Photo: Jewish activist Sha Harvey performs at the start of a Passover rally. Liberation photo
Activists gathered outside the Kenosha Detention Center April 11. Their demands? That the Biden administration stop the continued detention and dehumanization of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, for legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and for the abolition of ICE.
The rally was organized by Jewish leftist group Never Again Action and immigrants’ rights organization Voces de la Frontera. It corresponded with the annual Jewish observance of Passover, commemorating the Jews’ delivery from enslavement.
“Passover is a holiday celebrating flight from oppression,” NAA organizer Rachel Buff explained. “I am deeply invested in the ways that Jewish history proposes broad solidarity. Our historical experiences as Jews as well as our interpretive traditions insist on metaphors which lead us into showing up for others.”
“As a Jew, it is practically impossible for me not to tie Passover into social justice,” NAA organizer Nicole Gorelik said. “Our past pushes us to be the people we needed.”
About 50 people showed up to support the action. It began with liberatory live music from local Jewish activist Sha Harvey. Other groups including the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice came to support with banners and guest speakers.
“Solidarity isn’t just a tagline or buzzword,” Zapata of PSL Milwaukee said. “The sense of standing up against injustices as a personal duty in the Jewish faith and to see that the next generation lives it is inspiring. It’s amazing to see that education of the historical struggles of Jews are acknowledged and not forgotten as the product of a bygone era.”
A car caravan followed, taking the rally to Civic Park in downtown Kenosha where the Jacob Blake protests took place last August. Blake’s uncle Justin Blake spoke on the importance of the Black, Jewish and immigrant communities coming together to take down white supremacy.
The event organizers explained they are devoted to the principle that their liberation is tied directly to the liberation of all. This is why they show up when immigrants are under attack.
“The Jewish community is standing with you,” Gorelik said. “We will fight by your side until there is a path to citizenship for all of you.”
Never Again Action is working with Black Lives Matter activists in Kenosha to stand with them against the reign of police violence. They will be marching with Voces de la Frontera for May Day.