Hundreds expected at local "Families Belong Together" rallies

Clay Curtis
July 1, 2018

USA TODAY has compiled a guide to safely participating in protests.

"I am afraid that they will take my mom away while she is at work, out driving or at home", she continued.

In addition to Charlotte, rallies were planned in other North Carolina cities, including Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, according to the main protest website.

Though many who show up to the rallies across the country will be seasoned anti-Trump demonstrators, others are new to immigration activism, including parents who say they feel compelled to show up after heart-wrenching accounts of children forcibly taken from their families as they crossed the border illegally. The administration will now hold families together for longer than 20 days.

"The Trump Administration has been engaged - since January of 2017 - in restoring order to the lawlessness at the southwest border and protecting our nation's citizens, but we are beholden to a broken immigration system that Congress has refused to fix and that courts have exacerbated", a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement.

"I give them bits and pieces as we go along, I explain it to them age-appropriately", McCall said, holding a rainbow umbrella, shading her youngest daughters.

Hoplamazian, 39, said the Bible teaches that it is important "to stand up for those treated unjustly" and that Sessions committed "theological malpractice" when he used a snippet of verse to justify separating families. I'm from Oakland, Calif. "This is how I was raised, so I'm trying to raise them the same way". As of the time of this report, protests seem to have remained largely peaceful and no major law enforcement clashes have been reported. Adams and her friends had felt personally affected by the coverage of detained children.

"We're not just here to listen, all of us", Hector Vaca, one of the speakers, said. They were processed and being released, according to Capitol Police, a D.C. agency.

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"If we can't come together under the idea of 'Kids shouldn't be taken from their parents, ' where are we?" he asked.

Jayapal, who was also arrested during the protest at the Senate office building earlier this week, agreed. She described her conflicted feelings as a concerned mother and a self-proclaimed "patriot". "I just don't see how a human being would do such a thing". "This I'm proud of, this rally I'm proud of". "It hurts our communities to separate families".

Children joined in, with one little girl in Washington carrying a handwritten sign which said: "I get my mommy".

While President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump avoided the chants in Washington, the protests followed them to their weekend retreat in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Much of the uproar over the separation policy came after news organisations reported children being held in cells, converted warehouses and desert tents around the country. Some people responded by surrounding the anti-abortion-rights activists, and denounced their presence at the event. But local organizers are shouldering on-the-ground planning, many of them women relying on informal networks established during worldwide women's marches on Trump's inauguration and its anniversary. Some booed and yelled "shame, shame, shame!" at the building, which was surrounded by police officers.

Millicent Bennet carried her 5-year-old son, Grover, on her shoulders. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. "This is one of those where were ya' moments", he said.

"I don't like to live with this fear", she said through tears streaming down her face.

"Being on foot from El Salvador is a three-month trek, it's risky", Cardoza said.

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