Dozens of people camped outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in San Francisco on Monday night in an effort to abolish ICE in the wake of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The demonstration in the city's Financial District was one of several happening around the Bay Area and other U.S. cities -- part of a nationwide "Occupy ICE" movement.
New arrivals from different corners of the community were there to offer their support on Tuesday morning. Among them was Berkeley resident Kevin Florian, who came with his 16-month-old son, Miles.
"I figure since I’ve got my family and I have the privilege of keeping them together, I feel like it's good to show solidarity with the people who are not able to keep their families together," Florian said.
Some protesters said they'll continue to demonstrate until ICE is abolished or until they are dragged away.
"I think ... we have to move beyond allyship," said a woman who identified herself as Bonnabelle, one of several protesters KQED spoke with who would give only their first names for fear of reprisal. "And that means putting yourself at risk sometimes. And so I think that a lot of people have the intent to stay here until they're dragged off."
Bonnabelle was part of a team serving coffee and doughnuts to protesters, as well as handing out information about immigrant rights. Members of the political action group Democratic Socialists of America were also on-site, using social media to spread the word about the civil action.
The campout followed a much larger gathering on Monday night, in which hundreds of people reportedly linked arms and encircled the building where ICE has a field office. At 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, the demonstration consisted of about 20 protesters, a handful of tents and several police officers who were looking on. The police were diverting traffic from the Sansome Street block where ICE is located to accommodate the protest.
"Right now, it appears that it's peaceful and that people are behaving and they're able to voice out their feelings about the situation," said Robert Rueca, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department. "We are monitoring the situation and making sure that everyone is behaving, and keeping tabs of anything that might turn sour down there. If we need to call in for extra resources, we're ready to do that at any moment."
President Trump recently tweeted that without ICE, crime would be rampant. He has vowed to keep his zero-tolerance immigration policy.
"ICE fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference," wrote Richard Rocha, a Northern California ICE spokesman. "ICE remains committed to immigration enforcement consistent with federal law and agency policy."
Rocha also refuted protesters' claims that ICE canceled immigration hearings on Tuesday in retaliation against the demonstrations.
"Assertions of ICE cancelling court appointments in retaliation to the presence of demonstrators are false," Rocha wrote.