HACKENSACK — Local activists marked the 1-yr anniversary of a violent clash involving police and protesters at the Bergen County Jail on Sunday with a significantly smaller, extra tranquil gathering, albeit with the exact same objective of halting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from detaining undocumented immigrants.
Fewer than 10 protesters stood throughout the road from the jail close to 4 p.m. Sunday, numerous holding signals with messages these as “Abolish ICE” and “Stop Separating Households.”
The scene was in stark contrast to the one particular just a 12 months before, when 10 individuals had been arrested soon after the protests — which had been taking position for weeks mainly devoid of incident — escalated into physical confrontations.
Protesters alleged law enforcement brutality right after officers applied actual physical force, smoke grenades and pepper spray on the crowd. Authorities, in the meantime, said the demonstrators turned additional hostile all over the day, crossing barricades, spraying Mace and throwing rocks at officers.
Shamz Azanedo, just one of the organizers of Sunday’s protest, mentioned previous Dec. 12 was “an impactful day,” and people who gathered at the jail felt it was essential to make guaranteed the anniversary would not be forgotten.
“We needed to just display face and solidarity and be below jointly,” explained Azanedo, who wore a shirt that study, “Retain the Immigrants, Deport the Racists.” “We didn’t sense appropriate just permitting right now pass. Today was a massive day past yr, and we needed to be here together.”
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The protesters in 2020 were mostly advocating for ICE detainees within the jail, who have been enterprise a hunger strike to elevate recognition for what they claimed have been unsatisfactory living circumstances and clinical treatment. Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton disputed the allegations, and federal inspections of the facility located no proof of inmate mistreatment. The Bergen jail no for a longer period holds ICE detainees.
Azanedo said the protests begun little on Columbus Day past 12 months and continued daily into January. They immediately gathered extra attendees from other areas of New Jersey and over and above.
“All of us were being listed here each working day last year, in the freezing cold, in the snow, in the storms, in the blizzard, in the winter season, in the cold, in the rain — it failed to matter,” Azanedo reported. “The result in was right here, and we wanted to battle for the induce.”
As of November, all ICE detainees had been removed from the jail after the Bergen County Commissioners finished the deal with the company in Oct. Thus, the emphasis of Sunday’s demonstration shifted to the more substantial impact of ICE on undocumented immigrants and the prison system in basic on persons of colour.
Indicators at the protest involved messages like “Stop separating households” and “Close the camps.” One particular indication examine “Justice for Jayshawn Boyd,” a reference to the brutal beating of a mentally unwell Black gentleman at the Essex County Correctional Facility in September.
“This is an ongoing humanitarian crisis,” said Kason Tiny, a protester and the organizer of BLM Elizabeth. “What we definitely need to aim on now is healing generational trauma by undoing partnerships with ICE.”
The protests outside the house the jail became a lot more sporadic after the ICE detainees finished their starvation strike, however organizers of Sunday’s demonstration expressed a hope of reverting to a lot more regular sessions.
“I’d really like to be out listed here extra,” Azanedo mentioned.