Politics

Liberal Activists In Boston Protest Amazon’s Partnership With ICE, Block Traffic

Amazon Building. Shutterstock

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

Hundreds of people blocked rush-hour traffic Thursday to protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), resulting in a dozen arrests for trespassing on Amazon property.

The protesters — who caused a traffic congestion during their march — took specific aim with Amazon’s reported attempts to sell its facial recognition technology to ICE. The Seattle-based company allegedly encouraged federal immigration authorities to purchase its “Rekognition” facial recognition software. Amazon did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

“Never Again Action” coordinated a demonstration in Boston, Massachusetts, on Thursday to protest private companies cooperation with the federal agency tasked with carrying out deportation orders.

The demonstrators began their march at the New England Holocaust Memorial and marched to Amazon’s Cambridge office.

The entire demonstration equated ICE to the Holocaust, and likened the companies that work with the agency to Nazi collaborators.

“These tools are being used to dehumanize entire communities, to create terror, to track people, and round them up and put them into detention, and then ultimately deport them,” said Elizabeth Weinbloom, a member of Never Again Action. “During the Holocaust, IBM created punchcard and data systems that were used in every concentration camp to track our ancestors.”

Many of the protesters carried Holocaust-themed signs such as “Never Again Is Now” and “Close The Camps” as they marched through the streets. Never Again is a years-old slogan used by the Jewish community, typically meaning to never again allow the horrors of the Holocaust to happen.

The protesters Thursday ultimately entered Amazon’s Kendall Square office in Cambridge. After refusing to comply with police orders, 12 protesters were arrested. A GoFundMe for their bail was close to its $18,000 goal as of press time.

People protest outside of the Elizabeth Detention Center during a rally attended by immigrant residents and activists on February 23, 2017 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Over 100 demonstrators chanted and held up signs outside of the center which is currently holding people awaiting deportation. The demonstrators, five of whom were arrested, denounced President Donald Trump and his deportation policies. Around the country stories of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids have sent fear through immigrant communities. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People protest outside of the Elizabeth Detention Center during a rally attended by immigrant residents and activists on February 23, 2017 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Never Again Action — a Jewish-led group that advocates on behalf of immigrations — has launch a significant number of anti-ICE protests across the country in 2019, with many of their demonstrations taking place near ICE facilities.

During a demonstration by a Rhode Island detention center in August, Never Again Action members blocked the entrance to a staff parking lot. Footage was captured of a corrections officer allegedly trying to drive through the crowd, laying on his horn in an attempt to make the protesters move. (RELATED: Anti-Trump Protesters Demand Illegal Immigrants Be Released, ICE Be Abolished)

As the debate over the illegal immigration continues in Washington, D.C., actions against immigration facilities have become increasingly violent across the country.

A left-wing terrorist died in a shootout with police in July when he tried to blow up a Washington state ICE detention center. An ICE office in San Antonio was shot at several times in August, leaving federal investigators convinced it was a coordinated attack. In the most recent incident, a Florida woman in late August threw a lit Molotov cocktail inside a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services building.

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