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30 arrested in civil disobedience at I.C.E. headquarters

by staff |
May 7, 2009
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Bloomington, MN - Thirty community members were arrested here, May 6, while committing non-violent civil disobedience to shut down the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters and stop deportations for the day. The action was initiated by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action coalition (MIRAc).

The May 6 protest was the follow-through on an open letter calling on President Obama to sign an executive order declaring a moratorium on immigration raids and deportations within the first 100 days of his administration. This event was preceded by several public civil disobedience trainings, the last of which was held at the May 1 immigrant rights march in Minneapolis.

This action was an escalation in response to the silence of the administration demonstrated by the continuation of raids and deportations which have torn families and communities apart, resulting in numerous human rights abuses and over 90 deaths in ICE detention centers since 2003. Over the past several years, the immigrant rights movement has organized marches, hunger strikes, petitions and lobbied for change, all with the goal of ending these human rights abuses - yet the raids and deportations have continued.

President Obama has said, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." Community members have decided to take matters into their own hands to realize this message. Phillip Lickteig, one of the dozens of community members who participated in the action, states, "President Obama, we take you at your word. We are non-violent because we wish, through contrast, to expose the system of violence and fear that pervades the communities, workplaces, schools and homes of the undocumented and their children. We are disobedient because the law is unjust."