Protesters Block Buses—ICE Shut Down for Hours in San Francisco

April 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

April 1—More than 50 people rallied and blocked buses leaving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown San Francisco. The protest was in response to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network’s call for a day of struggle against the detentions, deportations, and murders of immigrants, building toward April 14.

Students from the MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) chapter at City College of San Francisco; Latinas from La Collectiva, a worker-run cleaning collective; people from the Revolution Club, SF Bay Area; and others began gathering at 8 am. As immigrants began to line up for hearings and to file documents, shouts began to ring out—“Stop the Deportations!” People held up signs with pictures of immigrants crossing the border and immigrants murdered by the police or border patrol. There were also shouts of “Justice for Alex Nieto!”—a City College student murdered by cops.

A representative from the Committee for Justice for Alex Nieto declared, “On April 14 we are going to shut down the United States of America… People of color are being killed. We will not lie down!”

After starting on the sidewalk near the ICE entrance, the rally moved to the driveway where buses transport people the government has rounded up for detention and deportation. A large banner reading “Stop the Deportations “was strung over the metal gate topped with spikes. People drew chalk outlines of bodies on the sidewalk representing those who have died crossing the border or been gunned down by enforcers in the U.S.

Protesters block buses at ICE office in San Francisco, April 1

Protesters block buses at ICE office in San Francisco, April 1
Protesters block buses at ICE office in San Francisco, April 1.

When the buses got ready to move, they were blocked by a group of students from City College, and members of the Revolution Club sat down in front of the gates linking arms. When ICE officials tried to get the buses out of a back entrance, protesters took off running and sat in the street in front of and behind the bus. SF police, Department of Homeland Security police, and ICE agents threatened people with arrest. The protesters chanted, “You can arrest us and beat us. All we want is freedom!" and “Capitalism is out of control, we don’t need no border patrol.” After a tense standoff, the ICE authorities backed down and moved the buses back into the garage area.

“I took the risk to block the bus because the folks who come here take that kind of risk and take it daily, including my parents,” said a City College student.


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.