An activist group calling for the abolishment of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement took to Washington Square Park on Thursday, replicating a protest held at The World Trade Center in early September.
The direct action group Rise and Resist opposes recent U.S. anti-immigration policies, particularly the separation of families in U.S. detainment camps. Under the Washington Square Arch, activists stood in silence for one hour as people approached to take pictures and read the materials they presented on the crisis at the border. Many people chose to stand with the members of the organization to show their support for those in detainment camps.
“ICE is unnecessary,” Rise and Resist member Laurie Cotter said. “[They] are cruel, and [they] are killing children.”
In September, Rise and Resist had hoped to protest in Washington Square Park but moved it to the World Trade Center due to rain.
Organizer Jamie Bauer said the park was an optimal location for getting their mission across.
“We try to go places that are magical in a certain way,” Bauer said. “This is definitely a place we would come back to.”
The protest had an effect on Rory Meyers first-year Lindsey Nelson, who stumbled upon it while walking across campus.
“[The protest is] really important because there are people like me who don’t know the full extent of the issue,” Nelson said. “Tonight when I get back to my dorm I’m going to look it up and learn more about it because now I’m more interested in how it’s affecting other people.”
Pratt Institute student Sydney Jones was one passerby who voiced support for the group.
“On the verge of this new election, now more than ever it’s really an important time to come together,” Jones said. “You’re not alone.”
Cotter has similar sentiments regarding the upcoming 2020 presidential election, ending the protest by speaking about the power of voting.
“This is fascism, and everybody should know that and vote accordingly,” Cotter said. “America’s done this kind of thing before, but it’s time to stop. It’s gotten weaponized and out of control, what we’re doing to immigrants. It’s inhumane.”
Email Kayla Hardersen at [email protected]