Labor Activist Arrested Following Demonstration Outside Office of Florida Congressman

Eliseo Vasquez Medina, 68, was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and resisting an officer.

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014  |  Updated 6:55 AM EDT
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A prominent labor and immigration activist was arrested following a demonstration outside the South Florida office of Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Friday. Claudia DoCampo reports.

A prominent labor and immigration activist was arrested following a demonstration outside the South Florida office of Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Friday. Claudia DoCampo reports.

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Immigration Activist Arrested Following Demonstration

A prominent labor and immigration activist was arrested following a demonstration outside the South Florida office of Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Friday.
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A prominent labor and immigration activist was arrested following a demonstration outside the South Florida office of Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Friday.

Eliseo Vasquez Medina, 68, was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and resisting an officer after he refused to move away from the entrance of 8699 NW 36th Street in Doral, according to an arrest report. The rest of the demonstrators agreed to move away from the building, the report says.

Diaz-Balart's chief of staff, Cesar Gonzalez, said the congressman's office did not call the police about group or have anyone arrested. The building housing the district office also is also home to several other occupants.

Friday's brush with the law came shortly after the Service Employees International Union secretary-treasurer appeared at Florida International University as part of an immigration reform event featuring Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia.

Medina, who was born in Mexico and now is a California resident, has been hailed as"one of the most successful labor organizers in the country" by the Los Angeles Times. Last year, he participated in a weeks-long fast aimed at pressuring leaders in Washington to schedule a vote on immigration reform legislation.

Medina and the immigration reform group Fast 4 Families are on a cross country tour speaking to local politicians.

"It's an unfortunate situation that things got to that extent," Christian Avila, of Fast 4 Families, said of the arrest. "We as Fast 4 Families always come in a peaceful manner."

Information for an attorney was not immediately available. A spokesperson from SEIU said a statement on the arrest will be issued shortly.
 

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