What Happened Last Week: Protests Around the U.S. and World Condemn Crimes Against Immigrants

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Chicago, Photo: AP


On Saturday, July 13, between 5,000 and 10,000 people rallied and marched through the streets of downtown Chicago against the impending immigration raids, demanding “end criminalization, detention, and deportations.” Over a hundred groups organized or supported the rally, which included state Democratic politicians and many immigrants and children of immigrants. An 11-year-old described what it is like to live without her father, who was deported when she was 3. After the rally, the protesters marched to ICE headquarters.

On Friday, July 12, people in locations across the U.S. and the world (over 800, according to some reports) stepped out in protest against the Trump/Pence regime’s assaults on immigrants and new ICE terror raids, and in particular ICE concentration camps for children. The day of action was called by the Lights for Liberty coalition, which said the goal of the protests was to bring people “to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants.”

Protests took place in large cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Philadelphia, as well as smaller cities and towns such as Gadsden, Alabama; Cody, Wyoming; Alpharetta, Georgia; Des Moines, Iowa; and Olympia, Washington. People mobilized by Refuse Fascism were an active part in the protests in various cities. There were small protests in Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Haiti, and other countries as well.

The July 12 protests included the following:

• Aurora, Colorado: 2,000 people rallied outside an ICE concentration camp and demanded it close. An American flag flying at the facility was pulled down and replaced with a Mexican flag.

• Phoenix, Arizona: 1,500 people protested at an ICE center, and some were arrested when they marched into a street and allegedly blocked traffic and stopped the light-rail train.

• Homestead, Florida: Some 2,000 people rallied outside a large detention camp in southern Florida that holds “unaccompanied minors,” demanding “shut it down!”

• New York City: From 1,000 to 2,000 gathered at Foley Square in Manhattan, near a facility where hundreds of detained immigrants are “processed” each day. Among those speaking was a rabbi who said, “There cannot be a Shabbat Shalom (a sabbath of peace) when there are kids in cages.”

• Houston, Texas: 600 to 700 people surrounded the entrance to a child detention center. A report from a Refuse Fascism activist said, “People were pissed off and there was a lot of heartfelt desire to do something to stop this nightmare...”

• Los Angeles: There were more than 20 vigils and other protests in the L.A. area. They included a crowd of 400 outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown L.A.; a vigil at the San Bernardino office of Department of Homeland Security; and 300 people at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in the San Fernando Valley.

• Chicago: Hundreds gathered at the Federal Plaza downtown and marched to the ICE offices in downtown Chicago, and there were smaller protests in different suburban areas.

• Owensboro, Kentucky: Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil, where organizers had a photo display of the horrible conditions the children and other immigrants face in the ICE camps.

• Washington, DC: Hundreds gathered, including a large American Federation of Teachers contingent that marched in chanting “classrooms, not cages!”

• Montclair, New Jersey: Hundreds came together at a church for an event that included testimonials from children in detention centers and a singing of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Other protests that took place in the same week included:

• San Francisco: Thursday evening, hundreds protested in front of the San Francisco ICE headquarters, condemning the coming ICE raids. An organizer for the Arab Resource and Organizing Center said, “When you come after one of us, you come after all of us.”

• New York City: On the same day, hundreds protested outside Amazon’s Web Services summit demanding Amazon cut ties with ICE and Customs and Border Patrol. Amazon plans to host Homeland Security's biometric databases, which provide all kinds of facial recognition technology to track down—and hunt down—immigrants.

• On Wednesday afternoon, six people were arrested after refusing to end their sit-in at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s Philadelphia office, demanding that he apologize for three million immigrants deported under Obama while Biden was vice president. And in Des Moines, Iowa, 50 women mobilized at the office of the Republican senator Joni Ernst to demand an end to the inhuman treatment of migrant children.

• In Germany, in the eastern city of Leipzig, 500 protesters fought last week with police in an effort to stop the deportation of an immigrant man, believed to be from Syria. People threw stones and bottles at the police.

• On July 12, hundreds of undocumented immigrants stormed the famous Pantheon monument in Paris, France, to call attention to their situation and demand legal status. The protesters—many from countries in West Africa—called themselves the “Black Vests” (widespread anti-government protests earlier this year in France were known as the “Yellow Vests” after the yellow jackets they wore).

Las Vegas Photo: AP

New York City, Photo: @wamganniej

Protesters gathered outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown LA

Philadelphia, Photo: AP


Madrid, Spain (Photo: Miguel Angel López-González)



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