Over 600 Women Face Arrest for Protesting US Immigration Policy

In Washington, DC, 630 women were arrested Thursday during a massive nonviolent civil disobedience action on Capitol Hill protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Protesters, chanting “We care” and “Abolish ICE,” and wearing mylar emergency blankets like those given to immigrants imprisoned in US detention centers, flooded the Hart Senate Office Building for a sit-in protest demanding that immigrant children be released from US custody and reunited with their families. Protesters included the actress Susan Sarandon and Linda Sarsour, co-organizer of the Women’s March on Washington.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: Now to Washington, DC, where nearly 600 people, mainly women, were arrested on Capitol Hill, among them, the actress and activist Susan Sarandon.

PROTESTERS: We must resist! Women all around, raise your fist!

SUSAN SARANDON: I’m a mother and an American and a patriot. So, we have to keep the dialogue going so this doesn’t become normal, separating children from their families. Our whole system of denying asylum seekers, treating them as if they—it is unlawful, is completely wrong and unconstitutional. And we’re here to put our bodies down and try to keep the discussion going and make it clear that we’re not stopping. We’re going to fix this, if it takes many arrests to do it. And this is just one of many marches where people can understand that this is a serious—we’re taking this seriously. And in this moment of history, we’re going to be on the right side of what needs to happen.

MARITZA SOLANO: Maritza Solano, I’m from Silver Spring, Maryland. I come from an immigrant family, a mixed-status family, and I’m here to represent them and to represent the community that I currently work with, to tell—this is the first time I’m ever getting arrested or participating in this form of civil disobedience, because I think it’s time to sort of take a stand on this racist, anti-immigrant administration. And I’m here representing my family, my community, because I have the power to do so, to represent them in these times. I’m a little nervous, because it’s my first time getting arrested, but I’m excited. I’ve been feeling really powerless in the last couple weeks in terms of what I can do as a citizen of this country. And I feel like it was time for me to get arrested.

PROTESTERS: No ban! No wall! America is home to all!

LINDA SARSOUR: Linda Sarsour. I’m one of the co-chairs of the Women’s March and executive director of MPower Change, and I’m from Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, D.C. And in light of the dark moments that we have in our country, from ripping children from the parents to the Supreme Court decision on the Muslim ban, on the anti-abortion clinics, on breaking down labor, on Justice Kennedy retiring and us having to, you know, think about what our Supreme Court is going to look like for the next 30, 40 years, I feel inspired. I feel inspired by women from across the country who came here to risk arrest and say, “We’re not going to sit back when this injustice is happening.” So, the world is pretty messed up, but I feel hopeful and inspired.

AMY GOODMAN: And that does it for our show. Special thanks to Renée Feltz, Hany Massoud, Sam Alcoff, Laura Gottesdiener, Libby Rainey, Denis Moynihan, and to our team in New York—Mike Burke, John Hamilton, Robby Karran, Charina Nadura, Nat Needham—and to our crew here in Brownsville—John Lance, Tom Fitzgerald, Dan Teachworth, Kurt Kendall, Claudia and Maria Luisa.

Democracy Now! has job openings for full-time news producer. Check it out at democracynow.org.

I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us, as we broadcast from the Mexico-Texas border.