By Alyza Katrina C. Torres, Latin Post.
Protesters from a pro-immigrant rights coalition group last Friday held a rally in New York City airing their grievances against the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that kicked off last week in response to orders from the Obama administration.
Since the beginning of the year, the National Homeland Security has announced that it will be deporting and detaining undocumented immigrants in the U.S. starting this month where already121 immigrants mostly from North Carolina, Georgia and Texas were raided and detained.
The coalition group, ICE-Free NYC, according to Latino Rebels, was marching outside an immigration court in lower Manhattan calling out the recent deportation raids made by the Obama administration.
Meanwhile, as hundreds of protesters joined, seven people were reportedly arrested when they blocked the corner of Varick Street and West Houston Street, Waging Nonviolence reports.
“In light of the national news that immigrant communities are again being terrorized, with people being woken up in the middle of the night and families being torn apart in states across the country, we felt it was imperative that, here in New York City, we have an action and call attention to this,” Nastaran Mohit, an organizer with the ICE-Free NYC said as quoted by the publication. “This is a crisis, and it demands action,” Mohit said.
The rally lasted for almost an hour and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) including NYPD’s Strategic Response Group and Emergency Service Unit responded arrest and disperse protesters. Some were using megaphones without a permit and the seven people, who were arrested, were all wearing cement sleeves and sat on the streets to block the way.
Traffic was still for less than an hour and protesters filled the city with anti-deportation signage and were cheering all throughout. Videos were also captured of the rally, showing protesters rallying against the recently held immigration raids.
“We had several brave members of the ICE-Free NYC coalition, some of whom have sensitive status themselves and wanted to put their bodies on the line, lock themselves together and take the streets, surrounded by hundreds of activists that had their back,” Mohit continued as quoted by the publication. “We thought it was really important to have a direct action component to this because we’re tired of having rallies and press conferences. This is a crisis in our community so we’re going to continue to escalate.”