D.C. Students March to Defend DREAMERS, Storm Senate Building

November 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



Students from high schools and colleges all over the Washington, DC area and beyond walked out of school on Thursday morning, November 9, and marched on Congress to demand that a law be passed to replace the Executive Order that President Obama signed in 2012—DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)—that Trump killed over two months ago. DACA provided work permits and temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children. In less than four months, these “Dreamers,” as they are known, will start facing deportation as their two-year temporary DACA status expires.

Some 500 Dreamers and their supporters stormed into the Hart Senate Office Building and took over four floors of balconies overlooking the indoor courtyard! They came in silence at first, with fists raised. And then suddenly they filled the building with chants: “Dream Act Now! Dream Act Now!” And “Si se puede! Si se puede!”

One group of students carried a huge sign into the center of the plaza: “Congress—We Demand A Clean Dream Act Now.”A clean Dream Act means restoring the DACA provisions without linking DACA to passage of border enforcement measures, like funding a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, or refusing to allow refugees escaping from Central American countries to enter the U.S.

Another group marched on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office after they learned he had just announced that Republicans would not include restoring DACA in the tax bill they intend to vote on before the end of the year. The students hung a second huge banner, directed at Ryan, over the side of the fourth-floor balcony.

Eventually 15 protesters were arrested for ignoring a police order to stop the chants.

The GW Hatchet, an independent student newspaper at George Washington University, reported that at least eight progressive GW student organizations came together and organized about 100 students to take part in the walkout and protest. One student told the Hatchet that he had just told his peers that he was an undocumented student. “There are undocumented youth at GW. That’s the most important thing for me. This is not just a Hispanic issue. This is an immigrants issue.” Another student said, “Actively resisting and getting exposure is how to create real change. I’m proud of people who engaged in civil disobedience today.”




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