Ed Note: Or is it: To continue protesting and distancing, immigrant rights groups use drive-by protests?
A procession of 60 cars honking their horns and brandishing signs proclaiming “Free Them All” circled Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey on March 27. A prisoner and guard in the jail had just tested positive for COVID-19, and the protesters were demanding that all nonviolent incarcerated people and ICE detainees be released in order to stop the spread of the virus and save thousands of lives.
The protesters called it a “drive-by protest.” Since late March, similar actions involving hundreds of cars have taken place in other states as well, including Louisiana, Illinois and North Carolina. The protests are just one of the many creative tactics that organizers have been employing to show solidarity with the immigrant community while social distancing.
Ambien Mitchell is an activist and educator working at New Sanctuary Coalition, a clinic that provides legal and emotional support for people navigating the immigration system. In her view, it has never been more critical to advocate for humane policy and demand accountability for those in power.