RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A raucous protest in front of the Executive Mansion Thursday led to several arrests as Raleigh authorities separated protesters who appeared to be chained together.
They sat down in the middle of Blount Street, chained together, to protest Gov. Pat McCrory’s signing of House Bill 318 on Wednesday.
After the street was blocked for about two hours, Raleigh authorities began to surround them and start to cut them loose. The Raleigh Police arrested people and took them away with zip ties holding their hands behind their back.
Raleigh police arrested:
- Martha Iliana Santillan-Carril
- Angeline Marie Echeverria
- Ivanna Christina Gonzalez
- Nayely Irais Perez-Huerta
- David Salazar Montalvo
- Maria Carmen Rodriguez
All six were each charged with one count of impeding traffic and one count of resisting, delaying or obstructing officers. They were all released on an unsecured bond by 9:45 p.m.
“We sent thousands of petitions. We sent letters. We made phone calls and he ignored us which is why took the action we did today,” said Echeverria after being released from jail. “You can not go on living your life acting things are business as usual when you are attacking immigrant communities.”
More than a hundred supporters showed up the Wake County Detention Center Thursday night.
The road was back open shortly after 7 p.m.
The arrests were peaceful, with police and protesters smiling at each other. One Raleigh officer took video of the event.
McCrory signed the immigration bill that bans sanctuary cities, among other changes in immigration policy.
That signing brought an explosive response Thursday afternoon as a crowd gathered at the Executive Mansion. Six protesters sat down on Blount Street and blocked traffic on a key artery in downtown Raleigh around rush hour.
Others watched, held signs and chanted their support while Raleigh Police watched. One banner said, “We make America great.”
An inmate transport vehicle arrived around 5:20 p.m.
Earlier Thursday, McCrory defended the bill in an extensive interview with WNCN. He said allowing “sanctuary cities” would lead “to chaos.”
Traffic was being re-routed by the Raleigh Police as the protest continued.