Nine people arrested at a protest to close immigrant detention centers appeared in Buffalo City Court Wednesday morning, facing charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.
The judge dismissed the charge of unlawful assembly and after 30 days. A second charge, disorderly conduct, also will be dropped as long as no one gets arrested in this period.
Police arrested the nine while they were protesting along Delaware and Chippewa on July 11, a location right in front of the local U.S. immigration office.
Police said they were arrested because protestors were blocking traffic and refused to move.
The charges read aloud in court called the protestors’ actions violent, but police reports note they were signing and linking arms.
In the eyes of Dr. Sandra Steingraber, a professor at Ithaca College and one of the nine arrested, the charges getting dropped is a victory and shows they weren't being violent but instead standing up for what they believe.
”It’s an understanding by the court that we are upstanding citizens, we are teachers and with leaders, indigenous leaders, scientists, military veterans who have used our first amendment rights to speak out against a crime by our own government,” she said.
After court, protestors from Peace Prints Camp gathered in Niagara Square, chanting “all immigrants are welcome here.”