People throughout the United States gathered in communities and cities around the country to protest the separation and detention of asylum-seeking families. The largest one was held in Washington, DC. The one I attended was on the other side of the country at one of the Federal Detention Centers where adults, but not their children, have been sent to. This detention center is located just south of the Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) International Airport. Thousands of people came out to protest the US Department of Justice’s “Zero Tolerance” policy of separating children from their parents when the parents attempt to cross our borders seeking asylum.
People were passionate and peaceful. The following shows our thoughts in pictures and words. I posted some of these pictures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. My thoughts were attached to those pictures. The rest I believe speak for themselves. Here’s my photo gallery of the day.
Heading to the Rally
Due to the expected crowds and lack of parking near the Federal Detention Center, we parked at the north end of Seattle at the University of Washington. This is the northern terminus of the Seattle Light Rail line. Angle Lake is the southern terminus of the the rail line and is located about 2 blocks from the detention center.
The light rail train we were on had standing room only when we arrived.
There were police everywhere but the road was open. People kept coming; the crowd continued to grow. Several times the speakers asked people to “slowly move forward and south” so that more people could enter the area. By the time we left we could see why…
The Police Presence
They were everywhere. At the train station. Standing on the street. In their cars. On the rooftops. All in uniform. I didn’t “see” any in the crowd within the rally site, but I did assume they were there in civilian clothing.
It was a bit overwhelming. My thoughts about the police presence were expressed with this photo:
Only about a 1,000 people had been expected to show up for the rally. Yet, we came in droves. According to Sgt. Cindy Sampson, spokesperson for the King County Sheriff’s Office, police estimated that there were around 10,000 demonstrators. She told the Seattle Times that we we showed up for a highly emotional, but peaceful, demonstration full of strollers, grandmothers and a small contingent from the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club.” [This Gun Club, according to the Seattle Times, is an “anti-racist, anti-fascist organization, standing in opposition to organized white supremacists and attacks on people from vulnerable communities”]
What We Had to Say
According to NPR, between May and June 19, 2018, a estimated total 2,342 immigrant children have been separated from their parents. These children are scattered across 17 states. And their parents have been scattered elsewhere. One of these separated families is known to be detained at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac where we demonstrated. According to the New York Times, Jelsin Padilla is being held in New York City. His mom, Yolany Padilla, is being detained at the Federal Detention Center in Washington State. She hasn’t seen her son in over a month.
Ms. Padilla is one of over 200 immigrants —174 are women — detained as of June 19 in Washington state. We came by the thousands to say “no more; this incarceration and separation of families must end and end now!
Here’s the postcard letter I wrote to Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) calling upon him to use his powers in the Senate to end these torturous incarcerations and separations of families:
Many, many others wrote similar messages:
And so that you can see what else was said, the following pictures and social ,media postings will give you a flavor of our outrage.
My Social Media Postings Calling on the US Government to End this “Zero Tolerance” Policy
Joanne Tosti-Vasey added,
Why We March
What Should Be Done to End this Outrage
NOW IT’S Your turn! If you are in the Seattle Area, here’s some additional actions you can take this week:
If you’re elsewhere in the country, do as the sign says above and call
- The White House (202-456-1111);
- The Executive Branch departments that are causing this crisis
- Health and Human Services (202-690-7000);
- Department of Justice (202-353-1555);
- Department of Homeland Security (202-282-8995); and
- Your federal legislators (202-224-3121)
- Families Belong Together
- Stop Separating Familes
- End Family Detention
- Stop Torturing Children
- End this fascist behavior. We are better than this (or should be).
- Get rid of the “Zero Tolerance” Policy