A protest against ICE and the current immigration policies ended with 29 people arrested in Philadelphia’s Center City on Tuesday evening.
On Monday afternoon, protesters gathered outside of Philly’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Offices. The start of their protest was peaceful until roughly 16 hours later when 75 protesters locked arms and would not let ICE transport undocumented immigrants out of the city, according to CBS.
“I think this is a really unique time, one in which actual radical necessary immigration reform that has been delayed for far too long is actually within the overturning window of public opinion,” protest organizer Anlin Wang told CBS.
Protesters had camped out overnight, resting in make shift beds and taking cover from the hot sun under umbrellas while holding signs that called for ICE to be abolished. Another sign read “ICE is rounding up people in a sanctuary city.”
Philadelphia Police as well as Homeland Security officers demanded the protesters clear the area. Authorities reportedly warned the protesters several times before they began making arrests.
“You have no [obscenity] shame,” one woman shouted according to Philly.com at the line of officers. “You said if we took the tents down you wouldn’t arrest nobody. But you still arrested people. … You have no shame. You have no worth.”
Mayoral spokesperson Mike Dunn issued a statement following the ICE protest stating that although city officials do support the peoples’ right to protest arrests had to be made due to public safety.
“Clear would imply that the demonstrators have been dispersed, which is absolutely not the case,” said Dunn. “We have not cleared demonstrators. They are still there now. We support their right to protest. PPD simply moved the protesters away from the egress in order to facilitate access to the building and ensure public safety.”
The 29 arrested were issued failure to disperse citations. During the arrests, two people were injured with minor abrasions. One individual was brought to the hospital for unknown reasons.