Dozens of protesters had been arrested at an Amazon bookstore in Manhattan on Sunday after they occupied the store in a present of solidarity with staff who’ve known as on the expertise big to chop its ties with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement company.
Dubbed the #JewsAgainstICE protest, the demonstration was organized by a coalition of Jewish teams searching for to mark Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning and fasting to commemorate atrocities carried out in opposition to Jewish folks all through historical past, by calling consideration to the plight of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees.
According to rights group Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ), the New York Police Department took greater than 40 protesters into custody, taking a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus out of service to move demonstrators to a reserving station.
Video livestreamed to Facebook by the rights group, nevertheless, exhibits demonstrators rallying contained in the Amazon bookshop, earlier than exhibiting NYPD officers strolling various protesters out of the constructing and onto an MTA bus as dozens of others proceed to exhibit outdoors, singing and elevating indicators in a peaceable protest.
“Learn from history,” one signal shared on social media learn. “Never again is now,” one other warned.
“We’re outside the Amazon bookstore… [to] shut down Amazon demanding that it end its collaboration with ICE,” the particular person capturing the video states. “Instead of listening to our demands, they called the NYPD.”
In a press release posted to Facebook, JFREJ mentioned it determined to carry the rally on Tisha B’Av to “protest Amazon’s support for ICE and concentration camps.”
“As long as Amazon continues to collaborate with ICE, we will hold the company accountable for every atrocity and every human rights violation ICE carries out,” it mentioned.
The protest got here alongside one other demonstration in Lafayette Square, throughout from the White House, the place greater than 250 protesters representing Jewish teams rallied in opposition to ICE on Sunday.
Meanwhile, lots of extra had been estimated to have protested in additional than 60 places, together with at rallies in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston, with a string of teams serving to arrange the rallies, together with Never Again Action, Romemu and others.
The resolution to occupy an Amazon store got here because the expertise big and different corporations proceed to face scrutiny over their contracts with ICE.
For greater than a yr, Amazon staff and immigration advocates have been calling on the corporate to cease permitting Amazon Web Services for use to host databases permitting the Department of Homeland Security and its companies, together with ICE, to trace and detain immigrants.
Amazon workers have additionally known as on their employer to cease working with Palantir, the embattled information evaluation agency that gives the software program utilized by immigration officers to trace immigrants.
Mijente, an activist group that has lengthy been on the forefront of calling on each Amazon and Palantir to chop ties with ICE, has accused each corporations of getting “secured a role as the backbone for the federal government’s immigration and law enforcement dragnet.”
On its web site, Mijente calls on consumers to cease holding Amazon liable for its function in “powering ICE,” asserting that whereas the expertise behemoth “isn’t the only tech company doing this…it has the largest role.”
“It’s time to hold Amazon accountable for its outsized share in building the deportation machine, and demand that they stop,” Mijente says.
“It won’t be easy—Amazon makes billions from these contracts,” it notes. “But the company also depends on consumers—including millions of Latinx people—and has to worry about protecting its brand.”
“We can force Amazon to stop helping DHS and ICE target immigrants, if enough of us call them out, stay engaged, and keep the pressure on,” the group states.
Newsweek has contacted Amazon, the NYPD and protest organizers for remark for this text.