Migrant Family Separation Brings Hundreds to March

Approximately a thousand people march and rallied in protest of migrant families being separated at the border, on Thursday, June 14 in downtown Los Angeles.

The Trump administrations choice to implement a “zero tolerance” policy for anyone, including families, entering the country illegally led to the event being organized by the March and Rally Los Angeles organization. “Of course, the main topic is how they’re separating the children from the family right, they’re separating the family… we’re trying to unite the immigrants and we’re going to keep doing it,” said Byron Cortez, founder of March and Rally Los Angeles. Families arriving at the southern border have been separated in recent weeks, with adults sent to detention centers while the children are placed into separate facilities under the jurisdiction of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The event began on the south east corner of Wilshire Blvd and S Alvarado St at MacArthur park, where people began chanting with protest signs in hand on the hot Thursday afternoon. Lydia Ponce, of the American Indian Movement Southern California, took the megaphone to say, “We’re all here because of the children, right?”

Hector Agredano, a professor of geography at Pasadena City College, took the megaphone and said to the crowd, “We need to demand a stop on the [ICE] raids. We need to demand a stop on deportations. We need to demand a stop on the detention centers, let these children go.”

After rallying, the large crowd took to the streets, with an escort from the Los Angeles Police Department. Chants such as, “shut down ice,” and cheers filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles, which were met with honks of support from people driving by. This continued throughout the entirety of the crowds walk down W 6th St, until they made their first stop by Pershing Square, where a group of over a hundred people awaited the larger groups arrival, only to join as one as all of those marching headed to the events ending destination: the Metropolitan Detention Center.

After the three mile march, the crowd of approximately a thousand people arrived outside of the detention center, where a microphone and speakers were set up. March attendees yelled out to the inmates inside the detention center, which were met by lights flashing and flickering lights as a way for the inmates to respond.

Diana Rodriguez, a woman who migrated to the US with her family when she was five years old was visibly emotional upon arriving at the detention center. “We’re probably the first people they’ve seen the entire day, it’s just giving them hope,” said Rodriguez. “I myself am undocumented and the fact that they’re in there and I’m out here, I am a voice for them, since they don’t have it. I’m just trying to fight for them, just like my parents tried fighting for me when they brought me here.”

The event concluded shortly after 8:30 p.m. with no counts of violence.