protest

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Protesters call for the closing of the Irwin County detention center where a whistleblower claims detainees face 'inhumane' medical practices.

OCILLA – Protesters demanded shutting down the Irwin County Detention Center where a whistleblower claims "inhumane" medical practices occurred.

The protesters met Saturday, Sept. 19, for a march and caravan outside of the facility where whistleblower Dawn Wooten claims women in detention have had hysterectomies without their consent at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. 

Protesters want the ICE detention center closed and demand the county invest in programs and resources that "support the town’s collective well-being."

"On the day of the march, local organizers encouraged participants to convert the event into a full caravan," organizers said in a statement. "This allowed local participants to feel safe when counter-protestors were nearby and the cars honking guaranteed that people inside ICDC could hear the crowd outside.

"Cars and their drivers circled Irwin County Detention Center honking, chanting and singing as they went. Chant leaders Selena Herrera and Elliot Cholico guided a small group of marchers to the detention center with visiting demonstrators." 

Herbert Mallqui Aragon from Discipulos de Cristo Getsemani church in Lowndes County demanded the abuses stop; Elliot Lepe Cholico translated for Aragon. Alma Young, Citali Guerrero, Brittney Roberts and Triana Arnold also spoke. 

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