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On Saturday close to 80 protesters were arrested during an anti-ICE-protest at a Microsoft store in Manhattan New York. The protest organized by Close, The Camps NYC, was against Microsoft transacting business with the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Protesters storm Microsoft store in New York

The demonstration started with a march from New York Public library at around 2 p.m. through to the Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue. Some of the demonstrators went into the Microsoft store and sat on the floor and dropped red-inked dollar bills meant to appear like bloodstains. Some protesters locked hands on the storefront to block the entrance. Protesters held signs reading that “this is the price for business with ICE.” Police indicate that they apprehended 76 immigration policy protesters.

The store closed early as a result, and a Microsoft spokesperson stated that all its employees and customers were safe. The spokesperson lauded the NYPD for its work to help with the situations of protestors on the 5th avenue store. He added that the store closed early for the rest of the day, but they soon could open its doors again.

Tech companies criticized for doing business with ICE

The protesters were protesting against the business relationship between the ICE and Microsoft. In recent months Microsoft and other technology companies have received criticism for making millions by doing business with an agency that is separating families.

The protesters called for Microsoft to cancel its data processing agreement with the law enforcement agency. These are same calls echoed last year by some Microsoft employees. In June 2018, Microsoft issued a statement indicating that it was not working with the ICE or the US Customs and Border Protection agency on any projects associated with the separation of families at the border.

At the time the company stated that it had spent over 20 years to integrate technology with the rule of law to guarantee that immigrant and refugee children remain with their families. Microsoft indicated that it was building on that noble tradition instead of changing course now.