BREAKING: U.S. Senate candidate Zak Ringelstein of Yarmouth, Maine was arrested outside a facility in McAllen, Texas while attempting to deliver water, food, blankets, books and toys to children being held at the border in detention center. pic.twitter.com/2CjskJlcMl— Antonio Arellano (@AntonioArellano) June 22, 2018
Democratic Candidate for Senate Zak Ringelstein was arrested for trying to deliver toys, water, blankets, and food to children being held at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Texas.
Ringelstein, who’s challenging independent incumbent Sen. Angus King from Maine, traveled in a pickup to the facility in McAllen.
When Ringelstein approached the facility, he said he was told to leave by an official.
The unnamed agent eventually explained to the Senate candidate that they were not going to allow him to enter, but that he could donate the items to a charitable organization with authorization to reach the kids inside.
As he was repeatedly denied entry, Ringelstein sat in his truck’s flatbed, saying, “I refuse, I refuse, I refuse to stand by as you imprison children and bring more children by the dozens into this facility... it is wrong. It is sick. It’s a sickness.”
He was eventually handcuffed and then arrested, along with a man who joined the candidate while holding a “Free Them” sign.
The incident was filmed and broadcast live by Ringelstein's campaign on Facebook.
On Twitter, his account called the candidate a “political prisoner of the Trump regime.”
A campaign spokesperson told reporters that they were not sure whether the candidate was going to be charged. But according to Ringelstein’s official Twitter account, the candidate remains in custody on suspicion of criminal trespass. He could face up to six months in jail.
Update: Zak is currently being held in Texas on suspicion of criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanor that carries a possible punishment of up to six months in county jail and a $2,000 fine. #mepolitics #resist #FreeTheChildren— Zak Ringelstein (@RingelsteinME) June 22, 2018
Twitter users expressed shock that this happened. Many said they were grateful and proud that someone would stand up for the children while putting their own freedom at risk in the process.
So much respect Zak, the world needs courageous people right now.— Paul J James (@PaulJJamesphoto) June 22, 2018
Update: this is a Dem candidate for Senate in ME.— Maid of Tin ???? (@maidoftin) June 22, 2018
Does this count as jailing the opposition yet?
Stay strong! Trying to help children is not a crime. #FreeTheChildren— Brad M Sterling (@BradMSterling) June 22, 2018
Thank you for trying to comfort the kids Zack. Stay strong.— Olga the Great! (@omfraga) June 22, 2018
This is outrageous. This is unbelievable. For doing the right thing, for doing good he gets arrested. What the hell?????— Tito Dinzey (@titodinzey) June 22, 2018
Hopefully, public pressure will help to ensure that the candidate is able to go home safely to his family so that he can continue fighting for the underdog, whether as a senator or as an activist.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas