With each beat of the drums Thursday, protesters made their point.
“The people in this country do not want these camps to be happening, do not want children to be caged and deprived of healthy water and food and showers and to be separated from their families,” said protest organizer Penny Rosenwasser.
Aug. 1 kicked off a month-long protest or “month of momentum” — 30 days of action to close detention camps.
“To hear about these children, I can’t sleep at night, I can’t imagine what the parents go through,” said protester Dawn Lueck. “So this is the least I can do is come and show up.”
Each day, different protesters will be outside ICE from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Some people say they’ll return on multiple days.
Gilbert Medina didn’t plan to be there, but felt inspired in the moment.
“I came out because my wife is going to take her citizenship test and on the way here we saw the protest,” he said. “So I decided to drop her off so she could take her test and I’m coming to hang out over here because I don’t like what Trump’s doing.”
Medina went on to say, “I don’t think they should be separating babies from their mothers, that’s inhumane.”
Protesters say the overnight demonstration was a block party that just kept going. They set up tents and camped on Washington Street for two nights. Police say 16 adults and one juvenile were cited and released for Illegal Lodging. One adult remains in police custody and will be booked for Resisting Arrest, police said.
The arrests happened around 1 a.m. Thursday. They were peaceful, no one was hurt.
The protesters are with the group Abolish ICE SF. One member said if San Francisco city leaders won’t break up ICE, then the people need to take action. Abolish ICE SF is not affiliated with the group or plans for the “month of momentum.”
The sergeant on scene would not say why police decided to move in and break up the camp. He said it was an order from his captain, a decision from the command staff, and he just followed orders.
Police put up barricades to block Washington Street in front of the ICE building between Battery and Sansome. The sergeant thinks they will open it back up when the day shift arrived.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.