Nearly 200 demonstrators surrounded the Five Corners last Saturday in solidarity with nationwide ‘Families Belong Together’ marches protesting President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
The Trump administration faced recent backlash over its “zero-tolerance” immigration stance that resulted in the seperation of thousands of children from their families at the U.S. border.
In response, Trump signed an executive order June 20 that said families and children would be housed together, indefinitely. But the order said nothing about what to do with more than 2,3000 children already seperated from their parents, and activists are calling for the government to reunite those families and show more compassion to migrant families crossing the border illegally.
Organizers on the national level anticipated more than 700 protests in all 50 states, including Vermont, where protestors arrived in Burlington and Montepleier, as well.
The Essex Jct. demonstration was organized by Essex Resists, a group started after last year’s Women’s March that encourages members to engage in social action. Organizer Kelly Adams said she hoped to create a visual presence that there is “something taking place in our country that should be very alarming to all of us.”
The group has led similar protests in the Five Corners aimed at Trump’s immigration policies, but Adams said this weekend’s demostration was the largest she’s seen in the village.
“That gives me hope about our ability to do the right thing,” she said.