Donations Pour In for Jewish Group Arrested Protesting ICE Detention Centers: 'We Are Seeing the Signs of a Mass Atrocity'

A group of Jewish activists who were arrested during a protest at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in New Jersey are asking for donations to help pay their legal costs and continue their fight to "never let anything like the Holocaust happen again."

A total of 36 demonstrators from the Never Again Action group were detained during the protest against the holding of undocumented migrants at the Elizabeth Detention Center on June 30.

The protest group, who worked alongside fellow immigrant rights organization Movimiento Cosecha, originally sought $36,000 in funds so they could organize nationwide protests against ICE and to "remind the world that Never Again means Never Again for Anyone."

The demonstration, which was attended by around 200 people, happened amid debate about whether the detention centers should be classified as concentration camps following comments made by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brandon Mond, one of the event's organizers, told Newsweek that the action was also planned because of frustration at the Democrats' failure to fight against the Trump's administration's immigration policies.

"While Republicans are stoking the flames of white nationalism, Democrats are letting them do it," Mond said. "We want to hold Democrats accountable—people who say in their words that they're for immigrants but time and time again throw the 11 million undocumented people that already live in this country under the bus."

Posting an update on their GoFundMe page, Never Again Action said they are continuing to seek donations in order to help cover the legal costs for those arrested at the New Jersey protest and for further action materials.

"A group of young Jews, Rabbis, and people from all over the country disrupted business as usual at the for-profit, privately owned Elizabeth Contract Detention Center in New Jersey. Now we need yours and our community's support for their legal fees," the group wrote.

"As Jews, we've been taught to never let anything like the Holocaust happen again. Now, with children detained in unacceptable conditions, ICE raids targeting our communities, and people dying at the border while seeking safety in the U.S., we are seeing the signs of a mass atrocity. We refuse to wait and see what happens next.

"We just put 36 bodies on the line because when we say Never Again, we mean it. Will you join us in saying Never Again by contributing to our GoFundMe?"

Ocasio-Cortez praised the actions of the protesters, as well as tweeting a link to the GoFundMe page.

"Direct actions of profound solidarity, just like these, hold enormous power to change our country. Thank you @NeverAgainActn, for your courage, compassion, and selflessness in pursuit of justice," she wrote.

Never Again Action
A Jewish woman from the Never Again Action group is detained during a protest at the Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey on June 30. Never Again Action/GoFundMe