More than 1,000 protestors gathered on Central Avenue in Phoenix at the ICE headquarters over the inhumane conditions for immigrants at U.S. detention centers: Phoenix protest one of hundreds “Lights for Liberty” gatherings across America

Jason White- Videographer

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More than 1,000 protestors gathered on Central Avenue in Phoenix at the ICE headquarters over the inhumane conditions for immigrants at U.S. detention centers: Phoenix protest one of hundreds “Lights for Liberty” gatherings across America

protestors at the police line

protestors at the police line

Jason White

protestors at the police line

Jason White

Jason White

protestors at the police line

Ivana Venema-Nunez and Ole Olafson

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More than 1,000 protestors gathered at the Central United Methodist Church on Friday evening for the nationwide “Lights of Liberty” protests of ICE detention centers around the U.S.

The church is located on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix and across the street from the ICE headquarters. Church volunteers and people from other organizations offered protestors water and battery candles for the vigil after dark.

Speakers, protestors and clergy joined inside the standing room only sanctuary with a call to “close the camps”—the ICE detention centers where recent reports allege inhumane, unsanitary and unsafe conditions for children and immigrant families. Witness accounts of conditions inside as well some guards that have talked about the horrible environment on the condition of anonymity have generated outrage across the country.

The protests were peaceful—but emphatic—one heckler attempted to interrupt the speakers inside the Central United Methodist Church by yelling that the claims of the mistreatment of children and immigrants were “lies” …but the man was quickly escorted out by security.

Several arrests were made when protestors spilled off the sidewalk and onto Central Avenue and a few people moved onto the light rail tracks.

Police moved in around 10:30 p.m. and began making arrests.

16 individuals were arrested for suspicion of unlawful assembly and obstructing a public thoroughfare.

Charges were dismissed for all but two protestors who were charged on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer when they attempted to prevent officers from arresting other demonstrators.

Northeast Valley News captured some of the arrests but were eventually blocked by a police barrier.

Stay with nevalleynews.org for more interviews and footage of “Lights for Liberty” Phoenix

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