A sweeping round-up of protesters is occurring simultaneously across the nation as more and more empathetic individuals unite to demonstrate against the current treatment of migrant children and their families.
On June 29, a group of senior citizens who have called themselves the ‘Old Farts’ descended on Philadelphia’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency headquarters. The group gathered to show solidarity and support for the children and families who are currently separated and detained due to the administration’s zero-tolerance policy against illegal immigrants. One protestor, Lynn Eiser, explained “we have a voice as elders and citizens.”
Philadelphia police were alerted about the protest when concerned ICE agents called them about a disturbance. The agents alleged that the protesters were blocking entry to the building. They claimed that around twelve people had been denied services and turned away because of the blocked door. In response, the police department called out two supervisors and an elite civil affairs unit to peacefully disperse the crowd.
Some protesters refused to leave the area, so six individuals were arrested and charged with refusing to comply with police orders. Several were administered fines through citations. One demonstrator who was wheelchair bound refused to disperse, so police simply wheeled his chair away from the area and gave him a citation.
Additional protesters also surrounded the Southwest Portland’s ICE headquarters, but they were not treated as kindly as the ‘Old Farts.’ Police arrived in riot gear and completely destroyed the demonstrator’s entire camp area. Occupiers have been camping out on the site for over a week, but police were ready for the group to break up. At least nine people were arrested, taken to federal court and cited for their actions.