Over a thousand progressive Jewish activists and allies on Tuesday shut down the entrances to ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C. to protest President Donald Trump's treatment of migrants and demand the closure of the administration's detention camps.
As The Daily Beast reported, ICE employees "were forced to walk around the protesters, looking for ways to enter the building, as people outside caught glimpses of workers inside checking the doors."
"We will not allow them to get to their destructive place of work," said one activist who attended the demonstration, which was organized by Jewish advocacy group Never Again Action and immigrant rights campaigners with Movimiento Cosecha.
Protesters locked arms in the middle of the street leading to ICE headquarters and faced off with city police. Dozens of demonstrators were reportedly arrested during the action, which lasted around five hours.
"It's not just symbolic—we're actually shutting down ICE," one organizer told Buzzfeed.
"More than a thousand Jews, immigrants, and allies shut down DHS/ICE headquarters for hours today," wrote historian Angus Johnston. "This is a more significant development in the history of this administration than the House censure resolution."
It’s a dark day in America when police are lined up against Jews protesting Concentration Camps.#JewsAgainstICE
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 16, 2019
Protesters here are singing in Hebrew and Spanish, chanting and insisting they will not be moved. #DC police have blocked off the street outside #ICE headquarters, where a handful of protesters are dancing. No sign of arrests outside the building so far. pic.twitter.com/Zide3tCibe
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— Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa_Jae) July 16, 2019
— Alyssa Rubin (@aly_mixed_up) July 16, 2019
On an overpass, activists unfurled a banner that addressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is under fire from progressives for approving Republican legislation that handed ICE and other immigration agencies $4.6 billion with no safeguards for migrant children, who are enduring horrific conditions inside Trump's detention centers.
"Pelosi, never again is now. #DignityNotDetention," the banner read.
— julia reinstein (@juliareinstein) July 16, 2019
"Every undocumented Movimiento Cosecha organizer who shut down ICE HQ today did 100 times more to shut down ICE and close the camps than Speaker Pelosi has done in the past two years," Never Again Action wrote on Twitter. "It's time to organize, because the Dems won't fix this unless we make them."