600 Protestors Against Trump Immigration Policies Dressed In Foil Blankets Arrested In U.S. Senate
On Thursday, the Capitol Police arrested nearly 600 people after hundreds of loudly chanting women demonstrated inside the Senate’s Hart Office Building against President Donald Trump’s treatment of migrant families. It followed a morning of protests and marching in D.C. from Freedom Plaza to the Department of Justice to Congress.
The women, covered in foil blanket similar to those given to migrants housed at U.S. detention facilities, were seated around the Alexander Calder black metallic “Mountain and Clouds” sculpture. The group shouted slogans and cheered for a handful of fist-pumping lawmakers who waded into the crowd. “What do we want? Free families!” and “This is what democracy looks like” were among their cries.
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) June 28, 2018
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, said she was arrested during the protest. Jayapal, who was born in India, tweeted a video of herself in which she said she was proud to be arrested to protest Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. “We’re here to fight for our families to be free, to fight for the ability of our kids to be with their parents — not in cages, not in prison, but able to live their lives free, safe and secure,” the congresswoman said.
I was just arrested with 500+ women and @WomensMarch to say @RealDonaldTrump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue. Not in our country. Not in our name.
June 30 we’re putting ourselves in the street again.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) 28. Juni 2018
Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Edward Markey of Massachusetts also appeared before the crowd. “These folks are out here fighting for the core principles of our nation, and I applaud them for it,” Merkley said in an interview. Gillibrand held a sign that read, “End Detentions Now.”
Organized by two liberal groups, Women’s March and the Center for Popular Democracy, the action lasted more than two hours. Winnie Wong, political adviser for the Women’s March, told reporters that the crowd’s fervor will translate into “the energy we will need to see to at the ballot box in November,” when congressional control will be at stake.
Activists are putting pressure on the government to provide more information and speed up the family reunification process. More than 1,000 also marched in Texas on Thursday, pushing for family reunification and to stop jailing immigrants.
— David Yaffe-Bellany (@yaffebellany) June 28, 2018
The protests offered a glimpse of what might happen on the weekend. Thousands are expected to take to the streets on Saturday, June 30, in Washington DC and hundreds of other cities across the country for a nationwide Families Belong Together Rally.