Originally published by VOX
Activists are organizing a nationwide effort on June 30 to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border.
A #FamiliesBelong Together march is planned for Washington, DC, in Lafayette Square at 11 am on Saturday, June 30, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said Monday on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes. Sister marches are expected in dozens of cities across the country.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will likely end the large-scale practice of splitting up parents and kids, but it will now detain families together — and it seeks to do so indefinitely. There’s also the question of the 2,300 children who’ve already been ripped from their parents, and when they’ll be reunited.
That will not deter the protest, which is being sponsored by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and MoveOn, and more than a dozen other groups. “It’s a clear sign that pressure we’re winning the argument, that Trump is feeling the heat,” Karthik Ganapathy, spokesperson for the Families Belong Together March and MoveOn, said of Trump’s executive order
“But at the end of the day what was announced today doesn’t actually solve the problem, in a bunch of ways” Ganapathy added. “In terms of the kids who’ve already been separated, in terms of clarity on whether or not they’ll ever do this again — they seem to be reserving the right to do it — and lastly, on this question indefinite detention, and in some ways that’s even worse.”
Trump’s policy has reignited activism on immigration
Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy has galvanized activists nationwide, with a fervor reminiscent of the early days of the Trump administration and the travel ban.
On June 14, progressive groups organized “Families Belong Together” protests in dozens of cities to call for an end to family separation.
Spontaneous protests have also broken out across the country. This week, demonstrators confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a DC Mexican restaurant. On Wednesday night, New Yorkers gathered at LaGuardia Airport to welcome children, reportedly separated from their parents, who were set to arrive in the city.
The Women’s March is also organizing a nonviolent civil disobedience in partnership with Center for Popular Democracy and CASA in Action event for Thursday, June 28, in Washington, DC. The organization is asking women if they’re ready to risk arrest — and will provide training to those willing to participate.
So far, they have had more than 800 women sign up, according to Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March. “Civil disobedience is a strategic intentional tactic,” Sarsour said. “We have to be helpful to the people we claim to fight with and for.” Sarsour said they will call for the abolition of ICE and demand a comprehensive immigration reform bill that does not include billions for the wall.
Sarsour said she knows many women have marched, called Congress, marched again. “And now we’re saying, ‘Time to take it to the next level. What are you willing to risk in this historic moment?’”
The June 30 protest will build on those mobilization efforts, especially as the intensity of the public pressure has, as Ganapathy noted, forced the administration to shift course this week.
Ganapathy said 150,000 people have committed to take action across the country in the first 36 hours.
“I really think this is an organic thing,” Ganapathy said. “I really just think we’re tapping into this deep and visceral sense of outrage that people feel. This can’t be who we are as a country, we can’t go down this path.”
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