WASHINGTON DC: Tens of thousands of people arrived early on Saturday at Lafayette Park outside the White House in preparation for what is expected to be the biggest nationwide protests the country across the US over the Trump administration’s strict migrant policy, with rallies planned across all 50 states.
More than 630 events were planned calling for migrant families split up at the US border to be reunited.
“Throw him out“, protesters chanted as they prepared to march in the nation’s capital.
Saturday’s protests come as more than 2,000 children remain separated from their families, according to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fact sheet released on June 20, despite President Donald Trump’s executive order ending the controversial policy.
Bowing to pressure last week, Trump signed an executive order that ended the controversial tactic, but protests have continued as questions remain over when and how families will be reunited.
The order stopped children being taken from parents who face criminal prosecution as part of the president’s policy of “zero tolerance” towards illegal crossings of the US border from Mexico.
Critics say the order did not address the issue of families already separated, with 2,342 children taken away from their parents between 5 May and 9 June alone.
Trump’s executive order is seen by many as a way for the president to only shift his policy so that families can remain in detention for long periods of time.
What do the protesters want ?
Protesters say they have three main demands: For separated migrant families to be reunited, the government to end family detentions and the Trump administration to end “zero tolerance.”
Who is taking part ?
Organisers issued instructions for people to dress in white, to represent peace and unity. 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.
There are now hundreds of #FamiliesBelongTogether events in **ALL 50 STATES** and seeing solidarity events pop up around the world. Thousands or tens of thousands of ppl already committed in DC, Minneapolis, Nashville, Austin, Chicago, LA, NYC, MANY more: https://t.co/0KcLXHgAUb
— Anna Galland (@annagalland) June 22, 2018
Lead organisers of the march include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
— Lindsey Bachman (@bachbanter) June 30, 2018