Fight For Sanctuary

February 21, 2017


Monica Lopez and her daughter, Ruby, look onto the crowd of protesters at Fresno City Hall for the "Sanctuary for All Solidarity March" that went through downtown Fresno on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017.

A mass of protesters banded together outside Fresno City Hall on Feb. 18 in the “Sanctuary for All Solidarity March.”

Hundreds of demonstrators carried signs showing support for undocumented immigrants after Mayor Lee Brand’s refusal to make Fresno a sanctuary city.

The march began outside of Fresno City Hall and spanned through downtown Fresno, stopping briefly in front of the Fresno County Jail.

The event then made its way past the police headquarters, down M Street and passed by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement holding center.

As the march continued, protesters were met with honks from passing cars showing their support for their cause.

“We purposely chose to pass through the county jail,” said Arianna Martinez Lott, one of the organizers.  “Because Sheriff Mims still continues to collaborate with ICE, we cannot say our families can feel protected. We also passed by the [ICE] holding center, so it was important for us to make sure we passed by symbolic places that are really affecting our communities.”

Lott also talked about about how crucial it is for the community to speak up now.

“There is a lot of ongoing threats to our community,” Lott says. “And we don’t want to wait to see what happens at a national level. We want to continue to support our undocumented community.”

Alexandria Ramos O’Casey, a student at Fresno City College, said she came out to show support for her friends and neighbors of her community.

“I have people in my life that were too afraid to come out today,” O’Casey says. “So we wanted to show them that this community is here for you and we care about you. That’s why we’re out here today; to show love to those who are too scared to come out today from our neighbors and friend circles.”

Pavin Johnson, an FCC student, says that these protests are important to support American ideals.

“There’s a kind of identity battle between people who claim they are American and people who are American,” Johnson said.  

A town hall meeting on immigrants’ rights is scheduled on March 16 at Fresno City Hall.

“We are America because we are the people; we’re not a particular ideology, not one particular group,” Johnson said. “We’re not one particular type of a political structure. We represent all Americans and all future Americans.”

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