By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Protesters demonstrated Tuesday morning outside the Minneapolis offices of ICE, demanding that the name of Bishop Henry Whipple be removed from the building.

The protest was led by leaders of the Minnesota Episcopal Church, and there were some tense moments as protesters made an attempt to visit ICE detainees and serve them communion.

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The protesters say that Whipple, Minnesota’s episcopal bishop during and after the Civil War, was an advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights.

“The current practices and actions taking place within Bishop Henry Whipple Building are contrary to the belief, policy, values, and practices of the Episcopal Church and people of faith,” said Bishop Brian Prior, who spoke at the protest.

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The protesters say if the Bishop Whipple name is not removed from the building, they want ICE evicted from its offices there.

WCCO reached out to ICE for comment on the protest, and the agency said that it respects the right of protesters to peacefully voice their opinions. On the question of the name change, ICE deferred to the overseers of the building, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

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When asked to comment, the GSA deferred to Congress, which was responsible for naming the building.

Esme Murphy