Hun­dreds ar­rested in DC protest­ing Trump’s pol­icy

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS -

WASHINGTON » Capi­tol Po­lice ar­rested nearly 600 peo­ple Thursday af­ter hun­dreds of loudly chant­ing women demon­strated in­side a Se­nate of­fice build­ing against Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s treat­ment of mi­grant fam­i­lies. Among them were a Washington state con­gress­woman, the law­maker said on Twit­ter.

The protests came as demon­stra­tions oc­curred around the coun­try over the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pol­icy of sep­a­rat­ing im­mi­grant fam­i­lies.

They of­fered a glimpse of what might hap­pen on Satur­day when ral­lies are planned coast to coast.

Amid un­re­lent­ing daily images of dis­traught im­mi­grant chil­dren sep­a­rated from par­ents and herded into fenced en­clo­sures, women sat on the floor of the Se­nate Hart Of­fice build­ing’s 90-foot- high atrium. Seated around Alexan­der Calder’s black metal­lic “Moun­tain and Clouds” sculp­ture, they shouted slo­gans and cheered for a hand­ful of fist-pump­ing law­mak­ers — all Democrats — who waded into the crowd.

“What do we want? Free fam­i­lies!” and “This is what democ­racy looks like” were among their cries.

Many wore foil blan­kets sim­i­lar to those given to mi­grants housed at U.S. de­ten­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

The sit- in of protest­ing women was or­ga­nized by two lib­eral groups, Women’sMarch and the Cen­ter for Pop­u­lar Democ­racy.

The ac­tion last­ed­more than two hours.

In a writ­ten state­ment, the Capi­tol Po­lice said around 575 peo­ple were charged with un­law­fully demon­strat­ing in­side the of­fice build­ing. The po­lice said those ar­rested were be­ing re­leased af­ter they were pro­cessed.

Win­nie Wong, po­lit­i­cal ad­viser for the Women’s March, said the crowd’s fer­vor will trans­late into “the en­ergy we will need to see to at the bal­lot box in Novem­ber,” when con­gres­sional con­trol will be at stake.

Rep. Pramila Jaya­pal, DWash., said she was ar­rested dur­ing the protest. Jaya­pal, whowas born in In­dia, tweeted a video of her­self in which she said she was proud to be ar­rested to protest Trump’s ze­ro­tol­er­ance pol­icy.

“We’re here to fight for our fam­i­lies to be free, to fight for the abil­ity of our kids to be with their par­ents — not in cages, not in prison, but able to live their lives free, safe and se­cure,” Jaya­pal said.

Demo­cratic Sens. Jeff Merkley of Ore­gon, Kirsten Gil­li­brand of New York and Ed­ward Markey of Mas­sachusetts also ap­peared be­fore the crowd.

“These folks are out here fight­ing for the core prin­ci­ples of our na­tion, and I ap­plaud them for it,” Merkley said in an in­ter­view.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Hun­dreds of ac­tivists protest the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ap­proach to il­le­gal bor­der cross­ings and sep­a­ra­tion of chil­dren from im­mi­grant par­ents in the Hart Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing on Capi­tol Hill.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.