WILLISTON — Six Windham County adults were among 11 protesters arrested for blocking traffic during a demonstration outside an office for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Chittenden County on Saturday, Williston Police said.
Also two juveniles, including a 16 year-old from the Williamsville section of Newfane, face legal proceedings in Family Court in Burlington for the sit-in, police said.
Williston Police said they had spoken with the organizers ahead of the protest and had been told some demonstrators planned to get arrested for blocking traffic near 188 Harvest Lane.
Later some demonstrators moved into the street to block traffic. Each protester was asked one-by-one by a police officer if they wished to leave. The 13 that declined to move were taken into custody, Sgt. Bart Chamberlain said.
Most protesters stayed out of the road near the ICE Administrative office. Several businesses are nearby, including the New England Federal Credit Union, Natural Provisions and UPS.
Police estimated less than 100 activists were present for the protest.
The message was focused on how the government is handling immigrant families found illegally inside the United States and the separation of children from their parents. Some signs wanted ICE abolished.
Chamberlain said the six arrested from Windham County were: Mary Avendano, 70, of Newfane; Nancy Braus, 64, of Putney; Carol Davis, 72, of Marlboro; Peter Magen, 58, of West Marlboro; Ursula Nadolny, 68, of Guilford; and Ann Zimmerman, 53, of Guilford.
Also arrested were: Rachel Siegel, 47, a former Burlington City Councilor; Morgan Shore, 58, of Burlington; David Feurzeig, 52 of Huntington; Michael McCleese, 59, of Worcester; and Constance Lesold, 80, of Brooklyn N.Y., police said.
The adults are due for arraignment in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington on criminal charges of disorderly conduct on Aug. 7, police said.
The second juvenile is a 14 year-old girl from Burlington, and both are headed to Family Court also for disorderly conduct charges, police said.
Chamberlain said the protest was planned from 10 a.m. to noon and he spoke to organizers about 9:30 a.m.
It was shortly before 11 a.m. that Williston Police got calls the protesters had moved into the street and were blocking motorists.
"They did that with the intention of getting arrested," he said.
Williston had four police officers at the scene, including Chief Patrick Foley.