Hundreds march in Tucson as part of nation-wide Lights of Liberty immigration protest
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Hundreds march in Tucson as part of nation-wide Lights of Liberty immigration protest

More by Paul Ingram

More than 300 Tucsonans assembled in Downtown on Friday night as part of Lights for Liberty, a nationwide protest against the treatment of migrants in federal detention facilities and immigration raids planned by the Trump administration. 

Protesters gathered at Jacome Plaza in front of the Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.,, in one of more than 700 simultaneous candlelight vigils held across the country. There was also partner events in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. 

Hosted by Justice Alliance: Indivisible Southern Arizona, the Lights for Liberty event in Tucson was just one of nearly a dozen events across the state, including Phoenix and Flagstaff, as well as satellite events at the Yuma Sector Border Patrol station and the Eloy Detention Center.

In Tucson, the protest was a quiet affair, featuring speeches, songs and signs, but in Phoenix, the Lights for Liberty event was marked by more than a dozen arrests as protesters blocked the streets, and Phoenix Police reacted with force. 

"The Trump administration’s immigration policies and detention camps meet the United Nations' definition of genocide and crimes against humanity," said Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, lawyer, activist and organizer in a release before the Tucson event began. "Congress is refusing to stop the president and his policies. We cannot allow these atrocities to be perpetrated in our name."

"Now is the time for every person to stand up and say, 'We will not accept this!' No more hesitating. No more denial. No more fear. We need to be bold, and loud, and unrelenting. That’s the only way we can stop this," said Kristin Mink, activist and organizer.

Steve Diamond, one of the local organizers, said during a speech that it was important for people to speak out: "Don't look away; this must end with us." 

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