On Sunday afternoon, around 50 activists arrived at the Etowah County Detention Center in order to protest undocumented immigrants being housed there and the immigration policies of the federal government in general.
Adelante Alabama spokesman William Anderson says that a limited march was taken around the facility during the protest, which also featured a speaker. The organization has staged a number of protests at the Center over the past couple of years as a part of their campaign to “Shut Down Etowah.” The group claims that the need for the reformation of US immigration policies is highlighted by conditions at the center and other such facilities all over the United States.
Spokeswoman for the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Natalie Barton, says that the incident was similar to previous protests and that no arrests were made. The demonstration, as with a similar one two months ago back in February, was partly motivated by the death last year of Ethiopian national Teka Gulema, who was detained at the center but released in November by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Gulema died from a bacterial infection after being arrested in Virginia on assault and other charges.
A complaint was filed with ICE last month by San Francisco activist group, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, on Gulema’s behalf. The eight-page complaint alleges that Gulema’s death highlights the problems faced by inmates at the center, including a lack of proper medical care.