Marchers around the country protest family separations
Protesters gathered in front of the White House and across the nation on Saturday to slam the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families, the latest mass demonstration to push back on the president and his administration.
Marchers chanted “families belong together,” the name of the rally in Washington and in events that were scheduled to take place in more than 750 cities across the country. The protest was organized by the liberal organization MoveOn.Org, the Americans Civil Liberties Union, The Leadership Conference and National Domestic Workers Alliance.
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“We’re here to say to Trump: End this zero-tolerance policy,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told POLITICO. “Get these kids out of cages and reunite them with their parents.”
The Associated Press reported marches took place in range of communities, from cities such as New York and Los Angeles to small towns such as Antler, N.D. Many of the attendees in Washington, where it was 92 degrees, and elsewhere marched despite sweltering heat.
In Indianapolis, Patricia Carlan, a grandmother of nine, told the Associated Press, “Evil is not going to prevail.”
“I’m hoping that decent human beings come together, and enough is enough, we’re taking out country back over…,” said Carlan, of Danville, Ind., who was among hundreds who gathered at her state’s capital.
Amy Cohen, a California-based child psychiatrist, said she traveled to a detention facility in McAllen, Texas, because she “knew our government was deliberately torturing young children.”
“I knew that as a doctor, a parent, an American and a human being that I knew I had to act to say: Not in my name,” Cohen told marchers in Washington.
Organizers said that 30,000 people gathered at the main rally within view of the White House, though President Donald Trump was not in Washington to witness the event. The president was spending this weekend at his property in Bedminster, N.J., where, among other things, he may meet with possible nominees to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Protesters were observed near where Trump was playing golf on Saturday.
Trump did, however, tweet several times throughout the day about immigration and ICE.
“When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering. Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world. Republicans want Strong Borders and no Crime. Dems want Open Borders and are weak on Crime!“ one of Trump’s tweets read.
In the nation’s capital, TV anchors estimated the crowd stretched back for miles and included signs bearing messages like: “Yes to Immigrant, No to Trump + GOP”; “What’s next? Concentration Camps? Oh wait …” and “Children Need Their Parents.”
Many of the protesters poked fun at first lady Melania Trump’s green jacket that she wore when she visited a child detention facility in South Texas on June 21. The first lady’s team rejected the notion that the garment, which had the words “”I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?,” had any intended message.