By: Brandy Miceli
People from around the world gathered under the trees of Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland to share their stories of brutal violence, sexual assault, and yearning hunger during their journey to the United States from their homelands — the hot spring day complementing their zeal to be heard.
With mouths full of homemade tamales rojos y verdes, folks chanted, “Undocumented, unapologetic, and unafraid!”
This event, put on by the Immigrant Youth Coalition, Coming Out Of The Shadows (COOTS), was a place where they could express themselves in the streets of Oakland, one of over three hundred sanctuary cities across the country.
“Folks are eager to tell their stories,” Yadira Sanchez, an activist with the Immigrant Youth Coalition, said.
Sanctuary cities erupted into recent headlines following the death of Kathryn “Kate” Steinle, a thirty-two-year-old San Francisco woman, at the hands of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant. He had been deported five times, and served over twenty years in jails and federal prisons for felony drug charges and re-entry since 1991. In 2009, less than three months after his fifth deportation, Lopez-Sanchez was charged with another felony re-entry, and served five years in prison.
Full article linked here.