Susan Sarandon and more than 500 people were arrested for staging a protest against America’s controversial immigration policy on Thursday (28Jun18).
The Thelma & Louise actress, who was a vocal supporter for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. election, joined more than 600 people, mostly women, to march from the Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. to the atrium of the Hart Senate office building at the Department of Justice, where they staged a sit-in protest against the government’s zero-tolerance border policy, which has led to more than 2,300 children being separated from their parents as they crossed the U.S. border from Mexico.
They chanted sentiments such as “What do we want? Free families!”, “This is what democracy looks like” and “Abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)” before they were arrested. According to Sky News, 575 people were arrested and charged with unlawfully demonstrating during the rally.
The 71-year-old actress, who had been documenting the day on Twitter, reportedly waved as she was detained and led away by officers along with hundreds of other women. She later tweeted, “Arrested. Stay strong. Keep fighting. #WomenDisobey.”
“Powerful, beautiful action with hundreds of women saying we demand the reunification of families separated by immoral ICE policy. This is what Democracy looks like. #WomenDisobey,” she wrote beside a picture from the protest.
At the demonstration, organised by Women’s March, protesters mostly wore white and donned foil blankets like those worn by children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border. Some held a variety of placards and wrote “We care” on their hands, a reference to the controversial jacket U.S. First Lady Melania Trump when she visited a detention centre recently. She sparked outrage wearing a khaki coat emblazoned with the message “I really don’t care, do u?”
President Trump recently signed an executive order banning the separation of families, and authorities are in the process of reuniting minors with their parents.