by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
SAN FRANCISCO — As demonstrations occurred throughout the world on International Women’s Day, some protestors wanted to center their advocacy on an issue that can affects many kababayans.
Pro-immigration chants echoed throughout rush hour of downtown San Francisco.
People filled the streets — stopping city traffic — including the world-famous trolley cars.
Their destination was the San Francisco headquarters of Immigration Custom and Enforcement, or ICE.
Organizers say they chose this location to send a direct message, that the people will not be silent when it comes to possible ICE raids — and the implementation of the new immigration travel ban next week.
“We feel that this administration is generating fear in this community, and fear around this country,” said pro-immigration activist Barbara Mackenzie Skinner. “And for those of us who have family members who particularly fought in World War II; we don’t want fear and things that look like, taste like, and act like fascism in this country.”
“We want there to be true liberty, and we want this to be a welcoming place because San Francisco is after all a sanctuary city,” said Vi Huynh.
Young demonstrators here say it is an obligation to be in the streets, and fight for those under attack.
“I feel like we have to speak up for ourselves — because if no one is going to speak up for us, then we are not going to have any justice,” said college student Tiffany Jade Ho.
“Back in the 60s and during the civil rights movement and things like that, it was young people that fight,” says Isaiah Fabella. “and it was those sacrifices that we can’t let it go in vain. So it’s our job that future generations live a better life.”
With heavy police presence — the downtown protests was peaceful, with no reports of arrests or other incidents.