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(RNS) — It started with a call on Facebook to demonstrate against the country’s increasingly hostile immigration policies.
Earlier this summer, Serena Adlerstein, a 25-year-old Jewish volunteer for a nonprofit that promotes immigrant rights, asked her Facebook friends: “What if young Jews occupied ICE detention centers and shut them down?”
Question - Couple - Jews - Allies - June
That question led a couple of hundred Jews and allies to protest on June 30 outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, leading to 36 arrests for blocking the entrance.
Less than 48 hours later came two more demonstrations – one in Boston and another in Providence, Rhode Island. The following day, it was Los Angeles, then Philadelphia, San Francisco and Chicago.
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To date, there have been 37 demonstrations, all under the banner of Never Again Action. All have been led by Jewish activists wanting to shut down ICE’s detention of immigrants, which has separated families and crowded them in squalid conditions. On Wednesday, the Trump administration unveiled a regulation that would allow it to indefinitely detain migrant families who cross the border illegally.
For a small, decentralized group of Jewish activists, the spate, size and scale of the protests is breathtaking.
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“They are very well trained,” said Rabbi Salem Pearce, who spoke at the first Never Again Action in Elizabeth, New Jersey. “They know what to do. And they’ve tapped into a moment where the Jewish community was really paying attention.”
Last week, Never Again Action attracted even more publicity after a truck driven by an ICE corrections officer attempted to drive into a crowd demonstrating outside the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The corrections officer, identified as Capt. Thomas Woodworth, quit on Friday (Aug. 16).
State - Police - Departments - State - Attorney
State and local police departments, plus the state’s attorney general are investigating. Meanwhile on Tuesday, Never Again Action organized a...
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"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift