San Francisco 'Close the Camps' protest demands closure of detention centers where migrant children, families are held

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- "Close the Camps" protests across the U.S. demanded the closure of detention centers where migrant children and their families are being held. In San Francisco, demonstrators blocked Market Street and chanted outside of Senator Dianne Feinstein's office, demanding she intervenes.

That was one of at least 170 protests scheduled to take place Tuesday across the country.

Denouncing the detention of migrant children and their families, hundreds of protesters came out in full force in San Francisco.

"I'm a pissed off mother and combat veteran and I will not be silenced anymore," said Frankie Velez.

Fellow demonstrator Jim Martinez added, "Don't separate the families from the kids. That's totally unacceptable. Not just that but he is treating kids like animals."

This week, lawmakers and lawyers involved in a federal lawsuit surfaced images and testimonies claiming inhumane conditions at a Homestead, Florida facility. This claims sparked the "Close the Camps" protest across the country. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 2,000 migrant children are detained at the Homestead facility.

"I'm hoping that Sen. Feinstein would notice that we are gathering outside her office and we are asking her to use her power," said Maria Hutchins. "The power that we don't have as individuals to actually put this to an end."

After approximately an hour of chanting, no one from the senator's office came out.

Protesters went on to block the intersection of Post and Market streets, where tension ran high.

Harvans Summan was one of at least 12 drivers blocked by the crowd.

"People are waiting in the line," said Summan. "They are working people you guys are hurting. Please move."

A protester replied, "Children are in concentration camps and you are inconvenienced."

Dow Patten gave out flowers trying to appease drivers, "I'm just trying to demonstrate to the people who are bearing the brunt of our protest that we care about them too and it's not about them. It's about the policies."

Moments later, hundreds went on to protest on Market Street while holding photos of at least seven children who have died in U.S custody, according to the ACLU.

"To put a face to the name," said Curt Wechsler. "I mean I think it's really important to represent these kids."

ABC7 News reached out to Sen. Feinstein's office for comments but they have not returned our calls or emails.
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