On Tuesday, March 6, LACW community member Mike Wisniewski joined 10 others in a nonviolent direct action at Republican U.S. Representative Steve Knight’s office in Santa Clarita, in the northeastern part of Los Angeles County. The nonviolent action was sponsored by L.A. Voice–Pico and CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), and was a protest against U.S. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — aka “Dreamers”), TPS (Temporary Protected Status) immigration policies, border militarization, and the current policy of separating families who are held in detention centers.
More than one hundred people gathered outside Rep. Knight’s office while the 11 who were risking arrest went inside through a back door to his second floor office and remained in the hallway singing songs, chanting, and praying, since we were denied entrance into the office itself. We remained in the hallway for more than an hour before Rep. Knight personally called one of the organizers from his Washington office (his local staff asked for someone’s cell phone number). The conversation was put on speaker and recorded. The discussion revolved around our demand for his commitment for “Clean” DACA Legislation, ending deportation of and protecting TPS recipients, and reduce funding for the militarization of the border, and immediately end separating children from parents already in border detention facilities.
The representative agreed to meet with the organizers and talk about the issues, stipulating however, that the meeting does not necessarily mean agreeing on the issues. He also clearly stated that he would not discuss defunding the border patrol and de-militarization of the border area because he firmly believes more funding and personnel is needed to stop the flow of drugs coming into the U.S.
As a result of Rep. Knight personally calling the delegation and agreeing to a meeting, the majority of the civil disobedience delegation agreed to leave without arrest, but plan to return at a date in the not too distant future.