SF State students from multiple organizations gathered and walked out in protest in reaction to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids throughout the Bay Area on February 28th.
Students chanted throughout campus and building halls, “Join us, Walk out, share you care. We will not stand for this,” leading the crowd down 19th Street, where students took the march downtown. The walkout was heavily patrolled by police who kept their distance from the roaring crowd.
“Today I’m standing in solidarity of my friends, comrades and people who are like family to me,” said Seanan Kenney, an earth and climate sciences major at SF State.
Kenney was holding a big banner that said “CRUSH ICE” in one hand a megaphone in the other. He also started chants with his megaphone, “From Palestine to Mexico these border walls have to go,” “Join us walkout” and “No borders no nation f––k deportation.”
Chants were used to express students’ attitudes toward President Donald Trump’s policy on immigration and his desire to build a wall between the U.S and Mexico.
In response to SF State President Leslie Wong’s recent apology letter, students also chanted “F––k Wong,” repeatedly during the walkout.
“Everything’s that been happening over the last three days — 150 deportations and probably more, it’s really scary,” said Kenia, an undocumented student at state. Kenia’s last name isn’t being used due to her immigration status. “But I can’t say it’s anything that’s new because this a fear that i’ve been living with from the last 13 years. I always wake up and think I could be next.”
She urged students to become more involved in their communities and join movements like Black Lives Matter and to spread awareness of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
“Obviously, the immigration struggle isn’t the only struggle that black and brown people see,” said Kenia.
Earlier this week the Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf shared in a statement on Twitter that ICE would be conducting operations in Oakland.
“My statement on Saturday was meant to give all residents time to learn their rights and know their legal options. It was my intention that one mother, or one father, would use the information to help keep their family together.”
Broadcasting and communication studies major Jeffrey Magana said, “As a Salvadorian male, I feel like I need to have not only my voice heard, but also people’s voices that aren’t here.”
Magana represented his ethnicity at the march by wearing a scarf that had the Salvadoran flag. He wasn’t the only student representing his ethnic pride. Other students did the same by waving flags, including one from Palestine.
The protesters joined the larger protest (#ICEoutofCA) in front of the US & Immigration Services building once they made it downtown.
The overall walkout remained peaceful, and protesters continued to stand in solidarity with their peers.
“This is a perfect way for people to come together and raise our voices together and to show people that we’re here and we’re not going anywhere,” said Magana.
Correction: In the initial version of this article, “From Palestine to Mexico” was incorrectly quoted. The correct quote mentions Palestine, not Canada.