SF Bay Area: 150 Immigrants Rounded Up in Fascist ICE Raids

February 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

ICE carried out a series of vicious immigration raids in the last two days in the S.F. Bay Area. Fox TV “embedded” reporters with TV cameras showing ICE banging on doors and dragging people away; the news coverage echoed the Trump/Pence regime’s vicious demonization of immigrations, talking about how “criminals” are being cleaned off the streets. ICE announced that 150 people were arrested.

Families and lives were ripped apart. Lawyers denounced the cruel treatment of the 150 in custody—those arrested were not allowed to talk to attorneys, their names were kept from attorneys, and even when officials of the Mexican consulate tried to see those arrested, ICE authorities would not let them.

Hundreds blockade San Francicso ICE HQ in response to raids February 28.


Any decent person should stand up and oppose these fascist raids. But for merely letting people know ahead of time that these ICE raids were coming, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was denounced as a “gang lookout” by acting head of ICE, Thomas Homan. Schaaf had announced on the weekend that sources pointed to imminent ICE raids, and she wanted to sound a warning to the community and inform people of their rights.

“My statement on Saturday was meant to give all residents time to learn their rights and know their legal options,” Schaaf said in a statement. “It was my intention that one mother, or one father, would use the information to help keep their family together.”

“I do not regret sharing this information,” she continued. “It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together. We know that law-abiding residents live in fear of arrest and deportation every day. My priority is for the long-term well-being of Oakland, and I know that our city is safer when we share information that leads to community awareness.”

Schaaf was denounced by right-wing media as well by Homan. ICE claimed that Schaaf’s warming let hundreds of “criminal aliens” escape the net. This lie about how they are targeting “criminals” goes back to the very start of Trump’s campaign. And it mirrors the way Hitler and the Nazis portrayed all Jews as “criminals” who must be driven out or exterminated. ICE let out a bit of the truth a few weeks ago when they said they were launching raids in the Bay Area as punishment of sanctuary cities—those cities not fully cooperating with the fascist anti-immigrant roundups. This is not about getting “criminals”—it is about the beginnings of ethnic cleansing, and the targeting of sanctuary cities shows this clearly. Sanctuary cities, as they now exist in the Bay Area, are not about stopping ICE or blocking ICE raids, let alone putting an end to the underlying discrimination and oppression of immigrants. They are instead about informing immigrants of their legal rights (such as they are), providing legal counsel at times, and keeping local police from playing an active role in the raids. This is what Schaaf was doing. But EVEN THIS is intolerable to the Trump/Pence regime. They cannot tolerate any opposition to their fascist transformation of society—and in particular, they are setting their sights on elected officials who dare to raise their heads and even sound an alarm to people in the community about what is coming.

The Oakland Mayor’s office is right now being deluged with death threats via phone calls from fascist networks around the country. Today, city officials said that they shut down the phone system because of the flood of threatening calls. And the authorities are threatening to go after Schaaf. Local Fox news reported that “ICE officials plan to ask the U.S. Justice Department to look into whether Schaaf violated any laws and, if so, hold her accountable for protecting anyone breaking the law for being in the country illegally.” If the Justice Department goes after Schaaf, it would be very serious indeed.

In San Francisco today, hundreds of activists, including DACA youth and many other people, are surrounding the ICE headquarters (this is a regional headquarters which covers an area from the Oregon border to Bakersfield in Southern California). Activists blocked the two gates of the ICE building where ICE vans carrying detainees go in and out, and also blocked two major street corners on the side of the massive ICE building. This was the largest act of civil disobedience so far against the attack on immigrants in this area and points to the urgent need for greatly intensified resistance.

This assault on the immigrants—and even on sanctuary cities and public officials who support them—as Refuse Fascism has called out, is the “linchpin and battering ram” of the whole fascist program being hammered into place. This nightmare must end, the Trump/Pence regime must go!

The Refuse Fascism call is completely on time: “March 1: Immigrants stay—Trump/Pence must go! Wear Black!



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