On Tuesday evening over 1,000 Jewish activists took to the streets right in the middle of rush hour, resulting in a total shutdown of traffic. The spirited crowd sang, chanted, and even drummed to protest immigrant detention in the city and throughout the country.
The crowd managed to wind their way from the New England Holocaust Memorial located right on Congress Street then down Tremont Street and through Chinatown. From there they headed to the Suffolk County House of Correction in the South End. Here is where lots of US Immigrant and Customs Enforcement detainees are kept.
Police arrested a total of eighteen protesters who’d locked arms at the facilities entrance.
The majority of the protesters were young and came outfitted in prayer shawls and head coverings. This was a nod to lessons they’d learned in Hebrew school as well as from relatives who had experienced the Holocaust. The protesters pleaded with the Trump administration to “close the camps.” This protest, and others like it, comes as lawyers and lawmakers paint a picture of these migrant camps as disgusting and inhumane.
Michaela Caplan, 23 and one of the event organizers, said, “When we grew up hearing the words ‘never again’, it’s referring to a moment like this.” Michaela, as with many others, had been inspired to protest due to her family’s history. In fact, her grandmother lived to tell about Aushwitz and also lost over 3o family members.
The protest was the brainchild of a loosely linked group of Jewish activists. They started to plan the protest with the phrase “Never Again” as their guiding principle. They also merged with the immigrant-rights group Cosecha and linked their protest to the recent event in New Jersey when 36 protesters were charged just outside of ICE detention center.