[PHOTOS] Even Amid Confusion & Concern, Hundreds Gathered At Dallas City Hall On Friday Evening To Protest The Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies.
A diverse group of activists and faith leaders gathered in the shadow of Dallas City Hall on Friday evening to attend the Dallas edition of the Lights for Liberty event.
One of some 700 similarly named events held across the country on this date, the gathering was meant to show opposition to the United States government’s treatment of asylum-seeking families at the southern border.
While in office, President Donald J. Trump has initiated a “zero-tolerance” initiative to immigration that has not only led to hundreds of families being separated but also, according to reports coming from detention centers, to their mistreatment, cramped quarters and lack of access to potable water while in detention.
SEE ALSO: WITNESSING GROSS FLAWS IN OUR BORDER’S IMMIGRATION POLICY. // I Visited The Border To Provide Legal Advice To Detainees Seeking Asylum In The U.S. I Found A Judicial System I’d Hardly Classify As American.
In the days leading up to it, a change in organizational leadership and tone on the Facebook page promoting the event led to some concerns. After First Unitarian Church of Dallas senior minister Daniel Kanter and United Methodist Church bishop Michael McKee each released statements announcing their decisions to back out after showing initial interest, the initial Facebook event page was even deleted and replaced by a new page. Following all that confusion, national Lights for Liberty organizing committee member Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin released a statement through Facebook reassuring people that, although the local organizers had changed, the event was still on.
The start of the Friday evening event itself was also fairly uncomfortable s word of shots being fired a few blocks away at the intersection of Griffin and Elm began to spread. Although the shooting had no connection with the protest, the lack of information known at the time led to tension, and even one of the event’s local organizers informing the large crowd of activists that had gathered that they should leave if they felt unsafe.
Still, even with so many things seemingly working against it, Dallas’ Lights for Liberty somehow still felt like an overwhelming success.
Several immigrant advocacy groups attended, and were ready to answer questions about how to help immigrants and what their rights were. Hundreds of citizens also showed up to City Hall to express their constitutional right and protest in peaceful, passionate and creative ways.
The crowd was filled with varying signs — some with full breakdowns of immigration statistics and rights and others being as simple bearing the words “No Human is Illegal.” Several protesters even came in full costume, including a mother and her two kids, who came dressed as Lady Liberty. There was also a pretty impressive Donald Trump bobble-head costume who spent the majority of the night posing for pictures with fellow protesters.
Several speakers stepped up to the bullhorn to lead the crowd in song and protest chants. Reports of similar successes can be seen on Twitter and Facebook from the other events held throughout the country.
This much is sure: Chants of “Power to the people!” could be heard over the busy city noises in Downtown Dallas on Friday night.
Whether they’ll be heard in Washington, D.C. is another matter.