Teen protesters outside a Washington state detention center set fire to an American flag on Wednesday, drawing criticism from others there supporting the immigrant families inside.
“We’re not here to burn flags. Take that somewhere else,” a woman with a megaphone told the teenagers, as others quickly snuffed out the flames, according to Kiro-TV.
Dozens have set up tents outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma in protest of the Trump administration’s family separation policy.
Tacoma police arrested 10 protesters on Tuesday night after a group of around 30 refused to clear a road and then surrounded a patrol car, Q13 Fox reported. Two were later hit with assault charges while the others were released, but as of Wednesday, police decided that they have had enough.
On Wednesday night, officials announced that the protesters camping outside the detention center have until 6 p.m. Thursday to clear the area. Notices have been put up at the site demanding the crowds take down anything in the public right of way.
Protesters say they are meeting with their attorney to figure out the next steps.
"Well, where are we going to stay?" protester Andy Ribaudo told KOMO News. “We're here to support our undocumented neighbors and those who are incarcerated and formally incarcerated. They're right there."
Another protester, Ezra Benner, told the station that “no one was instigating or threatening violence on the police” during the incident on Tuesday night.
“They were the people who came and started a fight.”
Tacoma Police spokesperson Loretta Cool told Kiro-TV that “people have the right to demonstrate” and “we will continue to assist them to safely demonstrate”, but the tents, tarps and other items must go.
"We also have to enforce the municipal code,” she said. “We're giving them plenty of warning time."
A California judge ordered the Border Patrol Wednesday to reunite separated families within 30 days, and children younger than 5 years old within two weeks.