A whole lot of protesters gathered outdoors of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention middle on the Decrease West Aspect Thursday, chanting “ICE out now” and demanding to know the whereabouts of a outstanding immigrant rights chief, simply hours after two metropolis councilmen have been arrested throughout an analogous protest in Foley Sq..
Metropolis councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams have been amongst 18 individuals who have been arrested through the Foley Sq. protest sparked by the arrest of Ravi Ragbir, the chief director of the faith-based immigrant rights group New Sanctuary Coalition of New York Metropolis. Ragbir was detained when he confirmed up for a check-in with ICE, organizers of the rally stated.
Outdoors of the ICE constructing at 201 Varick St. Thursday night time, former Metropolis Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stated she stands with Ragbir in addition to her former colleagues who have been arrested.
“I do know Ravi personally; he’s a person of grace, and group constructing. What is occurring is the outrageousness of this administration that seeks to demonize anybody who’s an individual of colour,” Mark-Viverito stated. “We’re uninterested in it, and that’s why I got here down right here as we speak.”
Over 500 individuals lined the Varick Road sidewalk to participate in a type of prayer and protest referred to as a Jericho stroll. Protesters walked a loop across the constructing, which takes up a whole metropolis block between Varick and Hudson streets. Carrying indicators that learn “No partitions,” “Human rights throughout all borders” and “Love restores our humanity,” protesters chanted “I stand with Ravi.”
Because the protesters chanted a prayer that organizer and New Sanctuary co-chair Kaji Dousa stated Ragbir says each Thursday, his spouse Amy Gottlieb Ragbir held arms and cried closely.
“I need to say thanks to everybody right here in the present day, that you simply love Ravi virtually as a lot as I do,” she advised the huge crowd. “He is aware of that we’re going to win this battle and that nobody is backing down that he shall be with the immigrant communities of the town and that Ravi shall be right here main the battle for yr.”
Earlier Thursday, Grace Goodman, who’s on the board of the New Sanctuary Coalition, stated she and different members of the group went with Ragbir to his ICE check-in to take part in a special Jericho stroll.
“We have been knowledgeable that ICE had determined to detain Ravi,” she stated. “Apparently, Ravi fainted they usually took him out of the constructing in an ambulance.”
As Ragbir was taken away in an ambulance, Rodriguez, Williams and different protesters stood within the street, prompting police to push them apart so it might get by means of, video of the rally exhibits. A number of individuals have been arrested when they didn’t transfer onto the sidewalk, out of the best way of the ambulance, Goodman stated.
Rodriguez tweeted photographs of himself being taken into police custody and accused the NYPD of placing him in a chokehold, a banned police tactic.
“That is NOT the way you deal with people who find themselves protesting for Human Rights. That is NOT what democracy appears like,” he wrote.
NYPD Sgt. Jessica McRorie stated video of officers’ interactions with Rodriguez is being reviewed.
“At this level, it seems the police have been clearing a path for an ambulance with a affected person inside that was en path to a hospital,” McRorie stated in an emailed assertion. “The NYPD was trying to clear a path for that ambulance, which was purposely and repeatedly being blocked.”
Rodriguez was arraigned Thursday night time on fees of obstructing an emergency medical service, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, in accordance with a regulation enforcement supply.
A lot of the different 17 individuals arrested, together with Williams, have been charged with disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and/or obstructing an emergency medical service, police stated.
Mayor Invoice de Blasio was briefed on the protest and police exercise, his spokesman Eric Phillips stated in a tweet.
“The world is roofed extensively by cameras and we’ll be reviewing the footage to resolve what occurred,” he wrote.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Affiliation, stated sure protesters on the Foley Sq. rally “deliberately escalated an already tense state of affairs,” which put police and different protesters “at higher danger.”
“Our elected officers ought to know the distinction between a peaceable protest and conduct that endangers public security. But a few of them have chosen repeatedly through the years to cross that line with a purpose to increase their very own profile,” Lynch stated in an emailed assertion. “Now greater than ever, we’d like management, not showmanship.”
Ragbir got here to america in 1991 from Trinidad and obtained a inexperienced card in 1994, however in 2006, a decide ordered him to be deported due to a 2001 wire fraud conviction, in accordance with a gaggle of group members and advocates who’ve fought for him to remain within the nation.
He has been granted a number of stays of removing, however ICE brokers informed his lawyer, Alina Das, that they’ve the “energy to make a discretionary selection,” she stated.
“We’re asking them, what’s the change, why now? And they don’t seem to be giving us a solution.”
Ragbir handed Das his hat and a crucifix when he came upon he was being detained, she stated.
“The struggle isn’t over in the present day. We’d like your prayers to ensure Ravi is aware of we’re going to proceed preventing for him,” Das added. “He represents a superb man — a father, a husband, a pacesetter.”
Donna Schaper, pastor of Judson Memorial Church, stated one other New Sanctuary chief, Jean Montrevil, was detained final week and is now in Miami, Florida.
“We have now no selection however to see these two incidents as a direct insult to the New Sanctuary motion,” Schaper stated.
Now that Ragbir is in ICE custody, “it’s all within the palms of the courts now,” Schaper stated.
Representatives from Sen. Chuck Schumer’s workplace have been in contact with Ragbir’s attorneys to supply help, a supply with information of the state of affairs stated.
A few dozen churchgoers and members of New Sanctuary gathered within the basement of Judson Memorial Church after the Foley Sq. protest to regroup and make a banner that prominently displayed the hashtag “#WeNeedRaviBackNow!”
Through the Varick Road protest, a slew of elected officers and immigration advocates demanded New York Metropolis reside as much as its identify as a so-called sanctuary metropolis for immigrants. With no megaphones at hand, protesters used a human echo chain harking back to the Occupy Wall Road motion to relay what the audio system have been saying.
Councilman Bard Lander lauded Williams and Rodriguez for “placing their our bodies on the road.”
“Our new speaker, Corey Johnson, stood with Ravi at this time. He was very distressed to see what occurred,” Lander added. “ . . . he made clear on this metropolis we’ll proceed to face up for the rights of immigrants, for the best to peaceable protest and to be a sanctuary metropolis.”
Metropolis Comptroller Scott Stringer stated Ragbir’s arrest was a world shame.
“We might be out right here to help Ravi and his household. I take into consideration youngsters that get separated from their moms and dads,” Stringer stated. “This isn’t what America is all about. So, for all the liberty fighters right here at the moment, New York Metropolis has your again.”
With Rajvi Desai and Alison Fox