Undocumented young activists risk arrest to block a deportation bus and call for immigration reform
Protesters at the blockade were having an intense consultation with Prasad, the Asian Law Caucus attorney, as he explained what was potentially at stake. Heads together and eyes wide as they talked it out, they ultimately opted to hold firm.
"We will do whatever is necessary for our community!" Alex Aldana bellowed into a megaphone while the supporters cheered. The group erupted into wild chanting: "Undocumented, unafraid!"
Not long after that, all were brought to their feet and led away from the bus by men in uniforms — it was federal ICE officers who escorted them away, not SFPD officers.
They brought them past the crime tape and around the corner from where the bus was parked. Then they lined them up, wrote out tickets, and let them go. Prasad said he guessed that the agency was worried about the backlash it might receive had it gone through with taking them into custody and pressing charges. Energy was high as it dawned on the activists that they were getting Certificates of Release instead of handcuffs. Still in the line police had arranged them, they jumped up and down on the sidewalk, still chanting, while a federal officer filled out the forms and placed them into their hands. As evening fell, the bus passengers remained shackled in their seats, invisible to all but the driver. Once the activists had been cleared from the scene and the authorities regained control of the situation, the bus backed up and left.
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