The San Francisco Police Department proved how meaningless the city’s Sanctuary City Policy is early this morning when officers arrested 39 peaceful protesters who had occupied the public sidewalk in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office at 630 Sansome Street since July 2.
Police officers, with truncheons drawn to threaten anyone who dared resist arrest or who photographed the operation, advanced on the encampment and encircled protestors shortly after 2:00 am, carrying out the mass arrest by charging the protesters with “suspected misdemeanor lodging” and hauling them off to jail for the night as punishment.
The city’s action makes a mockery of its own Sanctuary City Policy, which dates from 1989 and bars all city departments and employees from using “city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law.” The protesters had blocked a vehicle gate through which ICE agents regularly bring immigrants swept up in raids in buses for detention and deportation – clearly an action which enforces the grotesque and inhumane federal immigration laws.
“Despite promises of sanctuary, the city police force/local law enforcement is and has been openly collaborating and coordinating with federal immigration forces to arrest protestors and repress resistance efforts. If this entanglement is possible, what does “sanctuary” mean?” posted Occupy ICE SF on Twitter.
Mayor-elect London Breed, who declined to comment on the police department’s blatant violation of the city’s Sanctuary City Policy, has nonetheless called for beefing up the city’s police force with more officers, in part to help clear homeless encampments similar to the protesters’ encampment in front of ICE headquarters.