June 30: Hundreds of Thousands March Across the Country Against the Government's Detention and Separation of Immigrant Families

Updated July 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


June 30, 2018. Across the country, from large cities to smaller ones, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand that the government stop the cruel, brutal detention and separation of immigrant families. News reports say that at least 750 protests took place, in almost every state in the country—in major U.S. cities but also in many smaller cities and towns. The crowds were very diverse, people of all ages and nationalities—many coming out to protest for the first time. People drove, took trains and got on planes to rally, march and voice their opposition to the heartless immigration policies of the fascist Trump/Pence Regime that is ripping children away from parents and detaining many thousands of immigrants behind bars. In the crowds were immigrants, some who talked about their own stories of family members being deported. Lots of people came with their children and talked about how they had conversations with their kids, even very young children, about what is happening on the border and why it’s important to go out and protest against this. One woman got up in front of the crowd at the rally in LA and said, “I am undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid.” Refuse Fascism activists and contingents were part of marches in cities across the country. The Revolution Club joined protests in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles with “This System Can’t Be Reformed. It Must Be OVERTHROWN!” banners.

[Read reports from readers on June 30 protests HERE.]

In Washington, DC, tens of thousands of people gathered in Lafayette Square, across from the White House, chanting, “We care” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA.” People carried signs in English and Spanish. People carried signs like: “We are all immigrants,” “Seeking safety is not a crime,” “Melania & Ivanka, stop the child abuse” and “What’s next? Concentration Camps?” People came from towns and cities all along the East Coast and farther including North Carolina and Tennessee. A number of celebrities addressed the rally. Alicia Keys and America Ferrera read letters from families separated from children. Lin-Manuel Miranda sang a lullaby to the children who have been ripped away from their parents. Actress Diane Guerrero from Orange is the New Black, whose parents were deported when she was 14 years old, addressed the crowd, saying, “How many more children are we willing to subject to a lifetime of pain... What kind of country do we want to be when it violates the fundamental right of those seeking asylum? ...I have to believe that this is a chance for us to rise above the tyranny.” One man compared this moment to other periods in U.S. history, such as when Japanese-Americans were placed in internment camps during World War II, or when Jews fleeing persecution in Europe sought refuge on America’s shores and were turned away.

In New York City, news reports said 30,000 protesters gathered at a park in Manhattan and then marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, chanting “shame!” and “shut detention down.” The march was at least a mile long. Signs included: “Kids should not be in cages” (worn by a kid), “This episode of Handmaid’s Tale sucks.” Actress Kerry Washington, who’s from the Bronx, was at the NYC protest and said, “We actually have to participate to make it work. When you have those moments—and a lot of us are having them now, of feeling overwhelmed and afraid and heartbroken about the state of affairs in our country—you have to speak out and come together with other people who care about this country doing the right thing.” A pediatrician, Dr. Steve Auerbach, was in the crowd and told a reporter, “Doing this causes permanent physical and mental health harm to children. This is child abuse. This is torture and as a mandatory reporter, I am hereby reporting it.”

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Los Angeles. People held up a big banner at the front of the crowd near the stage that read: “What Side are You On—Sanctuary Cities.” People gathered in front of City Hall and marched through downtown. “Human rights should have no border!” a protester yelled at the start of the L.A. rally. Kids waved signs that said, “Familia, si! Trump, no, no, no!” People chanted, “Where are the children?” and carried signs like, “Separating children from their families is illegal.” Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez of the musical group Black Eyed Peas helped get things started by performing the hit song “Where is the Love?” John Legend also performed at the rally with a new song written for the occasion called “Preach,” urging people to action, that it’s not enough to preach. Legend told the crowd: “We see them as human beings who deserve the chance to flourish and be the best versions of themselves they can be. If you are committed to this kind of love, it means you believe in justice. But it’s not easy. It requires you see through the eyes of another. You can’t just talk about it, or read about it. You’ve got to do something!” [Read a report from a Revolution Club member in Los Angeles HERE.]

In San Francisco, CA thousands of people rallied and marched to City Hall. See video here.

Protesters beat drums, blew horns and carried signs like, “Deport Trump” and “I Really Care, Do You?” One news report described how the crowd at Dolores Park grew exponentially, mushrooming from a handful of protesters at 9 a.m. to perhaps thousands within an hour. Participants strummed banjos, pushed strollers and dangled handmade signs with the slogan “Families Belong Together.” There was also a rally across the bay, in Berkeley.

People took to the streets in Portland, Oregon after earlier demonstrations in the week where police in riot gear attacked protesters—Sign: “Zero Human Policy.” People have set up a tent city surrounding the ICE office with about 100 people who have been sleeping overnight, saying they will not leave until this inhumanity against immigrants stops. Several stay-at-home moms organized their first rally while caring for young kids. “I’m not a radical, and I’m not an activist,” said Kate Sharaf, a Portland co-organizer. “I just reached a point where I felt I had to do more.” Jess Morales Rocketto, political director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents nannies, housekeepers and caregivers, many of whom are immigrants, said “We just kept hearing over and over again, if it was my child, I would want someone to do something.”

In Chicago, a large crowd of tens of thousands gathered in Daley Plaza downtown. Some protesters shouted, “If we don’t get it, shut it down,” and held signs saying “Abolish ICE.” Protesters marched through the downtown Loop area to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chicago office and set up tents. A protester said, “We’re in a battle for the soul of the country.” One man, when asked by a reporter what message he had for Trump, said, “Leave Office.” [Read a report from a Revolution Club member from Chicago HERE.]

Thousands gathered in El Paso near the US-Mexico border, and converged on the International Bridge that carries traffic between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. People carried signs like, “We are all immigrants." There were other protests in Texas. Protesters in Dallas gathered outside City Hall, many carrying signs that read: “Compassion not cruelty.” According to news reports, people began blocking the road and at least five people were arrested when they refused police orders to move. In Houston people chanted, “No baby jails” and there was also a protest in McAllen, near a detention center where immigrant children are being held.

Trump was at the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey where more than 100 protesters lined the side of a major New Jersey highway waving anti-Trump signs and chanting, “Where are the children!”

At least 7,000 people demonstrated in Minneapolis, chanting, “Build bridges, not walls,” “Education, not deportation” and “Love, not fear—immigrants are welcome here.” The crowd, which packed at least six downtown blocks, marched to the Hennepin County jail after an opening rally near the Minneapolis Convention Center.

In Boston, a “Rally against Family Separation” began with a march in the morning from City Hall to Boston Common to rally. There was also another demonstration in the afternoon with a march from Wellington Common Park to the South Bay House of Correction, a county jail in Boston where undocumented immigrants are put behind bars.

Thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Atlanta. People carried dog crates with baby dolls inside.

Japanese American survivors and descendants of those who were incarcerated during World War II in concentration camps in America, rallied at the site of the Tule Lake prison camp in Northern California. Protesters held signs that read: “Kodomo no tame ni. They’re our children. Set them free”—sending a message that whether 1942 or now concentration camps are unacceptable.

Hundreds of people gathered to protest in Detroit and 22 other Michigan cities. In Denver, 4,000 rallied. Thousands gathered in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico calling for an end to the detention of immigrant families. A banner at the protest in Louisville, Kentucky read: “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome.” 500 rallied in Ithaca, New York, where one sign read: “Nazi’s separated families. We shall not.” Protesters gathered in Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana. One protester, a grandmother of nine, said, “I’m hoping that decent human beings come together, and enough is enough." In Onancock, Virginia, an Eastern Shore town with a population of under 1,300, some 60 people turned out for a march and a “Rally for the Children.” Some 200 protesters gathered Saturday outside the federal building in Binghamton, NY. 1,000 people protested in St. Louis, Missouri. In Columbus, Ohio, at least one person was arrested at a protest of about 2,000 people near the statehouse. A nurse told the crowd that she had never been to a rally before and said, “You don’t have to be a parent to be outraged. You just have to be a decent human being.”

4,000 people protested in Denver, Colorado, some wearing foil blankets, similar to the ones given to children separated from their parents. One sign read, “Keep the kids, deport the racists.” Around 400 people rallied in downtown Dayton, Ohio. About 300 people protested in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. About 125 people rallied in Marshalltown, Iowa. A father was inspired to organize a rally in support of immigrant families after seeing news on Father’s Day of immigrant children separated from their parents and held in cage-like structures. It brought him to tears. More than 1,500 people gathered in downtown San Luis Obispo, California. There were also protests in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; Alaska and Puerto Rico, as well as Antler, North Dakota, which has a population of 27. More than 2,500 marched and rallied in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In Delaware, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the State Office building in Wilmington. One woman, addressing the crowd with her two daughters standing by her side, said, “I do it with the hope of a better world for them, which means when there’s oppression, hatred and intolerance, you stand up and fight!” There were two other protests in Delaware, in Dover and Milltown. Several hundred people marched outside the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood—one of several protests across South Florida. An Orlando area schoolteacher who joined the Hollywood demonstrators said, “I came out here because I teach a lot of immigrant children. I’m the daughter of a refugee, my mom, who came here in the early 90s seeking asylum from Romania.”

There were protests in HUNDREDS of other cities and towns across the country and also outside the United States, including in Mexico City, Copenhagen, Paris, London, Tokyo, Halifax, Toronto, and Taiwan. In London, dozens of Americans gathered to protest outside the U.S. embassy.


Bay Area Revolution Club. Photo: Special to revcom.us

New York City, NY. Photo: Twitter/@bradenking

Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Portland, Maine. Photo: AP

San Francisco, California. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Carl Dix and the Revolution Club, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Denver, Colorado. Photo: Twitter/@krassenstein

Los Angeles, California. Photo: Special to revcom.us

Seattle, Washington. Photo: Twitter/@stearnsseattle

Washington, DC



Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Twitter/@VestalMcIntyre

Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: AP

Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo: Twitter/@BravoAriana

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