If We Don’t Get It! Shut It Down!
On the evening of July 2, 2018 the Center City ICE office at 8th and Cherry was shut down by – a coalition of a Occupy ICE PHL dozen left and progressive organizations, as well as myriad unaffiliated activists. Members of Socialist Alternative were on the ground from the initial planning discussions to the final arrests. Though representing a wide range of political tendencies, these activists were able to find sufficient common ground – politically and literally – to occupy a patch of concrete and asphalt outside the Philadelphia ICE Office for 4 days around demands to abolish ICE, close the Berks detention facility and end PARS data sharing.
In less than a week, Occupy ICE PHL changed the conversation throughout the entire city. Under pressure from the protests the Mayor’s office has agreed to meet with Juntos, New Sanctuary, and other Organizations later this week. The movement has pushed Mayor Kenney into a corner, exposing the shallowness of his claims that Philadelphia is a “sanctuary city”. As a progressive Democrat, Kenney enjoys the glow of dressing himself up as “the resistance” to the Trump presidency. Yet he signed off on a contract with ICE, granting access to the city’s legal database, known as PARS, and effectively assisting ICE to deport and detain immigrants in Philadelphia.
Since the final clearing of the occupation at 8th and Cherry by Police on July 5th, a second occupation was established at City Hall, and the original coalition has broadened to include activists attracted during the course of the protests. This coalition continues to meet to plan next steps and an escalating series of actions. Join us to discuss next steps for the movement!
- You can also call the Mayors office and tell him that you support the demand to end all cooperation with ICE. Call 215-686-2181
- What to say: Hello, my name is ________ and I am calling on the city to end all cooperation with ICE. Specifically I support the demand that Philadelphia end its PARS data sharing contract. The city government’s relationship with ICE is unacceptable and I cannot support it.
- Sign this Petition to end PARS
Occupy ICE PHL is an impressive uniting of the Philly Left, but to be truly powerful, this movement must reach out and engage the vast majority of working class people and their organizations without compromising on demands or politics. We want our elected officials in City Council and the Mayor’s office to make clear where they stand. Among the forces we need to mobilize are the unions, churches, and progressive community organizations. This means forcing the democratic establishment to make good on the promise of being a sanctuary city, even if it means dragging them kicking and screaming to fulfill the demands of this campaign.
A real sanctuary city would be one where all people, regardless of legal status, could access affordable housing, living wage jobs, quality public education, professional day care and excellent health care. To get there, we need real “resistance”— action which unapologetically disrupts business as usual built on the foundation of mass working class movements and effectively impedes Trump’s brutal immigration policy and deportation tactics.
- Stop the Deportations: Abolish ICE
- End Family Detention: Close Berks Detention Center
- No Cooperation with ICE in Philly: End Philly’s PARS data sharing contract
Make Philly a Real Sanctuary City for the Working Class!