From the “Essex Eight”

For Immediate Release
Contacts: Eric Lerner (English) [email protected] 908-546-7654
Jay Arena (Spanish) [email protected] 973-220-5060


On Friday morning eighteen New Jersyans—men and women, black and white, immigrant and native-born, ranging in age from nineteen to seventy-one—gathered at the front doors of the Essex County Hall of Records in Newark to send a clear message: we will not be silent. We will not be silent while our immigrant brothers and sisters are dragged off to ICE concentration camps, including one in Newark run by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. We non-violently blocked the entrance to the building, saying that Essex County either had to stop doing business with ICE, or there would be no business as usual.

Instead of taking action on our demand to close the 800-bed concentration camp, DiVincenzo and his partner in repression, Sheriff Armando Fontoura reacted to our non-violent protest by having deputies of the Essex County sheriff’s office violently assault and arrest us eight, including one participant who had only criticized police actions.

By his actions Joseph DiVincenzo made clear which side he is on: the side of Trump and ICE. DiVincenzo responded with “no comment” in response to queries from the media. “No comment” will not protect their blood money contract with ICE. DiVincenzo and Fontoura’s repression will not break our will. We, the “Essex Eight” who were arrested, call on all groups in Essex County and throughout New Jersey, to join us in escalating the campaign to close the concentration camp in Essex County and those throughout the state and the entire country.

We invite everyone to attend and speak up at the next Essex County Freeholders meeting, 7:00 PM Wednesday July 11 at the Essex County Hall of Records, room 506. We will be demanding that the Freeholders end the contract with ICE. We also invite all to stand with us in our first court appearance 4:00 PM, Fri. July 13 at Newark Municipal Court, 31 Green Street.

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