200 gather in SF for ‘Block ICE Block Party', a celebration of 'resistance'

A block party took over the street on Wednesday outside the headquarters of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Francisco.

It is the third day the group has been outside ICE offices on the 400 block of Washington Street. The crowd grew to more than 200 people for the 'Block ICE Block Party' blockade, which was held on the Fourth of July.

Activists with the group Occupy SF ICE are calling for the federal agency to be abolished. The group said this is not a celebration of Independence Day, but rather a celebration of resistance.%INLINE%

“We are hoping for, if there is an insistence on processing people who are coming to the country without documents, even though there should be no concept of illegal immigration, to do so in a way that does not criminalize them,” Zoe, a spokeswoman for Occupy SF ICE, said.

The group is standing is solidarity with undocumented immigrants from around the world following President Trump’s immigration policies. They said since ICE was created in 2003, it has attempted to transform state and local law enforcement agencies into deportation machines and said their practices are a violation of human rights.

“We see that this is not a just society and it is our duty to stand up and fight against that and to fight for a socialist society for one that actually does enshrine rights to people into law.” Patricia Gorky with the Party for Socialism and Liberation said. 

Throughout the day, the crowd, tents, and signs multiplied which forced the street to be shut down. People walking by offered their support.

“It’s a great day to just stand up for independence and freedom… and I’m really thankful that there are people out here making a statement for those that don’t have any voice,” Sarah Baker said.

The demand to disband ICE and create non-criminalizing alternatives are being echoed at similar protests around the country. This encampment does not plan to back down anytime soon.

“We are going to be out here until the government literally drags us from this location,” Zoe said.

SFPD rotated officers at the block party site throughout the day. The protestors remained peaceful. As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests had been made.