OAKLAND (KPIX) – In downtown Oakland, a group of moms are on a hunger strike to speak out against a missed deadline to reunify some immigrant families.
The five protesters, who set up camp outside the Federal Building in Oakland Monday morning, say they will not eat for the next 3 days. They’re protesting that some families, separated by immigration officials, have still not been reunited, despite the federal judge’s order to reunify all families by July 26th.
“The deadline came and went and things have not really changed and so, we have to step up it up and go to more extreme measures,” said Rabia Keeble, one of the moms.
The women say their hunger strike will continue until Wednesday. Then, people in other cities, including Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Portland, will take it up in a series of rolling protests across the nation. They say they will not stop until ICE returns all 700 remaining children to their parents.
“They don’t know what they’re doing. It is kind of a chaos,” said immigration activist Xochitl Oseguera. “They don’t know where some of the children are. Some of the parents were deported and are not able to locate their children.”
The hunger strikers say their message is intended more for the American people than the government itself.
“Because I’m an activist and because I’m surrounded with other activists, it feels like there’s something always churning and happening and it feels very active,” said Keeble. “But outside of the activist culture, I think it probably is a little stagnated because people have been assured that this has been taken care of.”
They say it’s important that the public understands the situation has NOT yet been resolved.
The hunger strike in Sacramento is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.