‘Keep families together!’ Protests around the U.S.

Philadelphia: ‘Keep families together!’

Over 100 people protested outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Philadelphia on June 14. Lined up on sidewalks on both sides of the 100 block of 8th Street, participants held signs facing rush-hour traffic as a number of speakers condemned the Trump/Sessions’ racist separation of migrant families.

The protest was part of a national day of such actions held all over the U.S. Organized by Families Belong Together, their webpage explains the reason for the protests: “Trump’s federal agents are taking children, from infants to teens, away from their immigrant parents — tearing apart families and meting out physical and psychological abuse at our border, every day. We demand that Trump keep families together.”

(Photo: Joseph Piette)

Portland, Oregon: ‘Stop separating families!’

Hundreds of angry protesters demonstrated and marched in front of the Portland, Ore., Immigration and Customs Enforcement center on June 17, Father’s Day. A Syrian woman whose parents immigrated to the U.S. shouted, “Stop separating families!” She denounced ICE for tearing immigrant children from their parents, locking them in cages and shipping their parents hundreds of miles away to sit in prisons — just for seeking asylum. She told of one father who committed suicide after his daughter was brutally ripped from his arms.

Organizer Juan Rogel, 16 years old when his family came to the U.S., said: “It’s psychological trauma. You are always missing something. You miss your parents, your family. You miss your culture. You feel like you don’t belong, but at the same time, it’s where you belong.” Protesters plan to drive over 60 miles to a federal prison in Sheridan, Ore., to denounce the horrendous treatment of more than 100 ICE detainees there.

(Photo: Lyn Neeley

New Orleans protest targets Sessions

Within hours of learning that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was speaking to the National Sheriffs’ Association on June 18, the New Orleans Peoples’ Assembly, Congreso de Jornaleros (day laborers) and the New Orleans Workers Group mobilized 150 people to confront the racist top cop.

Blocking the main street and facing down the sheriffs, the demonstrators demanded the reunification of families and abolition of ICE, chanting, “No Trump, no Sessions, no racist, fascist USA” and “Solidarity with immigrants.” Five demonstrators were arrested. At one point, someone driving a pickup truck tore through the crowd, hitting one woman. The driver has been identified and a campaign against his company is planned.