By Ahmanise Sanati, LCSW, PPSC, Region H Director
As the country continues to fund inhumane detention camps around the country and as we prepared for ICE raids in our communities, thousands of advocates, activists and impacted persons gathered for vigils around the world highlighting the crisis.
On July 12, NASW-CA Region H sponsored Lights for Liberty: A Nationwide Vigil to End Human Detention Camps in Westchester, Los Angeles, where approximately 300 people strong gathered for the event in solidarity.
Speakers included Council Member Mike Bonin; District Deputy from Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ office Blanca Jimenez; lawyers and activists working with the immigrants in the crisis (including visiting detention centers in Tijuana, Mexico and Clint, Texas), and several local teens and women reading statements from detained children and mothers.
The night ended with candle lighting, a moment of silence, and an emotional chorus of “This Land is Your Land” and “This Little Light of Mine.”
There were more than 800 vigils held around the world, spanning across five continents in the largest mass-mobilization in history.
As social workers, per the Code of Ethics, it is our duty to stand up to social injustice. On this evening, I’ve never been more proud to speak up for those voices that are silenced and stand up for what is right.
Thank you NASW-CA Region H for allowing us the opportunity to amplify our voice. We look forward to continuing these grassroots efforts in the times when we are needed most.
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Photos courtesy of KCET
Karl Sonnenberg (www.sonnenbergshots.com)