Eight UCSB students and a professor were arrested in downtown Santa Barbara on May 27th for staging a peaceful protest of anti-immigration policies.
Nearly 200 protesters — made up of local students, professors and community members — gathered at the intersection of Anacapa and Anapamu streets at noon, remaining there for over an hour-and-a-half in protest of Arizona state law SB1070 and other anti-immigration policies. According to onlookers, eight of the protesters were arrested for civil disobedience after refusing to leave the intersection for nearly an hour.
Among other demands, ralliers called for the Santa Barbara City Council to cut all business ties with Arizona-based companies and declare the city a sanctuary for immigrants.
Nayra Pacheco, a second-year history of public policy and environmental studies major, attended the rally as an activist campaigning for immigrant rights.
“We definitely wanted to send a message to the city council that we want Arizona to be boycotted,” Pacheco said. “A lot of concerned students, professors and community members staged a gathering, a rally against the Arizona law because of the racial profiling policies we feel it evoked.”
According to Pacheco, the majority of activists hailed from UCSB’s student body. Furthermore, she said, protesters and police remained calm throughout the protests, despite the arrests.
“I just want to emphasize that, just like the arrests, everything was peaceful, everything was very collaborative. It turned out to be a very productive rally,” Pacheco said.