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Minnesota: 18 arrested at Whipple Federal Building demanding end to deportations

By staff |
May 23, 2018
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Civil disobedience against deportations May 22
Civil disobedience against deportations May 22

Minneapolis, MN - The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and the Minnesota Poor People’s Campaign rallied, May 22, while 18 individuals blocked both traffic into the building and also the light rail outside of the Whipple Federal Building before being arrested. They were calling for an end to mass deportations and other anti-immigrant policies.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is housed in the Whipple Building. It’s the last stop for immigrants before being ripped away from their families and communities through deportation. There have been more than 3 million deportations in the last ten years, and the current administration’s dehumanizing anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions are rapidly worsening the human rights crisis for immigrants and their communities.

MIRAC member Erika Zurawski was one of the 18 people arrested today. After being released, she said, “Today there was no business as usual for ICE’s deportation machine in Minnesota. 18 of us put our bodies on the line to stand in solidarity with the immigrant families being torn apart every day by ICE. Today we declared ‘no more deportations’ in Minnesota, and we’ll keep fighting until there’s legalization and full equality for all.”

The 18 people who were arrested were taken to Hennepin County jail and all of them were released by around noon.

While the 18 people were stopping business as usual, around a hundred more rallied in solidarity with their immigrant friends, families, co-workers and neighbors to say ‘enough is enough!’ Spirits were high and the protesters chanted “No more deportations! Sanctuary for all!” and sang songs of resistance including songs from the original Poor People’s Campaign led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

The groups pledged to continue building the movement for racial justice and immigrant rights.