The arrest by federal agents of a prominent immigration rights activist in New York City sparked outrage and rapid-response protests on Thursday as the hashtag
# took off on social media.
According to reports, Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York, which advocates on behalf of immigrants in one of the nation’s largest cities, was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during a routine check-in meeting.
“Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city,” said Rev. Kaji Dousa, the New Sanctuary Coalition’s co-chair, in a statement. “A longtime New Yorker, a husband and a father, Ravi is beloved by all of us who have had the privilege of working with him to make New York a welcoming community for all of its residents. The fact that ICE has taken him as if his spirit, family ties and contributions to the community mean nothing is inhumane.”
As the news outlet Patch of New York City reports, news of the arrest led to hundreds of protestors gathering near Foley Square to condemn his detention. According to Patch:
Speaking with BuzzFeed News, Linda Sarsour, New York resident and national co-chair of Women’s March, explained why Ragbir’s detention is so troubling and why the reaction by the community was so swift and urgent:
In dramatic footage shared on social media, police arrested some demonstrators, including New York City Council member Jumaane Williams who called on people to “Resist” even as he was handcuffed and press against the hood of a car by a NYPD officer:
Making the Road New York, another statewide advocacy group, was among those urging New Yorkers to mobilize on Ragbir’s behalf:
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