Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested in Washington DC
On May 1, 2010 leaders of the immigration reform movement were arrested in Washington DC. At the end of a peaceful demonstration at Lafayette Park, leaders of the immigration reform movement were arrested for a sit-in at the railings in front of the White House in what was intended to be an act of civil disobedience. Set against the background of Arizona's adoption of SB1070, the leaders vowed not to move from the railings until either an immigration reform law was passed or they were arrested. Police arrested the volunteers in a very calm and civil pro-forma manner while the surrounding crowds called on President Obama to take the lead in implementing immigration reform. The speakers said that the Democrat Party, because of the promises it made, especially to the Latino community, during the election, now had a duty to deliver on those promises. The leaders were arrested and placed on board a bus that had been parked nearby. The bus then drove 20-30 feet to the plaza in front of the White House, where each of the arrested leaders was removed one at a time, photographed and videotaped, and then put back on the bus. The bus remained parked for 10 minutes and then drove away, apparently taking the arrested volunteers and leaders to a police station in Anacostia in Washington DC for processing. Once the bus left the crowd dispersed peacefully. One police officer that was overseeing the police activity at the scene said that the organizers of the demonstration had ensured that it was both well organized and controlled.