RICHMOND (CBS SF) – Organizers were expecting roughly a thousand people to attend a protest and vigil Tuesday against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and for immigrant detainees held at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond.

The “Detention Center Day of Action” started at 7 a.m. outside 5555 Giant Highway, where activists estimate roughly 200 immigrants are being held.

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The protest is the latest in a series at ICE facilities across the country, following an “Occupy ICE” protest in Portland last week that ended up shutting down a detention center.

Roughly 60 people set up an open microphone with activists and community members stepping up to share their reasons for attending and other stories of resistance, according to activist Edward Wright, who was interviewed by phone from the scene.

People there have also been singing songs and sharing chants for “more just and equitable immigration policy,” Wright said.

“We’re here all day and we’re going to continue putting pressure on Trump, his administration and on ICE,” he added.

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A multi-day protest last week in Portland, Oregon, effectively shut down an ICE facility there after activists blocked access for federal employees. Wright said the group in Richmond is not looking to do the same thing here out of concerns that immigration officials might relocate detainees at other detention facilities further away from their friends and families.

The group says they are committed to non-violence but they also respect a diversity of tactics, and they’re trying to address broader issues including a public resurgence of white nationalism and white supremacy.

“This isn’t just about ICE,” Wright said. “This isn’t just about the new tactics of immigration enforcement happening at the border and at checkpoints around the country.”

“We see ICE as a symptom of a deeper problem,” he added.


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