On Saturday, despite literally-oppressive heat across the country, hundreds of thousands of Americans came together to protest the separation of families at our borders, advocate for the families that have already been separated, and clamor for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to be abolished.
And if this administration was looking for a sign regarding public opinion on its policies, we’ve got ’em in spades.
Where this whole mess began, and where we’re hoping it’ll end. Our own Celia made the trek down to the center of the action when she and her husband decided they “needed to go yell at the White House instead of just the local protest.”
New York City
A crowd of about 10,000 gathered in New York’s Foley Square to march in protest of the separation of families. Kicked off by an all-woman drum band, the crowd marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, past tourists and a lone Trump supporter who was drowned out by chants of “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Over 4,300 people committed to attending the Atlanta march, a peaceful, half-mile procession from the Atlanta Detention Center to the Richard Russell Federal Building. (Prisoners waved.) The venerable civil rights icon John Lewis, who was also the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, spoke before the gathered crowd and exhorted them to remain passionate, but “never, ever, ever hate.”
“We are one people … one family, we all live in the same house… There is no such thing as an illegal human being. We are all humans.”
-Georgia Congressman John Lewis
My kind of town. This is my home. And my adopted city done me proud with what appears to have been the biggest turnout for any of the marches! Despite temperatures approaching 100ºF with a heat index hovering around 106ºF, an estimated 60,000 people showed up in Daley Plaza at 11am for a rally and subsequent march on a route that was unpublished for safety concerns. The route was so full that the head of the march got back to Daley Plaza just as the last marchers were stepping out.
And a little child shall lead them
These signs can block up the scenery any damn day.
So What’s Next?
Did you miss your local march? Were you there, but want to do more? Well, whether we want to say “luckily” or not, there’s still a ton to be done. Children are still separated from their parents with no government plan in place for families’ reunification. Parents are being detained and misled that surrendering their asylum claims will return their children. And the children have been shipped all over the country with less tracking than your most recent Amazon package and less connection to their parents than is standard procedure at a Chuck E. Cheese. Basically, all sorts of terrible shit is still going on… our single voices may be small but together they are mighty.
So yes, you can start small. Look up your local Indivisible chapter or Solidarity Sundays group and see what actions you might be interested in participating in. Contact your representatives – you can use one of the many, many automated tools and apps out there (like Resistbot) to help you with topics, phrasing, and how to address them. It takes just a little bit of time, even a lunch break is enough! If you can run errands in that time, you can donate, sign petitions, look up local actions, or even just research laws relevant to your state (especially if you’re in the border zone) so you’re prepared to support your community.
We may feel little, and broken… but we’re still good.
Yeah, still good.