Michiana communities participating in global protest
GOSHEN, Ind. – People in three Michiana communities will take part in a global protest on Friday.
Organizers say they plan to peacefully protest what they call inhumane conditions faced by refugees along the United States southern border.
The demonstrations are tied to a worldwide call to action known as ‘Lights for Liberty.’ According to the grassroots movement’s website, there are more than 600 planned events across five continents.
“There’s going to be groups of people getting together all across the country,” said Goshen mother Lynn Diener.
Diener and a few other moms organized the Goshen rally.
“I think it just gets down to the basic humanity of it,” said Diener. “Beyond the legalistic part of it, it needs to be a human issue. These are moms, dads, cousins, grandmas, and babies coming across and they need help and so we’ve got to be able to respond in some way and our human compassion should be that baseline that says, ‘Let’s do something.’”
At the event, speakers will describe the history of separating families at the border, share their experiences with the immigration system, and explain how people can help those seeking asylum. Afterwards, protesters will light candles in solidarity with those impacted.
Diener hopes the international movement pushes leaders to pause the separations and find a better solution.
“I know what it’s like if my kids go away to camp for the week,” said Diener. “Even that, my children are just like, they get weepy and you know, ‘I’m not sure I can do this,’ and we know what the ending time is. We know what their care is going to be like and we know who’s taking care of them. None of that is ever in question and it’s still hard. So to ramp that up to what’s going on, to not have any ending time, to not know what your kids are going into, I can’t imagine the fear.”
The protest is also personal for Diener. She volunteered in McAllen, Texas which is home to one of the country’s largest immigration processing centers.
“It’s been hard,” said Diener. “I know those families. I know who is coming over and I know why they’re coming over. Other than that, the idea that we’re separating parents from their kids… as a mom, I can’t even go there. I can’t imagine what that’s like.”
There are planned protests in South Bend, Goshen, and Plymouth.
South Bend’s rally is set to start at 7 p.m. It’s being held at the federal courthouse on 204 S. Main St.
At 8 p.m., Goshen’s vigil kicks off at the Elkhart County Courthouse on 101 N. Main St.
The Plymouth protest is being held at the Marshall County Courthouse on 211 W. Madison St. It’s planned to start at 8:30 p.m.
To learn more about Lights for Liberty, click here.