A wave of women took to the streets and protested in a Senate office building in the nation’s capital on Thursday, to call out the Trump administration’s immigrant family separations and detentions.
Around 2,500 people, largely women, joined in the demonstration in Washington, D.C., organizers told HuffPost. Led by organizers of the Women’s March, the rally was in response to President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy, which refers all unauthorized immigrants crossing the border for criminal prosecution, and has led to the separation of more than 2,000 kids from their parents.
“I was just arrested with 500+ women and @WomensMarch to say @RealDonaldTrump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue,” Jayapal tweeted. “Not in our country. Not in our name.”
We are sitting in at the offices of Customs and Border Patrol. Release the asylum seekers and reunite them with their children. End family separation. NOW. Every hour that goes by is another hour of trauma for these moms, dads, little boys, girls and babies. pic.twitter.com/r6ufZy5G6c
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) June 13, 2018
Demonstrators from across the country descended on D.C. for the protest, first blocking the street in front of the Department of Justice, and then proceeding to the Hart building, where hundreds sat down in the lobby wrapped in foil blankets ― a reference to similar blankets given to migrant families held in federal detention centers.
Protesters waved banners saying “End all detention camps,” and chanted “We care!” in an apparent response to First Lady Melania Trump recently wearing a jacket marked “I really don’t care, do u?” while on her way to visit migrant children at a detention center in Texas.
“Women across the country are horrified as we see our government violating the rights of women, separating families, and traumatizing children,” Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour said in a statement. “We are rising up to demand an end to the criminalization of immigrants.”
Here is what the women-led protest in D.C. looked like:
— Women's March (@womensmarch) June 28, 2018
The Hart Senate office building is filled with the sound of hundreds of women & allies chanting “We Care!” So beautiful. THIS is what democracy looks like and we WILL make America what it must become. #EndFamilyDetention #AbolishICE #WomenDisobey@womensmarch @Alyssa_Milano pic.twitter.com/8fdV11QWDW
— Kai Newkirk (@kai_newkirk) June 28, 2018
— Kyle O'Leary (@tkocreative) June 28, 2018
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) June 28, 2018
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) June 28, 2018
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), with infant, just rolled into the middle of the immigration-policy protest at Hart and got a rock-star reception. “What would it be like to have my breast-feeding child ripped away from me? This is deeply personal as a mother.” pic.twitter.com/5aiSvZtoUE