SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Hundreds of Bay Area residents headed to the capitol Wednesday to participate in a march and rally urging lawmakers to pass two bills that would protect Muslims and immigrants.
Busloads of protesters headed to Sacramento from San Jose Wednesday morning to attend the day-long rally.
Before Ramiro Munoz boarded the bus, he shared what he says he sees everyday among family and friends.
“There is a certain feeling. Families and communities are feeling terrorized by the actions that the president has taken of late,” explained Munoz.
Marchers from San Jose, Morgan Hill, Oakland and San Francisco were to be among the estimated 1,500 participants in Wednesday’s day of action.
“We will not stand for any law or force federal or local that is meant to divide us,” said rally organizer Christian Ollano.
Ollano said their goal is to urge lawmakers to pass the California Values Act. The bill pledges that no local or state resources will help the feds with mass deportations.
The group also wants to see the religious freedom act passed which would ban a Muslim registry.
“People scared to go to the grocery store, to get out of their homes even, said Ollano. I mean, it’s that fear of ICE coming in, of families being split apart.”
In fact, Ollano said people are so fearful of deportation, some were too afraid to share their stories on-camera when KPIX 5 asked for an interview.
“It breaks my heart,” said rally participant Alice Lynch. “It breaks my heart and I know some of these people.”
Lynch said the group’s message is loud and clear.
“I do believe that numbers matter. That people pay attention when people show up,” she said.))
“Essentially we’re the life blood of the economy,” said Munoz.
The group that left San Jose is part of a grass roots faith-based organization called PACT, which stands for People Acting in Community Together.
After the rally, they plan to deliver a petition to the governor’s office that has 62,000 signatures in support of those two bills.