Around 300 people blocked rush-hour traffic on Thursday to protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), resulting in a dozen arrests for trespassing on Amazon property.
“Never Again Action: Jews Against ICE,” coordinated a massive demonstration in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday to protest private companies cooperation with the federal agency tasked with carrying out deportation orders. The demonstrators began their march at the New England Holocaust Memorial and marched to Amazon’s Cambridge office.
The protesters — who caused a massive traffic congestion during their march — took specific aim with Amazon’s reported attempts to sell its facial recognition technology to ICE. The Seattle-based company encouraged federal immigration authorities to purchase its “Rekognition” facial recognition software.
The entire demonstration equated ICE to the Holocaust, and likened the companies that work with the agency to Nazi collaborators.
“These tools are being used to dehumanize entire communities, to create terror, to track people, and round them up and put them into detention, and then ultimately deport them,” said Elizabeth Weinbloom, a member of Never Again Action. “During the Holocaust, IBM created punchcard and data systems that were used in every concentration camp to track our ancestors.”
Many of the protesters carried Holocaust-themed signs such as “Never Again Is Now,” and “Close The Camps” as they marched through the streets. Never again is a years-old slogan used by the Jewish community, typically meaning to “never again” allow the horrors of the Holocaust to happen again.
The protesters on Thursday ultimately entered Amazon’s Kendall Square office in Cambridge. After refusing to comply with police orders, 12 protesters were arrested.
Never Again Action — a Jewish-led group that advocates on behalf of immigrations — has launch a significant number of anti-ICE protests across the country this year, with many of their demonstrations taking place near ICE facilities.
Their tendency to block traffic has resulted in chaotic situations. During a demonstration by a Rhode Island detention center in August, Never Again Action members blocked the entrance to a staff parking lot. Footage was captured of a corrections officer trying to drive through the crowd, laying on his horn in an attempt to make the protesters move.
As the debate over the illegal immigration continues in Washington, D.C., actions against immigration facilities have become increasingly violent across the country.
A left-wing terrorist died in a shootout with police in July when he tried to blow up a Washington state ICE detention center. An ICE office in San Antonio was shot at several times in August, leaving federal investigators convinced it was a coordinated attack. In the most recent incident, a Florida woman in late August threw a lit Molotov cocktail inside a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building.
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