Three immigrant rights activists were arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan, today (April 20) after they blocked—and stopped—traffic during a direct action.
Activists began by marching to the city's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building with song and drum-banging. They held a banner that read, “We stop disrupting you when you stop disrupting our families,” and varying signs calling for an end to deportations.
The “highway takeover,” as national immigrant rights group Movimiento Cosecha worded it in a press release, is the group’s first action in a series it's planning in build up to May 1, the Day Without Immigrants strike.
“Worker rights are immigrant rights,” said Jay DeShane, a unionized worker from Grand Rapids, who was arrested, in the press release. “I was arrested today to show the immigrant community that I will be here for them today and when they join the May 1st strikes and boycotts. Trump might blame immigrants for unemployment and income inequality in our state, but the truth is that when immigrants are treated with dignity and respect, when they are given permanent protection from deportation, [they] are able to unionize and organize for better pay, that helps all of us. We refuse to let Trump and the millionaires divide our communities for profit.”
See what today’s action looked like in the images below.
*The image captions above have been updated to clarify that the action took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, not Rapids City, Michigan.