Detention center protests planned in Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, Greenwich, Stamford
NORWALK — Throughout the state and country Friday evening, groups will gather in protest of the detention of immigrants at the Mexican-American border.
Many of the protests in Connecticut are being organized under the auspices of Lights for Liberty, a human rights coalition that has called for concurrent nationwide demonstrations on July 12, dubbed “A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps.”
Lights for Liberty events will take place in Fairfield, Greenwich, Stamford and Westport. In other municipalities, including Norwalk, non-affiliated gatherings, also in protest of the conditions at the southern border, are scheduled.
“Every day, we learn more about the cruelty migrant children and families are experiencing at Trump’s detention camps on the U.S.-Mexican border. We can no longer just sit by and lament the torture, we need to speak out in unison and make our voices heard. This is inhumane,” Eloisa Melendez, Norwalk Common Council member and vice chairman of the Norwalk Democratic Party, said in a press release.
Melendez helped to organize the Norwalk event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Norwalk Green.
In Westport, the site of several recent protests, most of which have been carried out on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, the location and tone of the gathering will be slightly different this Friday, according to organizer Darcy Hicks, founder of local activist group DefenDemocracy.
Fairfield protesters will meet on Sherman Town Green, 1451 Post Road, from 7 to 8 p.m.
Greenwich protesters will meet at Greenwich Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road, from 8:15 to 9 p.m.
Stamford protesters will meet at North Stamford Community Church, 31 Cascade Road, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
“It’s not a typical protest where we’re trying to get drivers and anyone who sees us to recognize the topic,” Hicks said. “Everybody’s pretty much aware of what’s going on and, for the most part, really cares about these kids. Especially in a community like Westport — a community of family and parents — it’s kind of hard to go about your day without thinking about other family’s and parents who are being torn apart and children being traumatized.”
On Friday, the gathering is scheduled for Veteran’s Green, across from Westport Town Hall, from 8 to 9:15 p.m., with an alternate location at the Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plain Road. The vigil is to include performances from Staples Orphenians and solo musician Canyon.
Speakers will include Alicia Kinsman, immigration attorney for the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, Ingi Soliman, a specialist in childhood trauma, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Blumenthal will speak about his trip to the border.
“We’ll have people speaking on the issue and educating us about what we can do, what’s really happening, what the laws actually are and put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings and that facts that aren’t quite right out there,” Hicks said.
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