Over 100 People Arrested in NYC After Weekend Protests Against ICE
|Aug 12, 2019|
Nearly 100 people were arrested in New York following a protest that demanded an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on August 10. A day later, 44 people were taken into custody in Manhattan in a rally against Amazon’s alleged ties to ICE.
Hundreds took to the West Side Highway in Manhattan to protest ICE and the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policy. Protestors carried signs reading “Close the Camps” and “Abolish ICE,” while chanting, “ICE raids have got to go!”
Christopher Dunn, the legal director at the NYCLU (American Civil Liberties Union of New York), told The North Star in a statement, “The Trump administration and ICE are ramping up their cruel anti-immigrant agenda. New Yorkers are right to express their outrage and did so this weekend by using their voice to push back against hateful words and deeds by the President.”
Demonstrators referenced detention centers along the southern border where the Trump administration has separated migrant children from their families.
“We DEMAND an end to all detention and separation of families at the border and everywhere,” event organizers wrote, according to CNN. “We DEMAND dignity, respect, and permanent protection for all undocumented immigrants.”
Protestors linked arms and temporarily shut down parts of a busy roadway in Manhattan. They told reporters they chose to protest at the Manhattan intersection due to the proximity to ICE’s offices.
“Due to protest, all lanes of the West Side Highway are closed at West 26th Street in both directions in Manhattan. Consider [alternate] routes,” New York City’s official emergency notification system said. The highway later reopened, but the emergency notification system warned of road closures and a heavy emergency personnel presence .
A recorded voice ordered protestors who were obstructing traffic on the roadway to leave as police officers watched. According to the NYPD, approximately 100 protestors were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
A day later, 44 Jewish rabbis and leaders were arrested in Manhattan during a protest against Amazon’s relationship with ICE. The protest at Amazon’s 34th Street store on August 11 was part of a day of action as Jews observe Tisha B’av, a day of communal mourning, according to PIX 11. Protests against ICE were organized nationwide by Jewish organizations.
NYPD Detective Denis Moroney told The North Star that protesters on Sunday created a “hazardous condition” at the protest site. Forty-three of those arrested were charged with criminal trespassing and one was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespassing.
Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), one of the organizations that led the protests on Sunday, said in a statement to The North Star that Amazon provides web hosting and cloud services to ICE and Palantir Technologies, which gives ICE “covertly collected data that powers raids, arrests, concentration camps, and deportations.”
“Providing technology to ICE and Palantir Technologies makes Amazon a collaborator in ICE’s brutal raids, illegal arrests, inhumane camps, impossibly devastating family separations, and unjustifiable deportations,” JFREJ executive director Audrey Sasson said in a statement. “As Jews, we call on Amazon on this holy day of mourning to do the right thing: Cut ties with ICE and stop its technology from furthering a white nationalist agenda and humanitarian tragedy.”
Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth Elohim, who was arrested at the protest, said Jews know what it is like to be refugees in search of a better life.
“We are wracked with anguish over the caging of innocent children, the separation of families, the intentional campaign of terror against immigrants in this country. Shame on Amazon for contributing to this cruelty,” Timoner said. “We cannot stand idly by as our immigrant and refugee neighbors are scapegoated and terrorized.”
Protestors at both demonstrations spoke out against the recent massive ICE raids across Mississippi. Nearly 700 undocumented immigrants were detained at six food-processing plants on August 7. The unprecedented roundup caused chaos as families and community members scrambled to take care of children whose parents were picked up by ICE.
“I am absolutely infuriated by children being broken up and split from their families as our government detains people rounded up all these immigrants last week,” Nikki Blazek, who was at the protest on Saturday, told CBS New York. Blazek was not immediately available for additional comment.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi said approximately 300 undocumented immigrants detained during the raids in Mississippi were released, many on humanitarian grounds.
In a statement on August 8, the attorney’s office said that if ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) found that two parents with minor children at home were picked up in the raids, then one of them would be released on humanitarian grounds. HSI did the same with any single parents with minor children at home. Those released were returned to the place where they were originally detained.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.