Protesters marched down Market Street from the offices of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to the Federal Building Tuesday afternoon to call for the closure of immigrant detention centers. (All photos by Théophile Larcher/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

Hundreds block streets with protest of immigrant detentions

Groups call on Feinstein, Pelosi to cut off funding for facilities

Hundreds of San Franciscans marched through the streets Tuesday afternoon to protest the detention of immigrants in centers along the Mexican border.

The protest, organized by Families Belong Together and MoveOn, called for the closure of “inhumane detention centers,” and was “part of a national day of action in response to the inhumane conditions in Trumps’ detention centers.”

Protesters gathered at U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office at Post and Market street at noon before marching west on Market Street, chanting “Close the camps,” “Never again means now,” and “Asylum is not a crime.”. By 1:30 p.m. they had gathered around the Federal Building.

“We are here to protest against the inhuman and amoral policy of this government,” said Alameda resident Sue Nello, 63.

Police on the scene estimated the group of protesters totaled “a couple hundred” at the Federal Building but may have been closer to five hundred while marching on Market Street.

Protesters urged both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Feinstein to fight for stronger legislation in the House of Representatives and asked that they stop the funding to detention centers.

“I feel Dianne Feinstein is absent and invisible in this debate,” said Lauretta Molitor, a 57-year-old Oakland resident.

Several protesters argued the term “concentration camps” was a more accurate description of the current situation on the border than “detention center.”

Pushing a stroller with her 4 ½-month-old son George in it and carrying a “Babies against baby jail” sign, Sine Morris, a 29-year old Danish woman who lives in The Mission, said she has experienced detention herself.

She was detained for five hours once, and is detained from one to two hours every time she comes back from holidays.

“There is no excuse to treat people like this in the wealthiest country in the world,” said Morris.

Fifty-three-year-old Shala Ball, from the Castro District, carried a sign reading “Even the Taliban gives a toothbrush.”

“I can’t believe this is my America,” Ball said.

tlarcher@sfexaminer.com

 

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