Four protesters blocking traffic on the off-ramp to 15th Street coming off I-676 were arrested Tuesday around noon after police had to resort to power tools to cut apart the PVC pipes and handcuffs holding them together.
More than 40 protesters from immigrant advocacy and anti-deportation groups chanted “ni una mas” (not one more) while blocking the street after marching over from a federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility at 16th and Callowhill streets.
The protesters blocking the streets employed what is known as the "sleeping dragon" -- handcuffing their hands together within pieces of PVC pipe that prevented police from pulling them apart. Police had to use a handheld electric saw to cut the pipe open so they could clip the cuffs. The protesters had their arms tourniqueted before the saw was used in case they were accidentally cut, police said.
The protesters were on the streets calling for an end to deportations in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent decision that blocked key parts of President Barack Obama's executive orders on amnesty.
The court blocked the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).
“I am supporting because I am feeling the same pain as everyone else here today,” Irma Maldonado, 36, a mother of two, who was at the protest, said through an interpreter. “There are millions of mothers who won’t be able to see their family members.”
Maldonado said she does not support the Supreme Court decision because “we are all immigrants.”
The street was blocked for nearly an hour before police were able to separate the protesters, who refused to get up from the street.