[UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: They Say They Didn’t] Homeland Security Photographed and Monitored Immigrant Rights March in Fortuna Today
According to Caleb Clark who along with his 4-year-old daughter were in the area, a male driver and a female passenger of the government vehicle closely watched the activities and photographed the marchers.
Clark explained that he noticed the distinctive vehicle apparently watching the marchers around 10 a.m. He said he saw the two through their vehicle’s tinted windows. “The lady passenger at one point had her window rolled down and was taking pictures of the protestors.” Later, he said, the two were “walking up and looking at the protesters.”
Clark, who is a local soccer coach, explained he had seen the protestors marching southbound down Fortuna Boulevard. “I drove past them a few times because I wanted to give them a thumbs up,” he said.
Then, he said, he noticed the Homeland Security Vehicle photographing the protesters. As he observed the protesters, his daughter became impatient with the wait, he said so he explained “how important it is to have immigrants and migrants and how our country is built off of that… .”
The march is part of a nationwide protest called “A Day Without Immigrants.” Protesters across the country are staying home from work and school and closing their businesses in an attempt to show the importance of the migrant workforce.
Although we have contacted the Department of Homeland Security and they have responded to our initial inquiry, we don’t at this time have an answer as to why the DHS was present at the event. We will update when and if we get a response.Attempts to reach Centro De Pueblo, a Latino group, who were participants in the march for comment were also unsuccessful.
UPDATE 10:20 p.m.: From a Federal Protective Service official,
Today, Federal Protective Service personnel were conducting a facility security assessment on a federal building in the Fortuna, California area. Measuring the security posture of a facility is a routine activity that supports our core mission of protecting federal facilities and the people inside. Taking photographs of the building and the surrounding perimeter is part of the facility security assessment and report.
While FPS personnel were conducting their facility security assessment today, a large group walked by on the opposite side of the street. No photographs of this group were taken by FPS.