On Saturday, June 30, more than 700 marches took place from coast to coast and small towns in between as people took to the streets to protest the Trump administration’s cruel zero tolerance immigration policy.
According to the Los Angeles Times (Sunday, July 1), tens of thousands of people assembled in front of Los Angeles City Hall. Organizers said they were not only protesting the separation of families but also Trump policies criminalizing immigrants and leaving in limbo the fate of those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
A diverse crowd of protesters chanted, “Where are the kids! Where are the kids!” referring to the administration’s inability to coordinate the reunification of children, some as young as three months old, with their families currently being held in detention centers across the country.
The protest rally began with native peoples, joined by Taboo from the band The Black Eyed Peas, leading the crowd in a native prayer. Taboo sang a rendition of the BEP hit, “Where is the Love”
The day was filled with many passionate speakers: politicians, youth groups, and celebrities.
Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, was heckled during his speech by a group that opposes L.A. City’s support for I.C.E. and the expansion plan for L.A. County prisons.
California Senator Kamala Harris came to the stage and said, “We are better than this! We are better than having children sitting in cages crying for their mommies and daddies. We know we are better than this!” The senator went on to ask the crowd, “When your grandchildren ask you, ‘Where were you when this moment happened?’ Our answer will be not how we felt, but what we did! We call. We vote. We march.”
As of this writing, protesters are still camped out at the Metropolitan detention center located at Aliso Street and North Alameda in downtown Los Angeles. They will not leave until every child is reunited with their family.
In Topanga, half a dozen members of Topanga Peace Alliance “marched” locally, holding up their signs of resistance, at the Pine Tree Circle traffic light. I honked in support.
By Sister Resister/All photos by Sister Resister
Editor’s Note: As someone who didn’t march but watched nationwide coverage on TV, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) caught my attention with his impassioned speech at the march in Washington, D.C., when he said:
“Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Keep marching. We are one people, one family. We are all human. We’ve got to walk and vote like we’ve never voted before. In the final analysis, we may have to turn America upside down to turn it right-side up. But whatever we do, do it in an orderly, peaceful, non-violent fashion.
“As Dr. King said on so many occasions, ‘never, ever, ever hate, for hate is too heavy a burden….’ The way of love is a much better way.”
When I heard that MLK quote, I realized how much hate I was carrying and unburdened myself there and then. I am stronger for hearing and following those words.