#FreeThePeople Immigration March: The Photos You Need To See

by Brian Lis // March 6, 2017
2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

On February 18th, a coalition of 90 activist groups held a massive march and rally in front of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the recent Executive Orders issued by the Trump Administration against immigrants.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

The event was organized in direct response to the early February U.S. Immigration and Customs raids in which over 100 people were detained across Los Angeles. Standing in solidarity with undocumented immigrants, the event organizers hoped to elevate their voiced by bringing together allies: Black, Brown, trans, queer, and Muslim communities, all of who also faced discrimination through Donald Trump’s actions and campaign rhetoric.

Further Reading:

One arrest in particular, of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was documented on video to the heart-wrenching sobs of his 13 year old daughter:


Last Tuesday morning, ICE agents followed Romulo, his wife, and their 12- and 13-year-old daughters. Shortly after Romulo and his wife dropped off their younger daughter at school, two unmarked ICE vehicles surrounded their car. ICE officers—wearing uniforms identifying themselves as “Police”—placed Romulo under arrest as his 13-year-old daughter watched in tears.

Help Stop the Deportation of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez 

EVENT: Rally
 606 S. Olive St, Los Angeles (Immigration Court)
WHEN: Monday, March 6 at 3pm
WHO: #FreeThePeople organizers, Romulo’s family and friends
EVENT PAGE: http://bit.do/freeromulo


Free Romulo!

Posted by March And Rally Los Angeles on Monday, March 6, 2017


2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

“This march is historic,” says march organizer Alfredo Gama, founder of Brand New City Los Angeles. “It is led by those communities who are directly impacted, it is an example of how undocumented, Black, indigenous, Muslim, Asian, and queer communities are and will continue to be at the forefront of the resistance, all while their allies uplift their voices. The coalition is multi-racial, citizen and non-citizen, and intergenerational. It is an unprecedented group in the age of divide and conquer. This is how we will resist Trump.”

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

Over 20,000 people from across Los Angeles attended the event calling on Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city’s elected officials to help maintain the city’s historic status as a safe haven for undocumented immigrants.

Organizers prepared a People’s Declaration ahead of the event to outline their demands:

“We, the grassroots community directly impacted, civil and human rights, faith, activist, and labor leaders represent and serve the residents of the City of Los Angeles. Local elected officials have demonstrated a lack of urgency while riding the wave of the mass anti-Trump movement. Mayor Garcetti has been buckling to Trump’s empty threats to defund sanctuary cities.”

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

“Our people are under attack and we are increasingly the targets of xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, bigotry and hate under the Trump administration. We must remember that the people hold the power. And no one can strip the people of the human dignity inherent in each and every one of us.”

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

WE THE PEOPLE of Los Angeles declare OUR city and county a SANCTUARY for ALL;

That we pledge, to organize, to work in coalition, and to upbuild a powerful movement:

  • To Defend and Protect each other from ICE raids and deportations, FBI raids, stop and frisk policies, police violence, economic violence, and mass evictions and incarceration,
  • To Stop the criminalization of our low income and houseless youth, people of color, street vendors and day laborers,
  • To Create safer spaces for Transgender and Queer and Muslim and Black youth—and Center Black Lives in our efforts and to affirm the lives of Transgender women of color,
  • Tensure that all of us, documented and undocumented, have access to healthcare, quality education, housing, and youth programs,
  • To Promote the self-definition of all impacted communities, while combatting narratives that stigmatize and criminalize us, and that elevate some groups over others,
  • To Protect the rights of immigrants, the undocumented, Muslims, Blacks, Jews, LGBTQIA people, women and the low-income,
  • To Protect, Defend, and Provide for political refugees of American fascism, materialism and militarism;
2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

And, that we further demand that the Mayor, city, and county of Los Angeles:

1. Enact STRONG sanctuary policies that PREVENT local tax dollars and resources (including law enforcement) from being used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There will be NO subsidizing Trump’s deportation machine.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

2. REFUSE the national stop-and-frisk policy of the Trump administration which will target immigrant, Black, Brown, Latino, and Asian, and poor communities especially.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

3. Create a clear line between federal immigration agents and local law enforcement and county jails. Modernize the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Special Order 40, the police policy intended to promote public safety by protecting immigrants—it hasn’t been updated since 1979.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

4. Make LA Justice Fund, a $10 million fund for deportation defense, to be for EVERYONE, especially those in immigration detention. We say NO to the exclusion of people with a criminal record from this fund. #DueProcess4ALL

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

5. Oppose President Trump’s measures scapegoating and discriminating against Muslims. Oppose Countering Violent Extremism Funding and President Trump’s measures scapegoating and discriminating against Muslims. #NoBanNoWall

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

6. STAND UP to protect the rights of LGBTQ people and strongly oppose any attempt by Trump to institute a “license to discriminate” against LGBTQ people.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

7. Make sure that the civil rights and well-being of residents are protected by having stronger fair hiring policies and by investing in state agencies as partners to stop bias and discrimination through enforcing Title VII and other fair hiring standards in the City of Los Angeles.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

8. STOP criminalizing and prosecuting poverty, immigrants, youth and people of color, and people who are houseless—stop funneling people into the criminal injustice system to deportation pipeline. LEGALIZE street vending and pardon past tickets for street vending.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

9. Expand existing levels of funding for day labor centers to ensure access to jobs and to re-affirm the City commitment to enforce wage theft and labor violations no matter someone’s immigration status.

2/18 #FreeThePeople March & Rally Los Angeles (Photo: Brian Lis)

10. Develop a City budget that funds housing, youth programs, mental health resources, crime prevention/intervention work, effective and holistic indigent defense, and living wage jobs by at a level that exceeds funding for police. Eventually leading to alternatives to and taking away funding from police and the sheriff. NO to a militarized police! California is #1 in Prison Funding and #49 in education funding. #SchoolsNotJails #NoMoreJails

For more information on the event or to get involved, please contact:

Union Del Barrio
California For Progress 
Brand New City Los Angeles
Immigrant Youth Coalition
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
Black Lives Matter Los Angeles 
AIM SoCal 
March and Rally Los Angeles

Post Author: Brian Lis

─ Brian is a filmmaker, producer, and progressive activist working out of Los Angeles. Follow Me On Facebook
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