Council Member Jumaane Williams (District 45, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Midwood, Canarsie) was among 18 people arrested today outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building during a massive protest after Ravi Ragbir, a prominent immigrant rights activist, was detained by ICE.
What started as a peaceful gathering to support Ragbir’s routine check-in meeting with ICE, turned into a protest after news spread that he had been detained by the federal government law enforcement agency.
.@JumaaneWilliams gets arrested while protesting against the detention of Ravi Ragbir this morning outside the Javits Federal Building in NYC #DACA #DreamAct @BuzzFeedNews @Nigrotime pic.twitter.com/unq9Z77ZBl
— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) January 11, 2018
When approached by a news crew, Williams says, “Freedom. Resist. Freedom. Resist. We are going to resist,” as seen in the above video.
@ICEgov Millions of people are standing with Ravi and all Immigrants. DON’T TAKE RAVI IN! Everyone please come to 26 Federal Plaza. Our friend RAVI RAGBIR has been DETAINED. Call Rhiya Trivedi at 347-235-9410 if you are willing to do anything on Ravi behalf. #ImmigrationReform pic.twitter.com/KEy50ngdZS
— Ydanis Rodriguez (@ydanis) January 11, 2018
Council Member Brad Lander, along with other community leaders, had accompanied Ragbir to his check-in meeting. Little did they know it was going to end up with him being detained and leaving in an ambulance.
BREAKING: immigrant rights leader and ED of @NewSanctuaryNYC Ravi Ragbir has been detained and is being transported in an ambulance. Allies are demanding his release #IStandwithRavi #OurNY pic.twitter.com/YF8SkqCv4C
— New York Immigration Coalition (@thenyic) January 11, 2018
Lander took to Twitter to respond to Ragbir’s detention.
Upstairs, we are praying. Downstairs, we are marching. Together, we are in accompaniment & solidarity with @NewSanctuaryNYC. We will keep this a city of welcome & sanctuary. pic.twitter.com/jTq1KcflWx
— Brad Lander (@bradlander) January 11, 2018
Ragbir has called New York his home for over 20 years. He is a father, husband, and man who has dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of immigrants. Though Williams’ office has yet to release an official statement, the Council Member did show his support for Ragbir on Twitter.
Ravi Ragbir is an extraordinary man, beloved in his community and dedicated to fighting for immigrant rights. Today, after more than two decades of living in this country, he was detained by ICE and removed in an ambulance. He needs your voices to declare #IStandWithRavi https://t.co/M3QRhSzifs
— Jumaane Williams (@JumaaneWilliams) January 11, 2018
This is not the first time Williams’ has been arrested. Just last year, he was arrested at a protest outside Trump Tower, Crain’s NY reported. In 2011, he was seen being taken away by cops at the West Indian Day Parade.
The Mayor’s been briefed on the protest and police activity along Broadway in Lower Manhattan. The area is covered extensively by cameras and we’ll be reviewing the footage to get to the bottom of what happened.
— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) January 11, 2018
According to an immigrant right’s activist, there will be another protest today outside the Varick Street Detention Center, where it is said Ragbir was taken.
— Than(ushka) (@ty_ushka) January 11, 2018