SEATTLE — Saturday, Feb. 19, will mark 80 years since the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and mass incarceration of all Japanese Americans on the West Coast and beyond.

Most Japanese Americans in the Seattle area were detained at the Puyallup Assembly Center on the Puyallup Fairgrounds until their transfer to concentration camps at Minidoka in Idaho and Tule Lake in California.

The trauma of family separation, child imprisonment, poor sanitation, inadequate health care, and uncertain futures persists — and continues today at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Gathering in the same location where barracks once stood, survivors, their families, and community members will share the history of the Puyallup Assembly Center and personal experiences there, before rallying at NWDC to remember and resist the injustices of the past and present. This year’s theme is “Remember and Resist.”

Participating organizations are Tsuru for Solidarity, Seattle Japanese American Citizens League, Puyallup Valley Japanese American Citizens League, Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, Densho, and La Resistencia.

The event will be held on Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting at the Washington State Fairgrounds (Blue Lot Parking, 311 10th Ave. SE, Puyallup, WA 98372). At 11 a.m., participants will move to the Northwest Detention Center (1623 E J Street, Tacoma, WA 98421) for a continuation of the program starting at noon.

The program will include a drumming performance by Fuji Taiko; a ceremony led by Japanese American incarceration survivors and descendants; and a rally with La Resistencia organizers and families of people detained inside NWDC.

Tsuru for Solidarity is a non-violent, direct-action project of Japanese American social justice advocates and their allies working to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist, inhumane immigration policies. Learn more at

JACL is a national organization, with local chapters in Seattle and Puyallup Valley, whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. Learn more at

The Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee is an all-volunteer committee based in Seattle with the goal to organize an annual trip to the former Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. Learn more at

Densho preserves and shares stories of Japanese American WWII incarceration to promote equity and justice today. Learn more at

La Resistencia is a grassroots undocumented-led movement that works to end the detention of immigrants and stop all deportations. Learn more at

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