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Houston united against ICE raids

By Fabian Van Onzin |
October 12, 2015
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Houston protest against ICE raids.
Houston protest against ICE raids. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Houston, TX - Over 50 activists protested outside of the Harris County sheriff's office, Oct. 10, against a series of recent ICE raids. Every month, the Harris County sheriff's office deports over 1000 immigrants. It has deported nearly 25,000 immigrants since 2008 - the fourth largest number in the entire U.S. Last month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), along with the Department of Labor, Harris County sheriff’s office, and the Houston police department raided the Espiga De Oro tortilla factory under the pretense of the 'concern' over the treatment of workers.

The protest was organized by the Houston Socialist Movement and included activists from a variety of different organizations. The demonstration was very militant, as protesters picketed the sheriff's office chanting, "Black, brown, Asian, white, all workers must unite!" and "The people united, will never be defeated." After picketing for about a half hour, there were a few stirring speeches demanding justice for undocumented workers and an end to the raids and deportations.

Guarding the entrance to the sheriff's office was a swarm of cops. One of the speakers pointed to the police and said, "These goofballs are the only people who can be called 'illegal', for they are alien to the community and its needs!" Another speaker pointed to the police and said, "The police are the enemy. They create fear and terror in the community."

After the speeches, the protesters tried to enter the sheriff's office to deliver a letter to the chief of police calling for an end to the raids. The cops locked the doors and blockaded the entrance. The protesters chanted, "Let us in, let us in!" and more cops appeared to guard the doors, as well as additional cop cars. The chant leader pointed out to everyone how this clearly demonstrated that the police have no interest in the needs of working people and exist only to defend the corporations and their profits.

David Smith, with the Houston Socialist Movement, said, "Immigration raids and deportations must stop. Families are being destroyed, people are living in fear and those who are deported and try to return are dying in the desert or being put in hellish detention centers. Only the mobilization of the community, the support of pro-immigrant groups and the unity of working people can stop this attack on immigrants. We cannot depend on self-serving politicians and unjust laws. Together, we must demand an end to raids and deportations."