Frank H. Ogawa Plaza looked a little bit like Vatican City Tuesday, as the dramatic afternoon light illuminated the faces of nuns, priests and immigrant families who gathered together in prayer and supplication. The goal: comprehensive immigration reform, an end to the raids that separate families and unity among different groups and coalitions of Americans.
A guitarist changed the lyrics of popular Motown song “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to “Ain’t No Migra Strong Enough” while the crowd sang along in imperfect pitch. Perhaps most surprising was the number of young children. They were everywhere, playing chess on the steps of the plaza, instructing the smaller ones in the rules of an invisible game, holding the hands of crying grownups.
These photos explore some of the diverse faces that have a stake in immigration reform and a desire to see a policy change here in Oakland. The red hearts they wear represent the deported or undocumented.