Nearly One Hundred Los Angeles Area Jews Shut Down Theo Lacy Detention Center, Say #NeverAgainIsNow


Nearly One Hundred Los Angeles Area Jews Shut Down Theo Lacy Detention Center, Say #NeverAgainIsNow

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Orange, CA — On Wednesday, July 3, at 9:00am, nearly one hundred Jews from the Los Angeles area shut down business as usual for just over three and a half hours at the Theo Lacy Facility. This location has a history of abuse, and is currently holding detainees that are under threat of transfer outside of Orange County. 

“As a Jew in the diaspora, it's important that I stand in solidarity with other marginalized and oppressed peoples. We know what it's like to be targeted, rounded up, and kept in cages. It's our duty to make sure we don't let it happen to others,” said Jesse Goldshear.  

This center is just 40 miles from Los Angeles and 100 miles from the border. But, this is not just an issue at the border. This is happening at detention centers across the United States, from coast to coast and in each of our communities. While some facilities are located away from the public and away from scrutiny, Theo Lacy is in the center of one of the most populated counties in the country. 

Dozens of Jews blocked entrance doors to the facility, and later blocked multiple roadways. 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. 

Jews from across the country know too well what happens when a government targets, dehumanizes and strips an entire group of people of their civil and human rights. Every human being, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is deserving of dignity and a place to live with their loved ones in safety. 

“My full name is Nathan Taft and I live and work in Orange County, 10 min from the facility 

Why did I come out to the Theo Lacy facility today and put my body on the line? Because as a Jew who had 32 members of his family murdered in the Holocaust, the words "Never Again" have special meaning to me. The Holocaust didn't begin with death camps and exterminations-- it began with abuse toward a specific community and concentration camps. Everyone, but Jews especially, has a responsibility to prevent history from repeating itself. We have a responsibility to stand up for our immigrant brothers and sisters. And that means bringing attention to ICE's systematic attacks and dehumanization of immigrants. It means shutting this organization down. I, for one, won't wait for things to get even worse to stand up and speak out. Never again is now.”

Wednesday’s action was a part of larger national week of Never Again actions. Further actions are being planned in cities across the country, and others have taken place this week in New Jersey, Boston, and Rhode Island. 

Movimiento Cosecha released the following statement after the New Jersey Never Again action on Sunday:

“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: Nearly one hundred American Jews shut down the Theo Lacy Facility to say Never Again is Now and make it impossible for ICE to do business as usual. 

When: Wednesday, July 3rd

Where: Theo Lacy Facility

Visuals: Jews holding signs reading “Never Again Is Now” “Never Again Means Close the Camps”, and “Jews demand freedom for immigrants”. 

Never Again Action