Nearly Six Hundred People, Including Congresswoman, Arrested in D.C. Protest Against Family Separation


Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the first member of Congress to endorse abolishing ICE, was among 575 people (mostly women) arrested today at a “mass civil disobedience” protest organized by the Women’s March and CPD Action.

According to the AP, the protesters were charged with “unlawful demonstration,” and were released at the scene after being processed.

Also joining the protest at one point were Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkeley, Tammy Duckworth, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Jayapal posted to Twitter afterwards explaining why she got arrested:

“I just got arrested with a group of over 500 women who took over the center of the Hart Senate Building, protesting the inhumane and cruel zero-tolerance policy of Donald Trump and this administration, the separation of families, the caging of children, the imprisonment of asylum seekers,” she said. “These women understand, they’re from all over the country…they understand that this is far beyond politics, this is about right and wrong. We have to step up and put ourselves on the line.”

“I’m proud to have been arrested with them, to put myself in the camp of people who believe that the United States of America is better,” she added. “As a member of Congress, I refuse to let this president and this administration do what they are doing to children, parents, and asylum-seekers in my name.”

This won’t be the end of the protests, either. On Saturday, hundreds of demonstrations in all fifty states and D.C. are expected in protest of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, in rallies organized by a coalition led by the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance. ““It’s not just one day,” NWDA political director Jess Morales Rocketto told Vox. “We’re seeing folks turn out over and over and over again.”

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article stated that the Center for Popular Democracy assisted in organizing the protest, but that was done by CPD’s 501(c)(4) wing, CPD Action.

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