Houston F.I.R.E protests Greyhound-ICE connection

By Gloria Rubac
July 30, 2019

After quickly and quietly giving out “Know Your Rights” leaflets to every passenger in the Greyhound waiting room here on July 27, and before security could figure out what was happening, activists walked out of the station and set up a picket line outside the terminal where they held a street meeting, urging people to boycott Greyhound.

Fight for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere (FIRE) called the action.

Picket line set up by activists from FIRE (Fighting for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere) at Houston Greyhound station July 27.

Greyhound security immediately ordered activists to leave or threatened that they would call Houston police. The FIRE spokesperson responded, saying that security could call the police, but no one was leaving because they were on public property, had a right to be there and riders needed to hear their message. Activists continued to hand out the bilingual flyers and speak on a bullhorn.

Passengers going into and coming out of the terminal eagerly took flyers and listened to the speakers. Many asked questions. The Greyhound terminal is on Main Street, just outside of downtown Houston, and the passengers were a very multinational group of working-class people.

Demonstrators gave out hundreds of flyers and held discussions on the issues with both passengers and employees. Most riders were surprised that Border Patrol would even get on a bus, and all were glad to learn that they didn’t have to show any documentation, whatever their status.

When two carloads of cops arrived, Greyhound security told them to tell protesters to leave. As the cops explained that protesters could be outside as long as they weren’t blocking people from entering or exiting, the deflated security guards backed off.

Several Greyhound employees came out to ask questions. Activists asked one bus driver if his union had taken a position on Border Patrol getting on buses. He said  he didn’t know, but he was going to take photos of the demonstrators and give the flyers to the union to find out. He said he didn’t feel Border Patrol should be allowed on his bus.

FIRE heard no negative comments about immigrants. Activist Mirinda Crissman said, “We were pleased that we didn’t encounter any Trump supporters or people who had bought into his racism about migrants and refugees. People were receptive to our information.”

(Photo: Mirinda Crissman)