Updated: ICE Protester Who Blocked Bristol County Jail on Trial in New Bedford
Update: Andre's trial has been postponed until February.
A Rhode Island woman arrested at a protest outside the Bristol County House of Correction in August of 2018 is scheduled for a two-day trial at New Bedford District Court this week. The trial was set for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sherrie Andre was charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace after she and others blocked the gate of the county lockup. She and others affiliated with the activist FANG Collective were protesting the fact that the Bristol County lockup houses ICE detainees.
Andre could spend 30 days in jail herself if convicted. Her co-protesters took pleas and opted not to go to trial.
During the 2018 protest, two people "set up a vertical structure" at the jail's main entrance and "hoisted themselves up there and refused to come down,” a spokesman for Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said at the time. “As that was going on two others came over to a side entrance of our facility and they cemented themselves to a tire filled with cement and chained themselves to the gate.”
Members of the FANG Collective have promised to show up at the New Bedford courthouse in support of Andre. They have also planned a luncheon at the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford, according to their website.
The activists are demanding that Governor Charlie Baker investigate Hodgson for his "inhumane conditions at the prison" and for "mishandling hundreds of thousands of dollars from ICE."
They are also demanding an end to the prison's 287G contract with ICE. Under the program, state and local police officers collaborate with the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.
Hodgson's jail is one of the few in New England that houses ICE detainees, according to the Associated Press. Hodgson, who is honorary chairman of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign in Massachusetts, is a big supporter of Trump's immigration policies and previously offered to send detainees to help build the president's proposed border wall with Mexico.