Eight protesters apprehended this week for shutting down traffic in Kalamazoo, Mich ., in protest against the Trump administration’s DACA announcement, said their “white privilege” allowed them to risk legal repercussions and oppose the government.
Hundreds of objectors swarmed into the streets in opposition to the Trump administration’s decision to rescind protections for people brought into the U.S. illegally as children and making Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution to the issue.
The demonstrators blocked one of Kalamazoo’s busiest intersections, Mlive.com reported, but only eight white activists dared to continue blocking the intersection after police threatened to arrest anyone still participating.
Among the arrested were Andy Argo, Jimmy Brewster, Paul Haag, the Rev. Sarah Schmidt-Lee, Christine Lewis, Jessica Martin, Larry Provancher and Cary Betz Williams.
The group was released the same day, with a court date in September to decide their accusations — potentially a misdemeanor for contravening metropoli statutes, Mlive.com reported.
Haag said he is increasingly political following Trump’s election. He explained that he use his “white privilege” to stand up to minorities by blocking the intersection.
“In my experience I visualize good, hardworking folks trying to strive toward the American daydream, ” he told Mlive.com. “Depending on their immigration status, they have a curtailed voice and sovereignties in terms of standing up for themselves without putting themselves at great risk. I want to enjoy the benefits of my white privilege to do the right thing.”
Lewis, a co-director of the left-wing Michigan United advocacy group, seconded Haag, claiming she had to take responsibility as a white person to stand up against white domination as undocumented immigrants cannot do it in the same way as they could get deported.
“For us as citizens who are white, we want to take up its own responsibilities to opposed white ascendancy; and that signifies taking perils, ” she said. “The point of the two arrested was to show fellow white folks what it means to take action and invite people in.”
An online crowdfunding campaign has been created by 6th Congressional District candidate Eponine Garrod following the arrest of the eight white activists. It seeks to raise $4,000 to cover any court fees. So far, it has attracted nearly $1,100 in donations.