Occupy ICE!

Image caption: an activist with a megaphone leads a large group of protesters marching down the streets. Banners reading “I.C.E. is rounding people up in a sanctuary city. I.C.E. GET OUT” and “No más deportaciones!” are visible.

Photos by Danielle Corcione

The following are pictures from the Philly ICE office occupation, taken between 5:30PM and midnight on July 2, 2018.  They are followed by an Occupy ICE Press Release from July 3rd.

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Protesters stand behind a purple banner that reads “Queer as in Abolish ICE Ⓐ”
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More than a dozen police officers with bicycles guard the ICE office. One glares at the camera.
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More than a dozen police officers with bicycles guard the ICE office.
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Protesters stare down several police officers with bicycles standing in front of a police SUV.
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Protesters hold a banner that reads “NO BAN, NO WALL, NO CAGES”
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A smiling protester confidently poses in front of several police SUVs
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An Up Against the Law organizer stands in front of a large crowd of protesters, arms spread
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Dozens of protesters line up in front of ICE garage doors; to the left we can see their tents.
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Protesters link arms, holding a Philly Socialists banner
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A protester gives a rousing speech into a megaphone
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Dozens of protesters gather outside the ICE office; one sign reads “Families are welcome here, abolish ICE”
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A protester and a DHS police officer stare each other down; more officers and protesters gather in the background
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A protester lays down on the street next to an “Abolish ICE” sign
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Protesters line up, blocking the street; the sun has set
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Protesters blocking the street have linked arms
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Protesters link arms, two protecting their faces with medical face pasts; one protester “flips the bird”
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Protesters lined up in front of the ICE office with arms linked
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A protester holding a megaphone faces away from the camera

Occupy ICE Press Release: July 3rd

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

press@phillysocialists.org

Twitter: @no_ice_PHL

10-30 ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AFTER 18 HOUR OCCUPATION OF PHILA. ICE HEADQUARTERS; CAMP VOTES TO CONTINUE

WHEN: Tuesday, July 3, 2018; 2:00pm

WHERE: 114 N. 8th St.

WHO: Philly Socialists, Socialist Alternative, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Democratic Socialists of America, Reclaim Philadelphia, Liberation Project, Montgomery County Socialists, Green Party, International Marxist Tendency, POWER, International Workers of the World

EVENT DETAILS

PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 3– After a broad coalition of Philadelphia socialist and progressive organizations blockaded Philadelphia ICE offices for over 18 hours, Philadelphia police attempted to clear the encampment and arrested between 10 and 30 pro-sanctuary activists. Remaining occupiers voted to stay.

The occupation intends to impede the work of the ICE facility and to inspire Philadelphians to join the action. The occupation is an extension of the series of similar actions which have taken place around the country, demonstrating that there is a popular rejection of ICE, and that its continued existence is political nonviable. Protesters rally in support of undocumented immigrants and their families, demanding not only the end of family separation, but an end to deportation, detention, and the institution of ICE itself.

We demand:

  1. Stop the Deportations: Abolish ICE
  2. End Family Detention: Close Berks Detention Center
  3. No Cooperation with ICE in Philly: End Philly’s PARS data sharing contract

Mass public outrage has forced Trump to withdraw his policy of separating children from families in detention facilities. We applaud this swell of activity, but it is not enough. Trump’s small concession leaves the infrastructure for detention and deportation fully intact. Trump can easily wait for the outrage to subside, then subtly pass less inflammatory but equally damaging legislation while the public isn’t looking. We must take concrete steps forward, not merely defend the status quo.

Immigration has effectively been criminalized – that’s how far back we’ve been set. It should not be a crime to flee poverty and violence, especially since that poverty and violence is often the result of U.S. intervention in Central and South American countries.

We have concrete demands on the city and state to terminate cooperation with ICE. ICE has access to PARS, a legal database used by the city. This contract ends on 8/31, and we demand that Mayor Kenney cancel it. The Berks County Family Detention Center, located outside of Philadelphia, is one of three family detention centers in the country, and the only one that can hold families indefinitely. We demand Gov. Wolf order the closure of Berks. Families must be guaranteed legal status and an option of high quality public housing in-state, NOT be transferred to another facility upon closure.

On a larger scale, we demand the defunding and dismantling of ICE. ICE, responsible for family separation and for raids of homes and workplaces, is also an economic weapon on working people, used to drive down wages and working conditions of immigrants (as well as the broader working class). Ending the criminalization of immigrants is a crucial part of the fight to secure true safety and security for all working people—a fight which includes affordable housing, a living wage, quality public education, and a massive public jobs project.

#abolishICE

#ShutDownBerks

#EndPARS

#EndFamilyDetention

#ExpandSanctuary

. . .

Consider donating to the #OccupyICE effort on Venmo at @OccupyicePHL

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