SAN FRANCISCO—Sixteen protestors were arrested near the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters as a result of chaining themselves in the middle of San Francisco’s Financial District on Tuesday, January 26. The incident took place at approximately 12:00 p.m., when protestors demonstrated to speak out on behalf of Central American refugees. The protest called for an end to the federal deportation of immigrants that target women and child refugees from Central America, according to the protestors.
Groups of protestors congregated in the middle of the streets of the Financial District, shouting “United in the fight, they will not move us!” Arrested protestors were chained together with padlocks blocking traffic in all directions at the busy intersection of Sansom and Washington Street. Ten protestors were chained at Sansom and Washington, and six others were at the corner of Sansom and Washington, blocking traffic passing through the Immigration office. The demonstrators were not compliant with police officers’ requests to move, and were eventually cited and arrested for refusal to comply with a direct dispersal order.
The San Francisco protest consisted of over 200 people, and was part of an organized statewide demonstration for coalitions to speak out and defend immigrant rights. Protestors argued that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials discriminate against refugees and should put an immediate stop to these inhumane deportations. Protestors encourage legislators and ICE officials to consider the poor living conditions of the Central American countries that the immigrants were fleeing from, and recognize the Central American asylum seekers as refugees of an undeclared war in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Protestors stated they realize their efforts would not prevent future deportations, but according to demonstrators, the hope is to create awareness about the violence in Central America. According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, no arrests have been made in connection to the raids.