The Importance of Local Solidarity

by Susan O’Connor Fraser

Have you been keeping track of what’s happening at the border? Are you angry? The idea that this administration is separating children from their parents, caging them, and shipping them thousands of miles away has been declared crimes against humanity by the UN. This is America, and we’re committing crimes against humanity. Let that sink in. We used to condemn countries who behaved this way; are we any better?

But now, on a daily basis, the President lies about what he is doing. He calls these people “illegals” and “criminals” when, in reality, many of them are seeking asylum, escaping their own country’s violence. We used to welcome asylum seekers. We used to put ankle bracelets on the adults and almost all of them showed up for their court cases. He’s trying to stop “legal” immigration for brown people.

Our elected officials and the media have been denied access to these detention centers and there have been reports of abuse. They are deporting the parents without their children and children without their parents, sending them back into horrific conditions, where they may not survive. And they have no plans to reunify those that aren’t deported. The trauma will scar these children for life. This administration is committing torture in our name. Torturing children. Torturing babies.

So yes, I’m angry. If you are too, you have an opportunity to do something and it’s easy. You can join me and thousands of other members of our community in sending a message to this administration. This Saturday, June 30th, Santa Cruz Indivisible is co-sponsoring a peaceful rally downtown to protest Trump’s deplorable “zero-tolerance” policies. At 10am, people will congregate outside Santa Cruz City Hall on Center Street and march to Abbott Square/Museum of Art History.

Following the march there will be a rally, including speakers, music, and kids’ activities. You’ll also learn what more you can do to effectively fight this fight. The featured speaker will be Dr. Farris Sabah, a local immigrant and leader in student advocacy and education. Participants are encouraged to bring their friends, family members, and co-workers, as well as signs and rallying posts to share their messages surrounding the issue.

Our country is in a moral crisis as this administration continues to willfully and violently separate immigrant children and youth from their families at the border and placing them in detention camps. In response to these atrocities, the citizenry of Santa Cruz and surrounding areas are getting together to demand that these families are kept together, and advocate for their fair representation and treatment.

Now is the time for solidarity as a community. This Santa Cruz rally is merely one of more than 650 similar protests occurring across the country. It is imperative that even small communities like ours band together in the face of this injustice, and give voice to those children and families that have none. Our greatest strength is our passion for advocating for what’s right, and we would be thrilled if you would come out Saturday morning to lend your voice to our cause.

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