At 8 am on Monday morning, Stacey Farley got ready to leave the house to smoke - she had no idea what she was about to witness on her very doorstep.
Her neighbors, a father and son, who, by all reports, are good people, no trouble to anyone, had been trapped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The unmarked white van that the agents used to block in the father and son gave no indication to their authority, the two men were not in uniform, and they could not produce a warrant.
We've heard the stories about children in cages on the border, whispers about people being taken and thrown into the back of vans with no explanation, seen reports about families being ripped apart by this atrocious manhunt ordered by President Trump, but what do you do when you witness it happening right in front of you?
This neighborhood in Tennesse did what I hope all decent Americans would do; they looked after their own, they protected their neighbors, their community. They forced the ICE agents to leave.
Here's the story...
President Trump taunted the public on Twitter about the imminent ICE raids.On July 17th, the president tweeted a warning about his proposed operation to remove "millions" of "illegal aliens" from the United States.
So far, ICE has managed to detain thirty-five individuals.
via: Getty ImagesWhat President Trump called a "major operation" has fallen fairly flat of its aim to detain 2000 immigrants in the first few days of raids. The ICE raids are expected to continue, but the public are expected to fight this latest breach of the first amendment.
In March 2018, Trump slammed Mayor Libby Schaaf for warning residents of the then-expected ICE raids.
via: Getty ImagesHe said: "Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf — how dare you, how dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda."
Mayor Schaaf was well within her rights to make her community aware of what was happening.
via: Getty ImagesBut the president also claimed that the mayor could face prosecution for her actions. Schaaf, fortunately, had already made sure of her rights. Before making the announcement, she had spoken with a legal counsel to make sure that she wasn't in danger of federal prosecution.
I wonder how different things would be if Trump did the slightest bit of fact-checking...
via: Getty ImageAfter slamming Mayor Schaaf, he claimed that she had "told undocumented immigrants to 'scatter' and 'get out of here.'" Actually, Schaaf had not encouraged undocumented immigrants to flee - rather, in her February 24th announcement, she said that she wished to "encourage community awareness" of what was happening and shared contact information for an Oakland nonprofit group that would provide legal aid to those facing deportation.
Why should Mayor Schaaf want to help undocumented immigrants?
. @realDonaldTrump If you continue to threaten, target and terrorize families in my community... and if we receive… https://t.co/MUU7yQCm7F— Libby Schaaf (@Libby Schaaf)1560825523.0
One rule for Trump, another rule for everyone else.
via: Getty ImagesSo Trump was furious that Mayor Shaaf warned her community of the expected raids last year, but, flash forward a year, we have President Trump tweeting to the entire world that he is going to carry out raids that following week. Great power play, Mr. President.
While the president taunted immigrants, others used social media to remind them of their rights.Twitter user, @rachel_maria65, replied to the president's taunt with a poster made by the non-profit American Civil Rights Union (ACLU), which outlines the rights of anyone questioned by ICE agents. Another twitter user, @godinez_genesis, found a Spanish translation of the poster and shared that, too. This exchange demonstrated that, even amongst all of the hate, people are rallying around to demonstrate love and support for one another.
Community spirit is alive and well in Nashville, Tennesse.Here's a community that hasn't been brainwashed into thinking that their next-door neighbors are dangerous aliens...
So what happened on Monday?On Monday morning, the working-class neighborhood of Hermitage, in Nashville, were subject to the invasion of two ununiformed ICE agents who made attempts to pull over a man while he was in his car with his twelve-year-old son. At 7:19 am, the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) received a call from the ICE agents requesting back-up as they were unable to force the man to leave his vehicle.
Neighbors that were witness to the commotion came out in support of the man and his son.
via: abcactionnews.comAlerting local activist groups about what was happening, the neighbors came out in force to protect the two men from being arrested. Tristan Call, who volunteers with "Movements Including X" (MIX), a collective of young activists who organize events for social causes, arrived at the scene along with Nashville At Large Councilman, Bob Mendes, Nashville City Councilman, Fabian Bedne, and other activists.
"I mean, if I was driving and one of them tried to stop me, I wouldn’t stop."
via: Getty ImagesSpeaking to Time, Call, explained: “I would have never ever guessed that the people in those cars were government agents. They looked like your neighbors, anybody. That makes me uncomfortable. I mean if I was driving and one of them tried to stop me, I wouldn’t stop. From a policy perspective, from a safety perspective, it seems extremely inappropriate and dangerous."
Neighbors who were witness to the entrapment were shocked by the ICE agents' tactics.
via: Getty ImagesNeighbors that were that at the scene told local paper, The Tennessean, that "the ICE officers were encouraging the two individuals to exit their van, offering cash rewards and saying things like 'you'll have to exit eventually.'"
The father and son were trapped in their vehicle for over four hours.
via: Getty ImagesThe neighbors rallied round to support the duo, they provided their neighbors with water, and filled up the gas tank so that their car would still have air-conditioning.
“Really, the difference was the neighbors stood with it."Tristan Call was humbled by the tireless efforts made by the community. The neighbors eventually created a human-chain around the man's vehicle so that he could get into his house with his son without the ICE agents getting to them. Call stated: “Really the difference was the neighbors stood with it. None of this would have happened if 15 neighbors hadn’t come out to support [the family] immediately."
Tristan Call live-streamed the attempted arrest and it has been viewed over 100,000 times.
The Metro Nashville Police Department did not want to target the man or his son.During the live-stream, Call asks MNPD Officer, identified as Sgt. Noah Smith, whether the man has a criminal record. Smith replies that the man "had no warrants on file in Davidson County, Tenn and was not a target for MNPD."
What will happen to the man and his son?
via: Getty images.Call explained that, following the ICE agents' departure, the man and his son were taken to a safe-house, along with a local advocacy organization to plan their next steps. Speaking to Time, Call said: "The family has some decisions to make. Luckily we have a strong support network of lawyers and churches and synagogues and mosques, and different people here in Nashville where there’s support… So I think they have to figure out what they’re gonna do and they have the backing of thousands of people around the city that have been organizing to be available in moments like this."