recent immigration sweeps surround ICE office, block roadways


Hundreds of activists outraged over the arrest of more than 150 immigrants in Northern California surrounded the San Francisco offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, blocking vehicular access to the building the afternoon of Feb. 28.

While immigrants seeking legal status lined up for their appointments at the immigration agency’s offices in the U.S. Appraisers Building at 630 Sansome St., a pickup truck with a public address system drew a sizeable crowd nearby.

A series of speakers, some of whom publicly identified themselves as undocumented immigrants, shared their own stories of losing loved ones to ICE raids and demanded the release of all those who’ve been detained.

“What is happening does not match our humanity,” Diana Flores, a staffer at Dolores Street Community Services, said to the crowd. “No one deserves to be separated from their family. … All immigrants matter.”

Dozens of protestors locked their arms together in large pipes, sometimes known as “lock boxes” or “black bears,” to prevent the chains from being cut and formed blockades in intersections around the building.

Trilce Santana said she was doing so in an intentional effort to prevent ICE from transporting detainees out of the area. She also urged anyone who felt compelled to do so to get involved in the resistance.”You would want someone to speak up for you if it was you being separated from your family,” Santana said.

Another group of demonstrators, comprised entirely of people of color, locked themselves together in a blockade just outside the gate to a parking area containing official vehicles. Sharif Zakout, with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, said many of those locked together are the children of immigrants and as such it was important to stand in solidarity with those in ICE custody.

“We are not going to sit idly by while more and more families are getting destroyed, while more people are getting deported,” Zakout said. “We are going to continue fighting, whether it’s today, whether it’s tomorrow. As long as injustice is being done to our community and to our families we are going to continue that legacy of resistance and stand in the way.”

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