Occupy Oakland protesters rallied outside a downtown jail Tuesday in support of an activist who faces possible deportation to his native Mexico after being arrested during Monday's police sweep of the movement's encampment outside City Hall.
Francisco "Pancho" Ramos Stierle, a 36-year-old Oakland resident who friends said came to the United States six years ago to study astrophysics at UC Berkeley, is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin because of a federal immigration hold.
...Friends said Stierle came to the United States on a student visa and spent about two years working toward a master's degree in astrophysics, before dropping out over concerns about nuclear weapons proliferation.
Stierle works for Free Farm Stand, an urban garden in San Francisco that gives away its produce, and for Karma Kitchen, a weekly brunch in Berkeley where patrons are given free food while being asked to donate toward future meals.
Deirdre Stewart, a 27-year-old Oakland resident who met Stierle at UC Berkeley, described him as the opposite of protesters who have used vandalism to try to advance the Occupy movement.
"There's been a lot of lip service given to reaching out to the activist community," Stewart said. "It would be a shameful reflection on our city if he's deported."Find the full story here.