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A peaceful event: Never Again Providence protests the ICE contract with the Wyatt Detention Center

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The protest outside the Wyatt Detention Center on Wednesday night began at Jenks Park in Central Falls before marching the half mile or so to the facility. Over 500 people participated in the protest and the march, which was organized by Never Again Providence “to continue demonstrating against the prison’s contract with ICE, highlight ICE’s inhumane treatment of immigrants here in Rhode Island and across the country, and work to shut down ICE’s deportation machine for as long as possible.”

Never Again Providence is the local affiliate of Never Again Action, a mass mobilization of Jews and allies who are organizing to shut down United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and hold the political establishment accountable for enabling the separation of immigrant families across the United States for decades and the current crisis at the border. “We come together as a group of differently affiliated Jewish organizers, recognizing that we have seen this groundwork laid before,” writes the organization. “We were taught to never let anything like the Holocaust happen again. We know from our own history what happens when a government targets, dehumanizes and strips an entire group of people of all their civil and human rights. We understand it to be our community’s obligation to stand up when we see history repeat itself and to declare, Never Again means Never Again for anybody.”

This was the second protest organized by Never Again Providence outside the Wyatt. The first one resulted in 18 arrests.

Below is all the video of the various speakers at the event, starting with Never Again Providence organizer Tal Frieden.

Powerful words from Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser:


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Catarina Lorenzo from the Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance (AMOR):

Heiny Maldonado, executive director of Fuerza Laboral:

Tal Friedan:

Scenes from the march:

Outside the Wyatt Detention Center former State Representative Aaron Regunberg announced the group’s intention to issue a series of demands to the prison warden:

Three people representing the group, Aaron Regunburg, Christian Andrade and Emily Titon, went to the gate of the prison to ask to speak to th warden and deliver their demands. Their demands were not met.

Returning to the protests, I caught the tail end of a speech by Abdelnasser Hussein, principal of the Islamic School of Rhode Island:

Regunberg, Andrade and Titon reported back to the crowd about their interaction with prison authorities:

Rabbi Michelle Dardashti:

Daisy, a Rhode Islander whose father was deported back to Mexico:

Tal Frieden:

Providence City Council Member Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3):

The protesters then made the decision to stop blocking the gates to the prison, and instead block the entrance to the parking lot. What happened after that can be seen here.

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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com