In 750 cities, we marched: Families Belong Together
After weeks of heartbreaking images, here are some beautiful rays of hope:
On Saturday, in Washington, D.C.,, 35,000 demonstrators braved 96-degree temperatures to march on the White House and send a crystal-clear message: Families Belong Together. There were 30,000 participants in New York, 60,000 in Chicago, more than 70,000 in Los Angeles, and huge turnouts from Orlando, Florida, to Austin, Texas, to Boise, Idaho (which is one of the pictures above!). We were everywhere.
Here’s the eye-popping map of all the protests, one dot per demonstration, spanning all 50 states, as hundreds of thousands of us gathered in cities from Antler, North Dakota, to Lake Worth, Florida:
More than 750 cities. One message. This is what it looks like when a nation speaks with one voice.
Here are a few more images from around the country today—including Representative Pramila Jayapal and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ai-jen Poo, Vanita Gupta, and MoveOn’s Anna Galland at the head of the march from the D.C. rally to the Department of Justice.
The past few weeks have been excruciating. We’ve learned about unspeakable abuses being perpetrated in our name. And at the same time, the Supreme Court upheld the Muslim Ban, which keeps yet more families separated. A Supreme Court retirement means fundamental rights for women and the LGBTQ+ community—among others are now on the line for a generation.
And for the thousands of parents and children in cages, not knowing if they’d ever see their family members again, it was, and remains, infinitely worse.
But Saturday was a ray of hope.
It was a reminder that, for all the chaos and cruelty of those in power, a massive and growing movement exists in every corner of the nation that still believes in fundamental decency. It was a reminder that—at the ultimate wellspring of power in the American political system—the core values of we, the people blaze, undiminished, indivisible.
The horror that so many of us feel about the devastating policies of our government won’t go away due to a march. But we are here, we are ready to fight, and we won’t go away. This administration hopes to crush our will to resist. Today, we made clear that they will fail.
In the days ahead, we’ll be sharing more actions we, together, can take next to build upon this momentum, end these terrorizing and traumatizing policies, hold abusers accountable, and reunite families. Our movement needs to:
- Keep up the heat on decision-makers everywhere. We’ll organize more in-person actions to create pressure to reunite families, close family prisons, and end indefinite detention—working with Indivisible, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and other organizations.
- Hold corporations accountable for profiting off this system—companies such as Wells Fargo must be held accountable for their role in funding family separation infrastructure.
- Rein in the excesses of the brutal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers who are terrorizing communities and tearing apart families across the country.
And we need to make sure everyone who is eligible registers to vote—a critical way to get involved with all the issues that matter to all our communities and families.
We decided to throw down on this national day of action less than two weeks ago. Our close partner, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, first publicly announced it on Chris Hayes’s television show, the next day. In response, communities everywhere—including longtime immigrant leaders who’ve been at this for years and decades, along with newcomers to action for immigrant rights—have organized one of the biggest protests of the Trump era.
All together, more than 180 partner organizations came together to pull this off, including MoveOn, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, the ACLU, faith groups such as Sojourners and the Presbyterian Church, Avaaz, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and a range of labor unions, the YWCA, scores more tremendous allies and partners, and countless local groups in cities large and small, united across lines of ethnicity, race, national origin, and language.
When you feel alone, when it’s all too much, remember that what is possible when we come together. That there is power in our numbers.
In the decades to come, people will ask themselves and each other what they did to fight the darkness at this moment in history.
On Saturday, many of us summoned a piece of an answer. We were in the streets. And we won’t stop until we turn the darkness back.