by A, Solidarity & Defense – Detroit
On Sunday, June 12, ICE in Detroit kidnapped over fifty Chaldean and Iraqi folks in a massive deportation sweep. Family members of those taken, as well as other community members and activists attempted to stop the bus from entering the ICE facility, where the people would be loaded onto it. Most of the protesters were young, working class Chaldean and Iraqi people. Many of them were young women who bravely blocked the bus to the very end of the confrontation. DHS pigs shoved and tackled the protesters until the bus was inside the gate. Family members rattled the gates and screamed for their loved ones. The protesters convened at the gates, and cried and chanted as people were being loaded on to the bus. The ICE and DHS pigs laughed at the protesters, one even yelling “fuck you” to a family member who was trying to yell to his family who was being detained. As the bus tried to leave, shit got heavy, with protesters crowding the bus, attempting to blockade it as it inched forward onto Jefferson Ave. DPD and DHS pigs pushed and grabbed protesters attempting to move them from the front of the bus. At various times, they inappropriately grabbed people, and tackled numerous people, even shoving a man’s face into the ground and screaming into his ear. You could hear people screaming for help from the bus, and saying “save us.” Several family members were saying that they were facing certain death if they were deported. People chanted “Asylum Now!” “I.C.E get out of town!” “Let them go!” “Fuck the police and fuck trump!” At one point, a young woman climbed onto the side of the bus, trying to hold hands with her father through the grill surrounding the window. She screamed “I love you, daddy” before she was pulled off the bus. For several of us, many of whom who have been doing political work for decades, it was one of the most emotional confrontations we have been a part of. The bravery and determination of all the people involved was fucking powerful. The stakes and the risks involved for many of them did not deter them from fighting back against the obvious attack on their lives and the lives of their community. One woman, overtook with emotion, collapsed, then picked herself in order to continue her resistance to the bus. The confrontation lasted for almost an hour and spanned almost a mile down Jefferson Ave. before the bus got free, getting onto the highway to Ohio.
Earlier in the year, DPD Chief Craig said “We don’t do the immigration police work, we’re not going to”. We as Detroiters want to send the message to ICE and all other pigs in Detroit that as long as they keep tryin’ to pull this shit, there will be resistance like this, and it will only grow as the word of their inhumanity spreads through the streets. We need to stand together as peoples of all races, genders, religions, and backgrounds to fight the state that kidnaps and deports our brothers and sisters. Our freedom is not determined by the state, who enacts violence on us every damn day. Liberation will only come when we fight the system that oppresses us. The pigs that defended that bus have blood on their hands. Time to fight back, time to take the streets!