Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Cops Violently Arrest Black Protester at Abolish ICE Demonstration.

Protesters showed up in solidarity with detained immigrants on hunger strike and to call for the abolition of ICE. The police attacked.

Samuel Karlin

December 11, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share
Photo: Montana Samuels/Patch

On Friday, December 11, Bergen County Jail police used violence to shut down a demonstration in solidarity with ICE-detained hunger strikers in the jail. The action, which was scheduled to run from 1-4 p.m. outside the facility in Hackensack, NJ, ended early when a group of cops singled out one of the few Black protesters in the crowd and violently arrested them. Shortly afterward, they threatened to arrest anyone who remained outside the jail.

Protests in front of the jail have had a strong turnout over the last several weeks, especially on weekends. One of the regular protesters, who asked to remain anonymous for their safety,  described the scene of an earlier action which took place on Sunday. “We took the street and we marched over cause we had enough people. There were a ton of people. A wife of one of the detainees spoke and just like the heartbreak in her voice, it was unfathomable. Her kid had a sign that said ‘Please release my daddy.’”

The police claimed that they were arresting the protester because he refused to remain on the other side of the barricade that had only been constructed that Tuesday. After an exchange in which the protester explained that he wasn’t on private property and his taxes paid for the jail where immigrants are being held, the cops attacked him and other protesters who were trying to protect him. While all that took place, immigrants separated from their families were in the jail where they are at a greater risk of catching Covid-19. 

Multiple protesters at the December action said that cops have gotten more aggressive as the protests have continued into the fourth week. Actions have taken place outside the jail consistently since November 27, with a loyal group of people showing up to demand the release of the hunger strikers from the jail and voice support for the greater movement to abolish ICE and the police.

Ridgewood for Black Liberation, one of the groups involved in organizing solidarity actions for the hunger strikers, has called for jail support for the arrested protester. Many of the demonstrators who were forced away from the jail stayed within the area, organizing legal support.

The protest and the police response perfectly highlights the inherent racism and violence of the police. The police used violence to physically separate the group and silence demands for the safety of those in the jail. Enforcing borders and dividing the working class is what cops have always been paid to do and this was just one more example of that. In response it is imperative that the working class continue to support the abolition movement and connect the struggle for the abolition of ICE and the police to the broader struggle against the capitalist system. It will be a long fight, but the consistent, multi-week-spanning solidarity of the Bergen County Jail protesters shows that people are willing to see it through to the end. Ridgewood for Black Liberation has already announced that they’ll be returning tomorrow.

Facebook Twitter Share

Samuel Karlin

Samuel Karlin is a socialist with a background in journalism. He mainly writes for Left Voice about U.S. imperialism and international class struggle.

Guest Posts

Xenophobia on the Rise in Russia  

After the deadly attack on a music hall in Moscow, racism against non-Russian people is growing. This has a long history in Russia. 

Alina Tatarova

April 5, 2024
A group of protesters gather in front of the University of Michigan. Some are holding Palestinian flags

University of Michigan Proposes a Harsh Policy Curtailing Freedom of Speech and Protest on Campus

A new policy proposal targeting activists, protestors, and union organizers is cause for concern, but might help groups engaged in a range of struggles find a common enemy.

Ryan McCarty

March 30, 2024

Lord Balfour Was an Imperialist Warmonger 

We should give our full solidarity to the Palestine Action comrade who defaced a portrait of Arthur Balfour at Cambridge University. But the problem for everyone who opposes the genocide against Gaza is how to massify and politically equip the movement.

Daniel Nath

March 21, 2024

“Poor Things” Floats Like a Butterfly and Stings Like a Butterfly

Poor Things is a fantastical comedy with beautiful set design and costumes and an Oscar-winning performance from Emma Stone. So why did it leave me feeling so empty? Despite juggling feminist and socialist ideas, the film is ideologically muddled and often self-contradictory.

Basil Rozlaban

March 16, 2024

MOST RECENT

Thousands of Police Deployed to Shut Down Congress on Palestine in Berlin

This weekend, a Palestine Congress was supposed to take place in the German capital. But 2,500 police were mobilized and shut down the event before the first speech could be held. Multiple Jewish comrades were arrested.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 12, 2024

Liberal Towns in New Jersey Are Increasing Attacks on Pro-Palestine Activists

A group of neighbors in South Orange and Maplewood have become a reference point for pro-Palestine organizing in New Jersey suburbs. Now these liberal towns are upping repression against the local activists.

Samuel Karlin

April 12, 2024

“We Shouldn’t Let this Stop Us”: Suspended Columbia Student Activist Speaks Out

Aidan Parisi, a student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, was recently suspended and has been threatened with eviction from their graduate student housing for pro-Palestinian activism on campus. Aidan talked to Left Voice about the state of repression, the movement at Columbia, and the path forward for uniting the student movement with the labor movement and other movements against oppression.

Left Voice

April 11, 2024

Fired by a German University for Solidarity with Palestine — Interview with Nancy Fraser

The University of Cologne canceled a guest professorship with the philosophy professor from The New School. In this interview, she speaks about Germany dividing between "Good Jews" and "Bad Jews," her politicization in the civil rights movement, and her time in an Israeli kibbutz.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 10, 2024