Protesters in dozens of vehicles blocked traffic on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge early Thursday to call on Senate Democrats “to take immediate action to protect all immigrant families,” according to a statement from organizers.
Five organizers, including at least one person living illegally in the country, were arrested in the wake of the protest, organizers from the Citizenship Movement for All and the Bay Area Coalition for Economic Justice and Citizenship for All said. in a press release sent to USA TODAY.
California Highway Patrol chief information officer Andrew Barclay confirmed to USA TODAY that five people were arrested and four cars towed following the protest. No injuries were reported, he said.
During the protest, which began around 7 a.m., 35 cars halted traffic on the northbound lanes of the bridge for 45 minutes, organizers said. California Highway Patrol also said traffic moves in about 45 minutes.
Dozens of cars with signs in English and Spanish stating “Citizenship for all! And “No human is illegal” as speakers demanded immigration reform and climate and economic justice, according to a Facebook livestream from activist group Bay Resistance.
As the sun rose over the bridge, a man sang and played guitar in the back of a truck, declaring “I’m a dreamer” after his performance.
The protest preceded the Senate vote on a $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that many immigration advocates hoped would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented migrants, organizers said. .
The protest also called for economic fairness and criticized the treatment of Haitian refugees, as well as the exclusion of workers living in the country without legal authorization from government programs, including social security, health insurance and measures. federal stimulus, according to the press release from the organizers.
“This injustice must end,” the statement read. “Immigrant communities cannot wait another 20 years of broken promises … Now is the time to ensure economic justice, climate justice and citizenship for all.”
Protester Luis Angel Reyes Savalza told the San Francisco Chronicle that the protest was part of a new push for immigration reform among local organizers.
“We are stepping up our actions and our undocumented families risk being arrested and possibly deported to send the message that we can no longer wait,” said Reyes Savalza.
Contribution: The Associated Press
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