The following statement was shared on Thursday afternoon by Jewish groups:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the news of a violent attack on Jewish and immigrant justice protesters during a Never Again Action protest at a Rhode Island detention center, where a corrections officer appeared to drive his truck into a crowd, injuring several, followed by protesters being pepper sprayed as local police stood by, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, J Street, and Torah Trumps Hate released the following statement:
“We are appalled by this brutal act committed against Jewish, Latinx, and immigrant justice protesters courageously taking nonviolent action to resist the violence that ICE inflicts on immigrant communities every day. We stand in solidarity with our fellow activists, we pray for the healing of those injured, and we recommit to taking action to shut down the system of cruelty that underlies our nation’s unconscionable treatment of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
“Jewish communities have seen the effects of bigotry, of scapegoating immigrants, and of dehumanization before. The video of this attack is a reminder that the agents carrying out this administration’s cruel agenda are willing to see groups of people, whether immigrant communities, Jewish protesters, or political opponents, as less than human. Never again means stopping this mass atrocity.
“Jewish communities overwhelmingly agree on the importance of protecting immigrant communities from President Trump’s white nationalist agenda. This act of violence comes on the heels of thousands of Jews and allies joining nearly 60 nonviolent actions across the country this weekend that we organized on the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av. We will not allow violence or threats to deter us from speaking and acting against policies that put immigrant communities in harm’s way. We cannot rest. We will continue to join together to defeat the hatred spreading throughout our country that threatens us all.”
Editor’s Note: According to the Boston Globe, “A captain at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center here has been placed on leave while authorities investigate video footage that appeared to show a pickup truck driving into protesters blocking a staff parking lot late Wednesday night.”