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Activists Successfully Block Downtown Seattle ICE Office in Peaceful Civil Disobedience!

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“We Will Not be Complicit! We Shall Not Be Moved! We’ll Be Back!”

Solidarity with Domestic Workers and Immigrants against Family Detention & Separation!


Friends and fellow activists,

People across the country are standing up in protest against the brutal and inhumane treatment of immigrant families and communities at the hands of the Trump regime! Working people are shocked at a system that can send a 1-year-old child to be tried in court, and that ruthlessly tears breastfeeding children away from their mothers.

Widespread outrage was able to force Trump to back away from child separation, but now indefinite family detention is only another cruelty. Clearly, further action is needed.

Yesterday, our movement was able to block the doors to the downtown ICE office for 3 hours, in a successful action of peaceful civil disobedience! We sat there with interlocked arms, singing “We’re fighting for our children, we shall not be moved!” Over 150 others joined us, chanting defiantly, and marching and picketing in solidarity with those sitting and blocking the ICE doors. Protesters chanted “We will not be complicit,” and “Money for jobs and education, not for one more deportation!”

I was honored to sit down with over twenty fellow activists, many of whom were engaging in civil disobedience for the first time. This is not a one-off – across the nation, millions of working people, young people, students, and community members are newly getting politicized and radicalized as they see the need to fight against Trump, the right wing, and the billionaire class. And they are looking for ways to get organized into mass movements.Yesterday’s protest action was a wonderful example of what’s possible with organized collective action!

Thanks to domestic workers, Casa Latina and the National Domestic Workers Alliance for calling and leading the action, and to El Comité, Socialist Alternative, the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, faith organizations, and others who came together to stand against Trump and ICE attacks on immigrants!

Seattle Police in the end didn’t dare arrest us, knowing that the overwhelming majority of working people across the city support our calls against the terror of ICE, and arresting peaceful protesters would expose the hollowness of the political establishment’s stated opposition to Trump’s immigration policies. We ended the action by declaring victory, and chanting, “We’ll be back!”

We will need an escalation of peaceful civil disobedience that can shut down ICE across the country. Yesterday’s action, and especially the shutdown of the Portland ICE office, though far from the scale of what will be necessary, point the way forward and are victories for our movement. We should use them as a first step toward further action and organization. We must not only demand that ICE be abolished and Trump’s vile Zero Tolerance policies be ended. We should also demand an end to all detention and deportation, and demand full legal rights for all immigrants linked to a guaranteed jobs program. We should unite immigrant and non-immigrant workers through a call for taxing big business to fund quality education, housing, and healthcare for all.

We must build mass movements based on the power of the working class, which is the section of society most able to shut down business as usual and force change. We also can’t limit ourselves to defense against attacks, which will continue to come unless working people, immigrants, and oppressed people come together with positive demands to point a way forward away from the failed system of capitalism. We have to fight for the world we know we need, even if politicians say it is not possible. Because what is possible is always directly proportional to the scope and breadth of the movements we build.

Capitalism creates refugees by exploiting and impoverishing entire continents, while enriching a handful of billionaires beyond imagination. This is the root cause of the oppressions experienced by immigrants, women, people of color, and other communities. Working people across borders have a common interest in overturning this system that artificially divides us along racial, national, and gendered lines. With international solidarity of the working class, we can fight for and win a different kind of global society.

I’m a socialist because I believe that better world free of poverty and oppression is possible. Let’s fight for that world together! Solidarity.

-Kshama Sawant

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