Some breaking news here: I just got a phone call from Melissa Noriega, who tells me that students from Stephen F. Austin High School have walked out of classes and are moving through downtown, possibly towards the immigration court, though she couldn’t tell for sure. They were approaching the Toyota Center as Melissa called me.
Be that as it may, Melissa tells me there are about 20 police and constable cars accompanying the kids. She spoke to an officer who says they’re just there to keep the kids safe from traffic. They have no plans to interfere with what they’re doing.
I’ll post updates as I hear more. I checked the various local news sites before starting to write this but haven’t seen anything there yet. If you happen to be in the area and see anything, please leave a comment or drop me a note (kuff – at – offthekuff – dot – com). As Melissa said to me, “One thing we learned from the civil rights movement is that the more people who are watching as events unfold, the safer it is for everyone involved.”
UPDATE: Calling again from Navigation and 71st, Melissa reports there are about 1000 students from Milby who have walked out and are headed towards City Hall. There’s a school bus behind them, which school officials (riding on a John Deere vehicle of some kind, with a video camera to try and record who’s there) are pleading in vain for the students to get on and get back to class. This group is apparently better organized than some of the earlier groups – they have banners, and a number of the kids are wearing US flag bandanas.
There are a lot of kids who were brought to the US as babies or toddlers by their parents, and only know America as their home. They’re in a kind of legal limbo, and are very upset at the idea that some people want to send them “back” to a place they’ve never really lived. It’s amazing to watch this all go on. It feels like the start of something big.
Melissa phoned again to say that it’s raining where they are, near the original Ninfa’s on Navigation. Some of the kids have on blue rain slickers like you wear in marching band during inclement weather. As a lifelong band geek, I approve of that.
Apparently, there’s a Family Dollar store across the street from Ninfa’s. As the kids walked past there, some folks came out of that store with yellow raincoats and umbrellas for the kids. We think that was the store manager who did that – whoever it was, it was mighty kind of them.
UPDATE: Pictures, kindly sent to me by Sergio and Tiffany D (Stace also has them):
Austin High School students on Polk Street, east of downtown.
Austin High School students still on Polk Street, passing Frankels’ Costume Co.