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Indybay Feature
Thu Jun 12 2008
Berkeley Protests ICE Raids
Thu Jun 12 2008
Berkeley High School Students vs. Fascist ICE Raids
On May 22, more than 2,000 Berkeley High School students of all different nationalities streamed out of class and formed a human chain around the school to protest the escalating attacks on immigrants. As they linked arms, they chanted “Immigrants are people!” A young woman with the group Fighting for Immigrants’ Rights and Equality (FIRE), which organized the protest, said, “Most of the school went out with us… Ooooh it made the whole school feel good, like we were a family, no matter what race you are or nothing, like we were together.”

In the first three weeks of May, ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security) made 900 arrests in California. The day after May 1st, when thousands of immigrants marched in the streets, ICE agents raided 11 branches of a chain of Bay Area taqueria restaurants, arresting 63 people. The day after Cinco de Mayo, ICE vans drove though the streets of Berkeley and East Oakland, including in the neighborhood around Berkeley High. A family of four was arrested in their home near the high school. As word spread, worried parents rushed to the school to pick up their kids.

In Oakland, which has declared itself "sanctuary" city for immigrants, Mayor Ron Dellums went to Esperanza Elementary School after reports of ICE vans prowling around and declared, "We don't want this type of intimidation. Immigrants are human beings, and need to be dealt with respect." Dellums said police officers would be posted at the school the next day to prevent ICE from coming onto school grounds.

photo Photos: 1 | 2 | imc_video.gif Video: 1 | 2 | ICE raids in Berkeley, Oakland frighten schoolchildren, parents
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