Dozens arrested when faith leaders march on border wall


Dozens of people are in a standoff with heavily armed Border Patrol officers in front of the border wall at Border Field State Park

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SAN DIEGO – About 25 people were arrested Monday when they tried to push past heavily-armed border agents and get to the border wall at Border Field State Park.

The people who were detained were part of a much larger demonstration of more than 200 people called "Love Knows No Borders." Organizers said many of the participants are faith leaders representing many different religions and faith traditions. They include priests, pastors, imams and rabbis; and many had flown to San Diego from Connecticut, Boston, Washington and other areas outside San Diego.

The group said it was demonstrating to show support for immigrants who have come to Tijuana to ask for asylum in the United States.

The demonstrators began what they called a “non-violent direct action” by marching about 2 miles from the entrance of the park to the border wall on the beach. When they arrived, Border Patrol officers formed a human wall to prevent them from approaching the wall. The marchers said they wanted to reach the wall so they could deliver their message of support to people lining the wall on the Mexican side. Around 1 p.m., they sat down in front of the border officers and a standoff began.

A smaller group of demonstrators was intent on committing civil disobedience. They  invited arrest by pushing past border agents into an area that had been designated off limits. About two dozen of the self-designated "arrestables" were detained and led off. It was not immediately clear if they were jailed or cited and released.

The main body of protesters remained in front of the line of border officers for about 90 minutes. Around 2:30 p.m., they got up and began walking peacefully back to  the entrance of the park.

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