Seven Protesters Arrested at John McCain's Office While Demanding 'Clean' Dream Act

Seven Protesters Arrested at John McCain's Office While Demanding 'Clean' Dream Act
Undocumented Students for Education Equity at ASU
Undocumented Students for Education Equity at ASU
Seven people have been arrested after refusing to leave the office building on Camelback Road where Senator John McCain's office is located.

The activists were demanding that McCain pledge to vote against the Omnibus Spending Bill unless it also includes a 'clean' Dream Act, which would make it possible for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as kids to get permanent legal status.

"People say, why are you focusing on McCain and Flake when they've already said they support the Dream Act?" Korina Iribe explained. "Well, we need them to go the extra mile."

Iribe's group, Undocumented Students for Education Equity at ASU, organized the sit-in along with the Our Dream campaign, a coalition of left-leaning groups including Progressive Democrats of America.

They'd initially hoped to hold the protest inside the senator's office, but were denied access by a staffer.

Instead, they settled for sitting in the building's lobby, blocking the doors to McCain's office, despite repeated warnings from a security guard that they were trespassing on private property.
After roughly two hours, Phoenix police officers arrived and took them into custody.

The protesters arrested are:

• Dan O'Neal, Arizona state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of Arizona.
• Emily Kirkland, co-director of ProgressNow Arizona.
• Jake Bell, co-founder of the Phoenix chapter of Democratic Socialists of America and a candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission.
• Patrick Morales, vice president of the Tempe Elementary School District board and current candidate for Tempe City Council.
• Johnny Martin, a candidate for state representative in Legislative District 25.
• Redeem Robinson, a candidate for state senator in Legislative District 30.
• Camaron Stevenson, who, according to his LinkedIn profile, works in marketing at Arizona PBS.
Meanwhile, DACA recipients from USEE at ASU rallied outside the building, rather than risk arrest.

According to Patti Serrano, an organizer for Progressive Democrats of America's East Valley chapter, legal representation has already been lined up for the individuals who were arrested. USEE and PDA have also set up a crowdfunding page to help raise money for their bail.

We'll update this story when information becomes available about what charges the protesters are facing.

Korina Iribe of Undocumented Students for Education Equity at ASU said that it was "unfortunate" that the group hadn't been able to enter McCain's office, "but we were able to deliver our message."

"We hope McCain will really show up for undocumented students," she said.

Update, 12/5: All seven protesters were charged with criminal trespassing. They were released from the 4th Avenue jail at close to 12 a.m. this morning after supporters raised over $1,600 for their bail. Fox 10 Phoenix has the mugshots.

Watch video of the protesters being arrested here: 
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Antonia Noori Farzan is a staff writer at New Times and an honors graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Arizona, she worked for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.