13 Protesters Arrested, 12 Remain Jailed One Day Later


By Morgan Hightower

“No courage, no change!”

‘Stop the hate’ and ‘undocumented, unafraid’- all phrases chanted by a group of self-proclaimed undocumented immigrants storming the Alabama State House.

The activists came from all over the country to gather in the Capital City to stand up against Alabama’s illegal-immigration law and to deliver a letter to the man who they say is behind it all.

“We'd like to give this letter to Senator Beason.”

The group wanted to hear from the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Beason.

“We want the senator to give us a response and we are pretty much saying no to HB 56 because it's criminalizing and oppressing the community,” explained one protester.

Marcessa and Ernesto sat with their arms locked in the State House until they were arrested after refusing to leave when the building closed.

Outside, another group of activists were seated... planted firmly in the middle of South Union Street.

“I am here to send a message out to the community and to legislatures to stop the hate,” said Myisha Ariano, an activist.

“You have ten minutes to vacate the premises or you will be arrested,” one police officer told the crowd.

It was a warning Ariano ignored.

Reporter: “You're willing to be arrested and possibly risk deportation just to sit here and send this message to lawmakers in Alabama?
“Human rights are worth any risk,” Ariano answered.

Moments later, she and ten others were arrested.

"They were arrested for disorderly conduct and are going to the city jail to be booked as we speak,” said Chief Kevin Murphy.

Despite the arrests, activists say they won't stop protesting the law.

“We are showing our voice, we are no longer afraid. If you want to put us in your jails, put us in your jails. We will advocate, we will organize just as well inside of your jails as we do outside. We are ready to respond,” explained Mohammad Abdollahi, an activist.

Abdollahi says they're ready to respond to a law they believe is unconstitutional and unjust.

In all, thirteen people were arrested. A website, dreamactivist.org has identified those arrested as Martin Unzueta, 55, of Chicago, IL; Belen Rebelledo, 39, of Detroit MI; Alma Diaz, 30, of Ohio; Jaime Guzman, 25, of Oregon; Catalina Rios, 19, of Detroit, MI; Ernesto Zumaya, 25, of Los Angeles, CA; Myasha Arellano, 18, of San Fernando Valley, CA; Krsna Avila, 23, of Oakland, CA; Fernanda Marroquin, 22, of Philadelphia, PA; Cesar Marroquin, 21, of Philadelphia, PA; and Cynthia Perez, 27, of Indianapolis, IN.

Wednesday, State Representative Alvin Holmes said he was willing to post bond for the arrested self-proclaimed illegal immigrants.

Chief Kevin Murphy said the typical bail for a disorderly conduct charge is $500.

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