Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Thousands protest against Trump's 'Zero Tolerance Policy'

Margarita Perez of Albuquerque with her daughter by her side holds up a Mexican flag during a protest on Civic Plaza in Albuquerque N.M. on Saturday ‘Families Belong Together' Rally: Thousands protest family separations at border across country
Ebony Burgess | 01 July, 2018, 16:12

They are reports, around 2,000 children still remain separated from their parents after a judge ordered the families be reunited within 30 days, last week.

More than 16,000 had RSVP-ed on Facebook for the "Families Belong Together" march, and Daley Plaza began filling up by 10 a.m.

People across many major towns and cities in the USA had been urged to gather under the slogan #familiesbelongtogether.

The Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the USA border has resulted in the separation of almost 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, sparking a public outcry.

Held in a detention facility in Texas, Jocelyn didn't know where her child was for the first two months, she said.

But in Dodge City, Kansas, a 100-person rally led by a Catholic church felt more like a mass than a protest.

"This is not what we stand for and this is not okay, and we will not stand here and watch our country be torn apart and watch babies be torn from their mothers", she told AFP, holding a sign that said, "The Only Baby Who Belongs in a Cage is Donald Trump".

We're here to win, not plot final route, says England's Southgate
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"Abolish ICE", said another sign, reflecting growing calls by activists for abolition of the country's frontline immigration enforcement agency.

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. The main march is in Washington DC, but one of the people behind the movement, Anna Galland, said separate events in 50 states in total were planned.

Various organisations such as American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center are backing the protests that are happening across the US.

A number of celebrities have also expressed their support, including actresses Julianne Moore, America Ferrara and Natalie Portman, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit musical Hamilton.

More than 500 women, including a member of Congress, were arrested Thursday in the US Capitol complex protesting Trump's immigration policy. Actress Susan Sarandon was among those detained. Trump has decried that so-called catch-and-release policy, and vowed to detain immigration violators. But the family separation policy has been a watershed for attracting a broader spectrum of demonstrators, she said. Many demanded protections for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants previously granted temporary relief from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump ended in September 2017.

This coming after thousands of children were separated from their parents at the border.

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