July 16, 2019

13 cited in immigration protest on Harvest Lane

Observer photos courtesy of VTDigger
Protesters rally against Trump administration immigration policy Saturday outside federal immigration offices in Williston.

Protest organizer Rachel Siegel of Burlington was among those cited for disorderly conduct in Saturday’s protest.

By Kit Norton

For VTDigger

Thirteen people have been ordered to appear in court following their arrest on disorderly conduct charges outside the Immigration and Naturalization Service office on Harvest Lane in Williston.

The arrests were made by Williston police as roughly 100 protesters rallied Saturday against the Trump administration’s immigrant family separation policy.

Williston police received complaints during the protest and arrived to find 13 people sitting down in the road blocking traffic.

Police Chief Patrick Foley said the gathering was peaceful, and when police arrived, all 13 accepted their disorderly conduct citations.

“They arrested us as we wanted, and we communicated with them through a lawyer,” said Rachel Siegel, executive director of the Peace and Justice Center in Burlington and a protest organizer.

Eleven adults and two juveniles were ordered to appear in court next month.

Saturday’s protest was the third at the location in the last two months. It was part of a “Families Belong Together” series of rallies that have taken place across the country since June 30.

The Williston protesters called for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, and for the immediate reunification of families separated by border patrol agents.

“I thought there was good turnout,” said Chloe White, policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Vermont. “I thought people really needed to express their thoughts about this administration’s policies, and this was a great forum for them to do that.”

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