Over the last three weeks, nearly 1000 immigrants have gone on hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma protesting inhumane conditions. Last week, Washington Fair Trade Coalition responded to a call for support and held a solidarity day at the Detention Center to support strikers inside and raise up their demands.

As the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump ramps up deportations and continues to build its capacity for increased mass detentions and deportations, hundreds of incarcerated immigrants joined a hunger strike to protest conditions they describe as abusive, exploitative, and filthy. The facility houses more than 1,500 civil detainees awaiting deportation or immigration hearings. More than 700 had joined by the end of the first week, and continued to join throughout the following week.

“The hunger strike is not a tool that is used lightly,” Villalpando said. “When people use their own health to fight, to put their lives on the line, this just shows the extreme conditions they are dealing with and the urgency of their demands.” She and other allies with Northwest Detention Center Resistance maintained an encampment outside the Detention Center and 24-7 vigilance during the two-week hunger strike.

Click here for updates on the struggle at the Northwest Detention Center and current calls for action.