Around 230 people gathered at Adams Street Park on Friday, June 12 to protest the treatment of immigrants in detention facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border.
This was one of hundreds of Lights for Liberty vigil-protests against “concentration camps” across the nation and world, including many at U.S. detention facilities. They are being held in response to the conditions of the camps, including reports of overcrowdedness, lack of adequate food, water and access to showers and toiletries, people sleeping on the concrete floors, and sexual abuse and even deaths of several children, according to staff reports by the Associated Press and National Public Radio.
The protests were also scheduled two days before raids, announced in advance by President Donald Trump, to be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The raids in nine of the nation’s major cities were supposed to round up 2,000 undocumented immigrants specifically targeted by the agency.
Port Townsend’s protest was organized by the Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates. The international movement was sponsored by the Women’s March, the Center for Popular Democracy and the American Federation of Teachers, among other organizations, according to its website.
The protestors chanted slogans such as “No, this is not normal!” “Those kids are our kids,” and “Hate never made any nation great,” as well as slogans in Spanish. They also waved their signs to drivers along Water Street, many of whom honked in response.
After an hour of this, the group took off down Water Street, completing a half-loop of town while continuing to chant.