During this morning's rush hour commute, members of two immigration activists groups chained themselves together outside a building that houses ICE's regional field office.
The protest kicked off during the rush hour commute and lasted for several hours. After giving an order to disperse, police cut the pipes used to connect the protestors and arrested nine of them for pedestrian interference, according to a blotter report.
The PVC pipes that protestors wore around their arms were emblazoned with messages like "Fuck ICE" and "End Detention" " according to video of the demonstration taken by photojournalist Alex Garland.
The action was led by Northwest Detention Center Resistance, a local group that regularly holds demonstrations outside the immigrant jail in Tacoma, and Mijente, a national activist organization. Tuesday morning's protest is part of the launch of an organizing tour called "Chinga la Migra," which aimed at raising awareness of the surge in arrests of undocumented immigrants under President Donald Trump. The movement also plans to hold demonstrations in Chicago, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“Chinga la Migra is a battle cry. We think it's time to stop waiting for Trump to tweet and start exposing the real trends inside of his Enforcement-first Administration," said Marisa Franco, Executive Director of Mijente, in a press statement.
Activists purposefully held their protest outside 1000 2nd Ave, which is an epicenter of deportation activity in Seattle. ICE houses it's regional field office there and immigration court is also held in the building, which is owned by a holding company governed by the local real estate mogul Martin Selig.
In a press release, the two activist groups that organized the demonstration said they are demanding the Martin Selig Real Estate Company stop renting offices in the building to deportation authorities.
"Billion-dollar company Martin Selig Real Estate needs to stop profiting from renting to the very people terrorizing our communities," states a petition on Mijente's website.
Maru Mora Villalpando, a local immigrant activist who is being targeted for deportation, said in a statement that the group wants ICE "out of Washington state."
"Seattle presents itself as a sanctuary city, while several floors of this downtown building house the offices of the very people tearing our communities apart. Trump's cops have no place in our city, and we want them gone," Villalpando said.
Northwest Detention Center Resistance, a group that counts Villalpando among its members, has helped facilitate multiple hunger strikes of detainees protesting conditions at the Tacoma immigrant jail.
Last year saw a 43 percent increase in arrests of undocumented immigrants, including a 171 percent surge in arrests of non-criminal immigrants.