FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TWO HUNDRED JEWS SHUT DOWN ELIZABETH DETENTION CENTER, 36 ARRESTED, SAY “NEVER AGAIN IS NOW”
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ELIZABETH, NJ — On Sunday, June 30, at 6:00pm, two hundred Jews from across the country shut down the ICE Elizabeth Detention Center, one of the largest detention centers in the Northeast, to demand that our elected officials close the camps at the border, defund ICE and CBP, and provide permanent protection for all undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
“I’m a Jewish Latina. The military camps where my people are being held today are concentration camps; just like the camps my people were held in 75 years ago were concentration camps,” said protestor and performing artist Tae Phoenix. “That’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re here.”
36 Jews were arrested shutting down the road that provides access to the detention center. The protestors sang Jewish prayers of healing and mourning to grieve for those who have fallen ill or lost their lives because of ICE and CBP’s inhumane policies.
“I have to do whatever is in my power to disrupt ICE, to close these camps, to provide permanent protection, and to ensure that Never Again means Never Again,” said Rebecca Oliver, who was arrested during the protest.
Further actions are being planned in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago. Miles Meth, an organizer for the Boston action, said “Jews, immigrants, and allies are responding to the courageous call to action in New Jersey and planning our own action in Boston. We will meet at the New England Holocaust Memorial on Tuesday July 2 at 4pm, and begin to march at 5:30pm. The atrocities occurring at the border are things we have seen before. Never again means Never Again Para Nadie, for anyone. Now is the time for action and we need mass participation to shut down business as usual. Never Again is Now.”
Movimiento Cosecha released the following statement after the action:
“Never again means never again. We are inspired by the Jewish community who today sent a bold statement of solidarity rooted in their past struggles. As families continue to be separated, as children continue to be caged, and as thousands of immigrants are forced to make a life-threatening journey crossing borders out of desperation, every American should be called to stand up and take action. We must stand up for the thousands immigrants and refugees in detention and demand that our institutions stop profiting and collaborating with ICE. We must stand up alongside the millions of undocumented immigrants living in American cities and communities who wonder when they might be ripped away from their families as they continue to be criminalized. For the millions whose dignity has been ripped away and we're exiled from their loved ones through deportation. These times will not be defined by the actions of our enemies but rather the actions of those who feel compelled to do something and demand that immigrants be treated with dignity and respect.”
Who: Two hundred American Jews shut down the Elizabeth Detention Facility to say Never Again is Now and make it impossible for ICE to do business as usual.
When: Sunday, June 30th
Where: Elizabeth Detention Center
Visuals: Jews holding signs reading “Never Again Is Now” “Never Again Means Close the Camps” “Jews demand freedom for immigrants,” and blowing shofars.