Policing

A march and vigil to remember Hiu Lui Ng, who died in Wyatt custody 14 years ago

“His pain and his suffering – it was at the hands of Wyatt guards – who knew he was sick and refused to do anything,” said Arely Diaz, speaking about ICE detainee Hiu Lui Ng, who died 14 years ago. “And we know that ICE collaborated in torturing him.”
Photo for A march and vigil to remember Hiu Lui Ng, who died in Wyatt custody 14 years ago

Published on August 6, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist and Will James

Activists and allies with AMOR RI (Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance) and PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement) marched on the Wyatt Detention Facility on Thursday evening to mark the 14th anniversary of the death of Hiu Lui Ng, an undocumented ICE detainee who died under horrific conditions in the prison.

The number of ICE detainees at the Wyatt has more than tripled since President Joe Biden has taken office. These detainees are coming directly from the border and are considered low and medium low security detainees for immigration.

Will James had the LivesStream:

The march gathered at River Island Park, where organizers Arely Diaz and Jasmina De Leon Gill told the story of Hiu Lui Ng, who missed a court date due to the government’s error in addressing his summons, was picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and detained at the Wyatt. Hiu Lui Ng was a software developer and father, and when he complained of feeling ill, his symptoms were ignored until it was too late. At the hospital where he died, he was diagnosed with untreated liver cancer and a broken back. As a result of Hiu Lui Ng’s death, ICE suspended the Wyatt from holding ICE detainees until a new contract was made in 2019.

“His pain and his suffering – it was at the hands of Wyatt guards – who knew he was sick and refused to do anything,” said Arely Diaz. “And we know that ICE collaborated in torturing him.”

The march to the Wyatt went the long way around, leaving River Island Park via High Street to Broad Street, and then to Blackstone Street and the Wyatt. About 100 people joined the march, with chants and music from the Extraordinary Rendition Band (ERB).

At the prison, people made noise and attracted the attention of the people caged inside, who knocked on their window in solidarity.

The ERB and other marchers arrived, having been separated due to the high speed at the front of the march and the slower speed of the band.

Andrew, an organizer with PrYSM, introduced Kaz, who spoke via telephone to the crowd. Kaz is a longtime organizer against deportation. Kaz is a former detainee who told his story.

AMOR members Nadia and Joanna spoke about their experiences. (In Spanish, not translated.)

“,When you do regular time [in prison] you have a set date when you get out,” said Andrew, speaking on behalf of a community member who could not attend. “But not with ICE. They don’t tell you anything – which is very wrong.”

“My family members have been held at Bristol County, the Wyatt and Bristol Detention Centers,” said Bora, who organizes with PrYSM. “While at Wyatt my family member had to seek medical attention, but was turned down several times. He was not taken seriously.

“In the past winter, there was a corona outbreak, and unfortunately, he was infected. While he was detained at Wyatt there was an outbreak and he was put in quarantine. When he was quarantining, he was made to share a cll with another detainee who was infected, which defeats the whole purpose of being quarantined…”

After the speakers was the noise demonstration:

Closing words from Arely Diaz, and one last giant burst of noise:

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