Despite torrential rains in Tacoma this weekend, Tsuru for Solidarity supporters showed up in droves to raise their voices in opposition to immigrant detention. They gathered outside the Northwest Detention Center, where up to 1,500 individuals at a time are held as they await the outcomes of their immigration trials. Sometimes that wait lasts years in this for-profit facility where detainees have staged hunger strikes to protest the poor quality of medical care and food and inadequate access to legal support.
Densho worked closely with the Seattle chapter of Tsuru for Solidarity, as well as Seattle JACL, and La Resistencia in order to stage this action. Over the past several years, our Day of Remembrance commemorations have leaned increasingly more in the direction of activism. Asked about this trend, Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda said:
“We’re a history organization first and foremost, but we can’t just sit idly by and watch other groups get targeted like we were during WWII. That’s why it’s been so important for Densho to get behind the Tsuru for Solidarity movement, and this action in Tacoma was another major step forward in deepening our commitment to standing up for immigrant rights today. I was so heartened to see the hundreds of people who showed up to take that step with us.”
As we celebrate this weekend’s incredible show of solidarity, we encourage our community to commit to carrying that solidarity forward. Follow and get plugged into the work of groups like La Resistencia and Detention Watch Network; and join us this June in DC for Tsuru for Solidarity’s National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps.
Tsuru in the News!
Here’s a round-up of the some of the great media coverage of this action. Big thanks to the thoughtful, hardworking journalists — some of them descendants of WWII incarceration themselves — who amplified Tsuru for Solidarity and La Resistencia’s calls to #StopRepeatingHistory!
Once Put In Concentration Camps, Japanese Americans Rally For Detained Immigrants, Mari Hayman for HuffPost
‘Never Again is Now’ for Japanese Americans protesting immigration jail in Tacoma, Naomi Ishisaka for The Seattle Times
Japanese American Elders Protest the Northwest Detention Center, Sam Britt for KBCS 91.3
Crowd remembers Japanese incarceration at immigrant detention center in Tacoma, Simone Alicea for KNKX
A Day of Remembrance = A Day of Action, Frank Abe
Survivors of Japanese internment speak out against immigrant detention, Tina Vasquez for Prism
‘Never again is now’: Japanese Americans driven by history in immigration fight, Lilly Fowler for Crosscut
A ‘trail of ghosts’ in Seattle, 78 years after Japanese incarceration, Glenn Nelson for Crosscut
Header photo by Ryan Kozu.