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Jewish Community hosts Solidarity Action against ICE in Grand Rapids

July 12, 2019

This morning, about 50 people gathered at Calder Plaza for an action organized by members of the local Jewish community, an action that was done in solidarity with the immigrant community that has been living in fear because of ICE violence.

Like the actions that have taken place in New Jersey, Boston and all across the country, this action was a Never Again Is Now action.

The group walked from Calder Plaza to the ICE office located at 517 Ottawa NW in Grand Rapids, just north of the 196 overpass. This is one of many offices that ICE has in Kent County and the one that the action took place today is a local where ICE sometimes brings detainees when they are being transported to and from detention facilities.

The members of the local Jewish community who organized the action, were handing out information, part of which had the following statement, which articled the reasons for taking such an action of solidarity.

 

Most of the time in front of the ICE office, members of the Jewish community were engaged in prayer and had asked allies that were present to be respectful of what they were doing. Towards the end of the action, while still praying three members of the Jewish community walked out onto Ottawa to block traffic briefly, holding a Never Again Is Now banner, while continuing to pray.

The GRPD that was nearby, chose not to intervene and did not arrest anyone. In fact, the GRPD presence was limited to only two cruisers (that we knew of), which is unusual for actions that are anti-ICE or focused on immigrant justice. Some of those participating were even wondering if the decision of the GRPD was more about the fact that when white people take these kinds of actions, the cops will keep their distance, which is radically different when the actions are led by immigrants.

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