Day of Remembrance, Day of Action

We’re gearing up for our Day of Remembrance, Day of Action at Northwest Detention Center on February 23rd, and we hope to see you there! This event commemorates the 78th anniversary of the Executive Order that incarcerated 120,000 citizens and immigrants of Japanese descent during WWII. We believe the best way to honor that history is by fighting to end detention sites today, which is why we’re partnering with Tsuru For Solidarity, La Resistencia, and Seattle JACL to say #StopRepeatingHistory and #ShutDownNWDC!

You can learn more about this event on Facebook, but here is everything you need to know if you’re planning to attend. (We’ll also update this page as additional details are confirmed):

Why We’re Protesting NWDC

The Day of Remembrance, Day of Action at NWDC commemorates the 78th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, and the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans that followed. Today, thousands of immigrants and refugees are confined in similar concentration camps. They are subjected to inhumane conditions, family separations, threats of deportation, and countless indignities.

The Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, WA is one of the largest immigration prisons in the country, with a capacity to hold up to 1,575 immigrants per day. Up to 200 people, many of whom are seeking asylum, are transferred from the US-Mexico border to the NWDC each month. Other people held at the NWDC have lived in the US for years, in some cases for the majority of their lives. While some are deported after only weeks, some are held for months and even years awaiting the outcomes of their deportation cases. Few legal protections apply to these civil detainees, and those held are not entitled to an attorney at government expense; approximately 90% of them move forward in their cases unrepresented.

As survivors and descendants of Japanese American WWII incarceration, we stand united with all those who have suffered the atrocities of U.S. concentration camps, past and present, to say, “Stop Repeating History!”

Learn more and support the work of La Resistencia, who have been organizing to shut down NWDC since 2014:

Logistics and Day-Of Details

The program: We are grateful to have some powerful speakers and performers lined up for February 23rd, including organizers from La Resistencia who are on the frontlines of the fight to end the detention and deportation of immigrants, musician Kishi Bashi, and some incredible taiko performers. We will also be joined by Tsuru For Solidarity co-founders Satsuki Ina and Mike Ishii, and national leadership from the Detention Watch Network.

Accommodations: A limited number of chairs and tents will be available to elders and attendees with special needs. We’ve also made arrangements for on-site bathroom facilities and a first aid station. For questions about accommodations and accessibility, please email

Transportation: The Northwest Detention Center is located in an industrial area of Tacoma that is not directly accessible by public transit. There is limited parking at some of the businesses surrounding the site, and free parking at the Tacoma Dome Station Parking Lot, which is a 20 minute walk from the site. 

If you require transportation to the site, you can sign up as a carpool passenger here (spots are limited, so please give priority to elders and those with limited mobility or access to alternate transportation):

If you are able to drive others to NWDC on 2/23, please fill out this form to volunteer as a carpool driver:

Volunteer Needs

We still need volunteers to drive others to Tacoma (see form above) and to help with peace-keeping (i.e. keeping an eye on things and making sure attendees stay safe during the event). Please email if you are interested in volunteering as a peace-keeper.

Sign-Making Party on 2/18!

Join us for a sign-making party on Tuesday, 2/18, from 5-7pm at Densho (1416 S Jackson St, Seattle 98144) to prepare for the action at NWDC! We’ll provide some supplies and snacks, but additional contributions of food, poster board, markers, paint, sticks for posters, and other art supplies are greatly appreciated.

Tsuru Drop-Off Locations

credit: Lauren Sumida

If you would like to contribute folded *and strung* cranes to Tsuru for Solidarity we have finalized two local drop-off sites:

1. Dale Watanabe at the Seattle University International Student Center (901 12th Avenue, PAVL 160, Seattle 98122), Monday thru Friday between 9-11:00am and 2-4:00pm

2. Lynda Joko in Leschi, Seattle (email to arrange drop off)

Deadlines: February 18th (morning) if the cranes are unstrung and February 20th if they are strung. 

For more info and guidelines:

Attend a tsuru-folding party:

Minidoka Day of Remembrance Taiko Performance at Seattle University (Feb. 16 from 12:30-3:30pm). Tickets available for purchase here.

Washington State Legislative Day of Remembrance Ceremony in Olympia, House of Representatives Chamber (Feb. 20 from 10am -12:30pm). Open to the public.

University of Washington Nikkei Student Union Day of Remembrance 2020 at UW Intellectual House (Feb. 20 from 6pm-8pm). Open to public.

Show your Tsuru Pride

Tsuru tees are now available for purchase in a range of sizes and colors. Get yours today!

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