Reflection: Abolish ICE Action

“A group of about 100 people protesting the Trump administration policies on immigration marched from the Federal Courthouse to the Federal building at Tucker Boulevard and Spruce Street. The protesters blocked traffic on Tucker Boulevard for about 2 hours. Inside the Federal building [20] people occupied the lobby, sang songs and chanted before they were placed in handcuffs and taken into custody. The [20] people taken into custody were released a short while later and given 500 dollar tickets for "creating a loud or unusual noise or disturbance.”
excerpt from
The St. Louis American, July 19th 2018

IFCLA stands with our migrant brothers and sisters and all those within migrant communities who  are  threatened daily by the presence of ICE in our government, police forces, jails, and streets. Our guiding principles of advocacy and accompaniment lead us to lift up their voices. The action on Thursday, July 19, was an example of how we put these guiding principles into practice. 

St. Louis area clergy and lay leaders occupied the space outside of the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in downtown St. Louis while protestors marched through the surrounding streets. The action highlighted the needs of those who have been directly affected by current immigration policies and laws. 

From within the federal building, clergy and activists delivered to ICE a list of demands generated by members of the Latinx community. Some of the demands included reuniting children with their families, dismantling the federal institutions responsible for the criminalization of communities of color, ending immigrant detention, and creating policies to interrupt the local police-to-ICE pipeline such as ending contracts between immigration enforcement agencies and county jails. 
The action itself was organized by independent leaders and supported by several organizations, including IFCLA, and others who have been directly impacted by unjust immigration practices.

Sara John of IFCLA was among the team that was arrested inside the building. “We came together today to deliver the demands of our neighbors, united in the belief that those affected by immoral policies and laws have a right to be heard, rooted in our conviction that all of us share the same dignity as human beings,” she said in an statement regarding the event.. “We came together in spite of our differences, many of us still learning and questioning, still seeking to understand the demands our neighbors make, but committed to walking forward together in solidarity and in love. Like many who have come before us, today’s prophetic stance was not the final step in our journey, but the first on a longer and more difficult road together.”

To learn more about the action, check out this local media coverage:
“About 70 protesters block downtown St. Louis intersection, [20] arrested” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“[20] advocates and clergy were arrested during a sit-in at ICE office in downtown St. Louis” from The St. Louis American 
“[20] arrested in #AbolishICE protest in St Louis” video from The St. Louis American

To learn more about how you can become involved in IFCLA’s work either on the streets, in our office or from your own home, click here. And you’re invited to learn more about all of these opportunities at our next general monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.