Protesters took down an American flag outside of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Colorado this week and replaced it with a Mexican flag, according to footage posted online.
Footage of a demonstration outside of the Aurora, Colo., facility posted Friday shows dozens of protesters cheering as a Mexican flag was raised on a pole in front of the building.
Protestors on @ICEgov property just pulled down the American flag and replaced it with the Mexican flag. The group by the doors is growing. Though most protestors are still on the street. pic.twitter.com/X2waaFMEOW
— Matt Mauro (@mattmauronews) July 13, 2019
According to CBS News, hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the facility on Friday to demonstrate against planned raids targeting undocumented immigrants that are expected to start on Sunday. ICE agents will launch massive targeting undocumented immigrants scheduled for deportation, in an operation that President Trump delayed weeks ago.
The main demonstration was part of an effort organized on Facebook that was called “March to Close the Concentration Camps.” The event was reportedly orchestrated under the Lights for Liberty coalition.
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, which planned a peaceful vigil as part of the event, told The Hill in statement that the protesters who stormed the facility and took down the American flag were “rogue protesters from another a parallel event” and “are not affiliated with the Colorado immigrant rights movement.”
“We unequivocally denounce the actions of rogue protestors who stormed the for-profit detention camp and replaced the American flag with the Mexican flag yesterday,” the groupd said. “These protestors put the undocumented families who were attending a peaceful vigil at the same location in danger of being arrested and caused harm to the immigrant rights movement.”
“Instead of talking about how our communities came together last night and raising awareness of all of the nationalities and ethnicities of the people abused in the prison camps, the conversation turned into a divisive one that pits the communities we love against one another,” the group added.
The demonstration was part of an effort organized on Facebook that was called “March to Close the Concentration Camps.”
A description of the event on its Facebook page reads: “Join us as part of the national day of action to close the concentration camps. This is the kick-off of a national campaign to close the migrant and refugee camps in the United States. Calling on folks and groups from Denver, Aurora, Boulder, Longmont, and surrounding areas.”
Footage captured later on Friday night showed police raising the American flag outside the facility again.
The American flag flies once again outside Aurora ICE facility. #LightsforLiberty pic.twitter.com/VvG85odmKF
— Jaclyn Allen (@jaclynreporting) July 13, 2019
Local police chief Nick Metz said protesters remained “peaceful” in a tweet on Friday night and added that the demonstration showed the “best of Aurora.”
Tonight we witnessed the best of Aurora (Police & Community) during the peaceful #LightsForLiberty demonstration. Thank you to everyone who remained peaceful & took the time to thank my cops…& thank you to all the officers who were there to ensure everyones safety. @AuroraPD pic.twitter.com/UzkF8nQDfJ
— Chief Nick Metz (@APDChiefMetz) July 13, 2019