Four Arrested During Protest at Alameda County Building
(BANT) – Four activists were arrested today for blocking the entrance to the Alameda County administration building in Oakland and climbing to its second-floor roof to unfurl a large banner protesting the county’s collaboration with immigration authorities, sheriff’s officials said.
Alameda County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said the four people were arrested on suspicion of trespassing for breaching the building’s security.
“We tolerate people making noise and protesting but not trespassing or breaking the law,” Kelly said.
Isaac Ontiveros of Oakland Sin Fronteras (Oakland Without Borders), one of several groups involved in today’s action, said protesters blocked the building at 8 a.m. today and some activists climbed to the roof
to unfurl a 20-foot-long banner that said, “What Does Sanctuary Look Like?”
Ontiveros said the approximately 150 protesters who came to the building are protesting Sheriff Gregory Ahern’s collaboration with U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the sheriff’s annual training program called Urban Shield and what he said was the county’s plan to expand Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
However, Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi said at a Board of Supervisors hearing last year that the county’s improvement program at Santa Rita isn’t really an expansion program because the jail will wind up
with 18 fewer beds than it currently has.
The project is expected to be completed in 2019.
Protesters formed a line to try to block the main entrance to the county building on Oak Street but left shortly after 11 a.m.
Kelly said sheriff’s deputies had warned the protesters that more people would be arrested if they didn’t stop trying to block the entrance by 11 a.m.
A large number of sheriff’s deputies guarded both the outside and inside of the county building and allowed small groups of people to come and go, even though the protesters were trying to block the entrances.
A large number of Oakland police officers assisted the deputies.
Despite the protest, county business was still conducted inside the building and civil courtrooms inside the building continued to operate.
The action is one of several May Day protests, rallies and marches taking place around the Bay Area today in support of immigrant and worker rights.