Each summer, the radical environmentalists behind the decades-old (and notoriously rowdy) Earth First! movement wrap up their annual campout with a protest action. Over the years, typical targets have included logging operations and, more recently, fossil fuel infrastructure. This year, things were different.
On Monday, July 9, dozens of Earth First! activists emerged from the Appalachian woods to join Native American, LGBTQ and Latinx activists in temporarily shutting down a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The action resulted in 12 arrests.
The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests and direct actionsin cities across the US aimed at one of the major federal agencies responsible for carrying out the mass raids, deportations and family separations that have defined the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants and migrant families seeking asylum. It was also proof that the movement to abolish ICE is uniting activists from various social movements as they identify how their individual issues intersect. For example, climate disruption has contributed to the flow of migrants from Central America, where Latinx and Indigenous heritages often mix.
Corine Fairbanks, a member of the American Indian Movement from Cincinnati, told Truthout that her organization has always considered Native Americans from Latin America as their “Indigenous brothers and sisters.”