More than 400 people gathered at the Capitol on Saturday to protest the separation of immigrant families.
Residents met at Temple Israel in Tallahassee at 4 p.m. and caravanned from the Jewish Community Center to the old Capitol. Chants were led by different speakers who approached the podium to speak on behalf of the organization they were representing.
“This is not the kind nation we wish to be. Children do not belong in prisons of any kind. We cannot sit back and silently allow one injustice to be traded for another one. We can be better than this,” the Rev. Latricia Edwards Scriven told the crowd.
Scriven went on to say later in an interview, “You never know what’s exactly going to be done. I think any time voices come together and people are willing to be a voice for those who’ve been marching in silence and to say that this is not a Democratic issue, it’s not a Republican issue, but it is a human rights issue. We can only hope that when enough voices say something.”
Saturday’s rally was one of hundreds taking part that day across the nation, including many cities in Florida. According to USA Today, the Justice Department and border authorities began prosecuting every adult who crossed the southern border illegally in May, causing more than 2,300 children to be separated from their parents and locked in cages.
Following a bipartisan national uproar, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to stop the separation. However, signing the order did not reunited separated families, not did it stop citizens from protesting. Some are furious, many are sad, while others are still in shock.
“It’s really saddening to see those kids being separated from their families. It’s dehumanizing, dissenting to the whole immigration problem as a whole,” said Nastassia Janvier; president of Florida State’s chapter of NAACP.
The protest lasted more than three hours. Some protesters are hoping this march will help immigrants from across the nation get back with their families.
“This has been a part of America for as long as its existence. This is just the latest in a long line of struggle to stand against America’s racism. I think this rally did a lot to bring awareness to this issue, I don’t think anything is going to change until people get organized in a very concrete way to challenge these systems of oppression,” Katherine Drakon, a Tallahassee resident, said.