Charges Dropped Against Amazon, ICE Protesters

A dozen protesters who were arrested Thursday evening at an Amazon office in Cambridge, Massachusetts are scheduled to appear in court Friday.

The Middlesex District Attorney announced Friday that it is dropping all charges against a dozen people who protested Amazon's ties to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Cambridge, Massachusetts Thursday.

Even though Friday was a good day for demonstrators, they say they won't be celebrating until conditions at the southern border improve and immigrants are treated better.

Rebecca Hornstein was one of those arrested. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors, so the topic feels especially personal to her.

"For those of us who are living with the legacy of — generations later — with the legacy of family separation, with the legacy of that kind of terror leads to, it feels like especially urgent," Hornstein said.

Officials say the charges were dropped because it was a peaceful protest and it was in the public interest.

Hundreds took to the streets Thursday in a protest that ended with participants occupying the lobby of Amazon's Cambridge office building for more than 90 minutes.

The hours-long protest, organized by "Never Again Action: Jews Against ICE," started in Boston, with hundreds and hundreds walking from the Holocaust Memorial in Faneuil Hall, over the Longfellow Bridge and down Cambridge Street.

"We're a group of Jews who are calling on Amazon to end their contract with ICE. Drawing on our history," Hornstein said.

Cambridge Police and MIT Police moved into the office to clear the protesters out, arresting twelve of the protesters for trespassing.

Those arrested ranged in age from 20 to 36 years old. All twelve were bailed out Thursday night, police said.

During the protest, employees could be seen escorting fellow employees into the building while police elsewhere shut down surrounding streets and rerouted rush hour traffic.

"There are people dying in United States government custody," one protester said. "A little bit of disruption to our evening commute is how we get everyone's attention."

Protesters said they were rallying against the online retailer's ICE contracts.

"We're asking them to end their contract with ICE and stop being complicit in the dehumanization of immigrants in this country," said a participant in the protest.

ICE has historically worked to curb the influx of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., but the agency has stepped up those efforts under the Trump administration.

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