Police arrested ten undocumented activists following an action to shut down an intersection nearby the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday. The arrestees were all passengers on the Undocubus, part of the “No Papers, No Fear” tour that set out from Arizona in July.
Multiple media outlets have remarked on the overwhelming police presence at the protest. The AP reports that “hundreds” of officers “swooped in to surround” the protesters, ultimately waiting around forty minutes before taking action.
Among those arrested was Rosi Carrasco, a Chicago woman whom the group identified as an illegal immigrant first brought to the United States as a child. A married mother, she said she wanted to set an example for her two daughters by protesting the mass deportation of illegal immigrants.
“It was my children that taught me that making change requires taking risks and the status quo of mass deportation constitutes a human rights crisis we can no longer tolerate,” she said in a written statement issued by the group. The statement claimed that President Barack Obama “has deported more people than anyone else in U.S. history.”
“We want him to be on the right side of history.”
The Village Voice’s Nick Pinto tweeted last night that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent has been assigned in the Undocubus arrests, but the “outcome won’t be clear until morning.”
President Obama has overseen more deportations than his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, an official policy that belies the message of inclusion and acceptance presented within the DNC venue, featuring a plethora of prominent Latino speakers. Contradicting the Obama administration’s framing of national unity are the nearly 1.5 million undocumented immigrants who have been forcefully deported on Janet Napolitano’s watch.
In total, fourteen people were arrested following the action as part of what the AP described as “the most vigorous day of protests since both parties began meeting to formally nominate their presidential candidates.” The march kicked off when half a dozen Vietnam veterans protesting for better medical care and other issues began an unauthorized march that was quickly joined by members of the Occupy movement.
Other demonstrators reportedly got into shouting matches with delegates. Chris Faraone, a Boston Phoenix staff writer, tweeted that delegates at one point shouted at protesters, “Go to the free speech area!”
Despite the tense environment, there have been no reports of violence or significant damage during the protests.
Over the weekend, police arrested a prominent Charlotte activist for a traffic violation and then sought to keep him in jail during the DNC because an officer said he is on a terrorist watch list, the Charlotte Observer reports.