A recent video uploaded by activist group “Jews Against Ice” shows a truck driver running over protesters peacefully demonstrating, while other guards attack them with pepper spray.
The group, which tweets under the name “Never Again Action” (“Never Again” is a phrase that originated from the Jewish community in reference to the Holocaust), recently tweeted multiple videos of a demonstration from Wednesday night in which activists nonviolently sitting in the middle of a road to block the entrance to the Wyatt Detention Center — a private prison in Rhode Island where immigrants are being held.
As part of a joint effort between both Jewish activists and immigrant rights’ groups, 30 protesters risked arrest, refusing to disperse after police ordered them to leave. Another 200 activists remained on the other side of the street to show support, according to the group.
“Concentration camps, roundups, caged neighbors – we will not accept it, we will not allow it to continue,” Never Again Action tweeted.
LIVE: Guards are trying to get into and out of the Wyatt Detention Center, but #JewsAgainstICE, immigrants and allies are holding strong!
Concentration camps, roundups, caged neighbors – we will not accept it, we will not allow it to continue.
— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) August 15, 2019
Suddenly, a pickup truck is seen approaching the group of activists, who remained seated in the road and refused to move. Then, without warning, the truck accelerates into the crowd as protesters screamed. The group said that the truck was driven by an ICE guard, and that Rhode Island State Police pepper sprayed the protesters after the truck drove through the crowd.
“We are still trying to figure out what all the injuries are,” the group tweeted. “And the rest of us are trying to get the pepper spray out of our eyes.”
All told, Never Again Action reported that five people were hospitalized — three from severe pepper spray exposure, and two from being hit by the truck. The group said that the identity of the truck driver is known to them, but they haven’t yet released the driver’s name, as of this writing.
(Trigger warning: Truck driving into crowd)
“It was terrifying because we didn’t know what exactly his intention was,” Never Again Action spokeswoman Amy Anthony told The Washington Post. “It certainly appeared he was trying to hit us.”
Never Again Action said the group would “be back,” as it vows to shut down all immigrant detention centers –which both Never Again Action and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) refer to as “concentration camps” —
The group said that Wednesday night’s direct action in Rhode Island was the 36th such protest in six weeks. Never Again Action gave permission for all media outlets to share photos and videos of the action with proper attribution, with the exception of Fox News, as Never Again Action says the network “is waging a war on immigrants & will never have our support to do anything but shut down.”
(Featured image: Never Again Action/used with permission)
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.