This past weekend, we joined our friends at Tsuru for Solidarity for a Day of Remembrance caravan from the Puyallup Fairgrounds to Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center. About 60 cars bearing signs, tsuru, and protest artwork showed up to remember Japanese American WWII incarceration, and demand freedom and justice for immigrants who are unjustly detained today.
Sunday’s action — organized by the Seattle chapter of Tsuru for Solidarity in close collaboration with Densho, the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, Seattle JACL, Puyallup Valley JACL, and La Resistencia — began as a recreation of the very first Day of Remembrance in 1978, when activists led a caravan from Seattle to the Puyallup Fairgrounds to reenact the forced removal to “Camp Harmony” in 1942. A line of cars snaked through the fairgrounds, past taiko players beating drums next to sites related to Puyallup’s history as a WWII incarceration site, before making the ten-mile drive to the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC).
At NWDC, participants heard from La Resistencia co-founder Maru Mora Villalpando about the need to shut down the notoriously unsafe facility and release detainees to their families and communities. The sound of taiko, car horns, chants of “Chinga la Migra!” and even a trumpet carried through the air, to let the people inside know they have friends and supporters fighting for their freedom.