CENTERVILLE — About two dozen protesters chained themselves Thursday to the doors and to each other inside a Davis County business that is a contractor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
As of noon, about 15 of the protesters had voluntarily left Management & Training Corp., 500 N. Marketplace Drive, after being contacted by officers, and eight had been arrested for investigation of trespassing, according to Centerville police.
“We do encourage people to protest where they want to protest, other than private property,” said Centerville Police Lt. Zan Robison. “They need to do it in a legal place. Our First Amendment right is something we all enjoy, we encourage them to do that, but it needs to be done in a legal place.”
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Taylor Goldstein, media liaison for a group of citizens concerned about prisons for profit, talks about their protest at the Management Training Corp. in Centerville on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Management and Training Corp. is a contractor that manages private prisons and United States Job Corps centers.
Taylor Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the protesters, said they were holding their demonstration against Management & Training Corp. for its “involvement with prisons for profit, as well as immigrant detention.”
“We are protesting the criminalization, deportation and destruction of our communities by this corporation. … We wanted to stop business as usual. We wanted to show how important this was to us by asking arrest and risking our freedoms,” Goldstein said.
Being arrested for trespassing “was a risk we were willing to take for something we really believed in,” she said.
Goldstein claimed the protesters weren’t officially part of any group, calling the demonstration “a very organic movement.” But she also said “we would invite people to follow us” at Facebook page ICE Free SLC, which published several posts about the event Thursday morning that included livestream videos of the protesters.
In a statement Thursday, Management & Training Corp. spokeswoman Issa Arnita said the company “would have been happy to meet with these individuals to talk about the work we do for ICE so they had a full understanding.”
“Instead, the protesters came and refused to comply with police to leave private property,” Arnita said. “The group is advocating to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which they have the right to do. But they don’t have the right to break the law.”
Arnita went on to say that the three detention centers the company operates for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement do not hold minors.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Utah Highway Patrol troopers and police respond to group of citizens protesting prisons for profit at the Management Training Corp. in Centerville on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Management and Training Corp. is a contractor that manages private prisons and United States Job Corps centers.
“While our hearts go out to anyone separated from their family because of policy that had since been reversed, we have no authority or say in these matters,” she said. “It would be more effective for these protesters to …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News