More than 200 immigrants located at a detention center in Tacoma, Washington state, have proceeded to begin a hunger strike in protest of the conditions they face, a local group of activists reported Friday.
According to La Resistencia, the 200 immigrants at the Northwest ICE Processing Center began a hunger strike to demand quality food, better treatment from guards and the eventual closure of the facility.
“We are tired of eating garbage, finding worms and other things in our food,” said a detainee during a telephone conversation with La Resistencia activists, according to a statement from the group.
According to the local newspaper Tri-City Herald, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) denied that a hunger strike is taking place in these facilities.
La Resistencia pointed out that the protest action, which is the nineteenth hunger strike in the last five years, is carried out after months of daily reports about blood, hair and even screws found in the food, as well as the lack of response from GEO Group, the contractor of ICE to manage this center.
“They mistreat us, they shout at us, in some cases they have attacked people,” said the detainees, according to La Resistencia.
The center, formerly called the Northwest Detention Center, has a capacity for 1,575 detainees while they await resolution of their deportation proceedings.
The strike is expected to extend up to 8 days, while the group is planning protests over the weekend to show solidarity with the detainees.