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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Immigrant activists show 'No Fear' during Wednesday protest

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM

At noon on Wednesday, the No Papers, No Fears riders from the UndocuBus returned to the spot where 10 were arrested the previous day for blocking the street. The 10 riders, all undocumented, we're released early Wednesday after spending about 11 hours in jail.

The UndocuBus left from Phoenix six weeks ago and has traveled across country to advocate for immigrant rights following Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's racial profiling trial. Although two No Papers, No Fears riders were arrested during the trial and two more during a stop in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday saw the largest mass arrest of UndocuBus riders.

At Wednesday's rally, those who had been released from custody only six hours pointed out that no charges were pressed and that none of them were threatened with deportation.

One 25-year-old rider, Iseri Carrasco, said that she was aware that some of the riders that had been arrested could be seen as high-priority deportation candidates. Maybe that's why everyone stayed on the sidewalk on Wednesday.

Riders credited their freedom to media attention and community support.

"Thanks to the love and support of our own community we are all free, and none of us are facing deportation proceedings," Carrasco said.

Rosi Carrasco, 52, and Iseri's mother was also arrested and said that knowing their rights was a big part of why they and other protesters were let go. She said they refused to answer any of the police officers' questions and only provided names and birthdates.

Julio Sanchez, a student who was arrested, wanted to pass a similar message along to those who are perhaps frightened to fight for their rights.

"I want to tell everyone in the undocumented community to know that we have civil liberties just as everyone else has," Sanchez, 24, said.

Iseri Carrasco ended the rally by pleading with President Obama, who landed in Charlotte hours after she was released from county jail, to stop breaking up Hispanic families by raiding their homes and deporting so many immigrants.

"We're going to continue to ask President Obama what side of history he wants to be on," she said.

The No Papers, No Fears riders were in NoDa later on Wednesday evening screening their documentary, "Undocunation."

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