Almost 600 people were arrested at a protest organized by Women's March in Washington, D.C. Demonstrators began marching outside of the Justice Department and a Senate building Thursday to oppose migrant family separations and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
The protest was organized and promoted by Women's March, the same group that mounted a massive protest effort past year shortly after President Donald Trump took office.
With the zero tolerance policy now in tatters, the women are turning to an even bigger target, demanding the abolition of ICE and for the release of all illegal immigrants from detention.
Attendees will include several other women who also participated in Thursday's demonstrationand were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police.
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After starting at Freedom Plaza, the group was expected to march to the Department of Justice and the Hart Senate Office Building.
"I have two kids and as a white mother, there is nearly no circumstance that they would be taken away from me - ever, " said Victoria Farris, who slept Wednesday night in All Souls Church after participating in civil disobedience training.
"It was very important that women, as the people that have been leading the resistance to the Trump regime, take a bold action of escalation of pressure together", she said. The protesters were calling for the abolishment of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and were heard chanting "abolish ICE".
President Trump is spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and won't be home during the protest.
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The women chanted slogans such as "we care" and "where are the children" in a largely peaceful standoff with police, who ordered them to leave.
"Women across the country are horrified as we see our government violating the rights of women, separating families, and traumatizing children", Women's March co-chair Linda Sarsour said in a statement.
For Ingrid Zelaya, who works in communications at the immigrant advocacy group CASA, this was not her first protest, but it was her first act of civil disobedience. Facing a massive public backlash, last week Trump issued an order allowing families to stay together after being detained at the border. Gillibrand said, adding the protests were an "amazing" act of defiance against the Trump administration.
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