Ten “undocumented activists” were arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina today as part of a civil disobedience action to protest the Obama administration’s stance on immigration policy.
The action took place about 4pm EDT just blocks from the site of the Democratic National Convention, where the protesters unfurled a banner, laid it out onto the street, then sat down upon it while blocking the middle of the intersection. A crowd of onlookers immediately gathered around the group, as one protester grabbed a bullhorn and lead the group in various chants. Police surrounded the protesters and issued numerous warnings for them to vacate the intersection before finally moving in to make the arrests.
The protesters donned coordinated t-shirts and held up banners that read “Undocumented” as they chanted, “No papers, no fear.”
Actress Rosario Dawson, whose heritage is described as “Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican, Native American and Irish,” was also among the protesters, and posed for photographs with many of them as she spoke in support of their actions.
The National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which operates the advocacy campaign website No Papers, No Fear, organized the action. According to the website, about 37 riders – said to be undocumented immigrants – joined the group in its “Ride for Justice” on what they’ve dubbed the “Undocubus” as it launched its bus tour on July 29th.
This summer a culmination of this work will be manifested during a Bus ride, through key states in the southern part of the United States, that will continue to confront power with the stories, voices, and actions of those directly affected by these immigration policies. Riders are undocumented people from all over the country, including students, mothers and fathers, children, people in deportation proceedings, day laborers, and others who continue to face deportation, harassment, and death while simply looking for a better life.
The tour began on July 29th in Phoenix, Arizona, following a week of action calling for Sheriff Arpaio to be brought to justice and for the federal government to stop collaborating with Arizona’s crisis. We will head through key states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The tour will end in North Carolina at the Democratic National Convention.
While No Papers, No Fear began its campaign with protest actions against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it is worth noting that it was announced last Friday the federal government has closed a criminal probe of alleged financial misconduct against Arpaio.
In addition to Dawson, other Hollywood and notable celebrities have publicly endorsed the Ride for Justice campaign, including Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, George Lopez, Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga, and Will.I.Am, as noted on its website.
The names of all of those arrested were not yet known at the time of this writing.