Photo: Luis Gutiérrez arrest
Six Democratic members of the House of Representatives were arrested on Tuesday in front of the Capitol in an act of civil disobedience staged in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.
Taken into custody by police were Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and Georgia’s John Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement, along with New York Reps. Charles Rangel and Joe Crowley, Arizona’s Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison of Minnesota.
The six lawmakers were among more than 100 activists arrested near the Capitol, some of whom seated themselves on the street, and they joined in the acts of civil disobedience - with the knowledge that they might be arrested - to protest the lack of determination among their colleagues in the House of Representatives in approving immigration reform.
Starting about midday, activists began to fill the Washington Mall, waving U.S. flags.
The goal of the protest was to once again denounce the breaking up of immigrant families in the United States as a result of deportations and to demand that Congress approve an immigration reform package to legalize the status of the country’s 11 million undocumented foreigners.
The act of civil disobedience was the culmination of the day of protest in which thousands of people participated and which also included a free concert by Lila Downs and Los Tigres del Norte.