Duluth community stands in solidarity during Lights for Liberty vigil

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DULUTH, MN– President Trump says this is the weekend, thousands of people living here illegally will be arrested in immigration raids.

That action has been part of what’s prompted rallies and protests all across the country Friday.

According to the President starting Sunday mass deportation raids are planned in ten major cities across the country.

Families arrested in ICE raids are expected to go to detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania or hotel rooms and then deported as quickly as possible.

Friday in Washington many democrats responded saying the raids are unnecessary and are meant to scare the migrant community.

Around the world, a group called Lights for Liberty organized protests against the raids. There were around 800 gatherings in places like Italy, Japan, and the UK, even 7 different cities in Mexico.

There were 21 in Wisconsin and 13 in Minnesota including Duluth.

The Duluth Lights for Liberty candlelight vigil at the Peace United Church of Christ featured many speakers who say they face inequality daily based on their race, gender, sexuality, or nationality.  Many of them, sharing their own stories of being an immigrant seeking refuge.

During Friday’s vigil, people sang and read verses and poems meant to uplift and show support for the immigrant community.

Speakers included a people from many occupations including Mayor Emily Larson, diverse groups, a professor,  and a City Councilor.

The vigil concluded with a candle lighting and music where over 100 candles filled the front of the church.

Those who spoke say it’s not about politics but humanity.

An event organizer, Judy Anderson-Bauer says, “This is a time for us to concentrate our energies and demand that this stop.”

One of the speakers, a Mexican migrant, and Director at UMD’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Susana Pelayo-Woodward told her story about being an immigrant seeking refuge in the United States. She says, “people don’t just wake up one day and say I’m just going to leave my country and my home. People are just desperate to come here for safety and for a better life.”

Organizers were handing out informational sheets on how people can help the movement by advocating and holding more vigils such as these. There was also a sheet showing 20 ways you can take action to help immigrants in transition, in detention, or in crisis.

For more on the movement click here.

Jessie Slater

Jessie Slater

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